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Cardinals, Curtis Granderson, Marcus Thames and Milestones

The Cardinals are a pretty good team, even when they’re beat up.  Albert Pujols made his return and the knock on the Tigers has been that they’ve only played well against the bad teams.  Hopefully the Tigers dispelled that myth here this weekend with a sweep at home over the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals and the Tigers have quite a past and two of the Tigers nine World Series appearances were against the Cardinals.  In 1934, probably the greatest Tiger team of all time lost an exciting seven game series to the Gas House Gang.  And then in 1968, the Tigers beat the Cardinals in another exciting seven game series and became one of the few teams to ever come from behind from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series.

Curtis Granderson had an excellent series against the Cardinals this weekend.  He had seven hits and he scored six runs in the three games against the Redbirds and he even hit a homerun and stole a base.  We’re not even at the midpoint season and he has 51 runs and he’s now hovering just under the .300 mark with a .296 batting average.  He’s also doing his job at the leadoff spot and he’s seventh in the American League with 4.2 pitches per plate appearance and the guys in front of him are some pretty big names (Jason Giambi and Manny Ramirez are two of them).  He could have somewhat of a decline in the second half because he might not be able to keep up his .387 batting average on balls in play but even if he tapers off, he should put up some pretty nice numbers in his first full season.

What a game on Saturday.  Marcus Thames came in and hit a two run homerun in the bottom of the ninth off of Jason Isringhausen to tie the game up.  Thames didn’t drive in the winning run, but it was that blast that put the Tigers in a position to win that game.  Thames now has 15 homeruns in 165 at bats and his slugging percentage is .661.  He has 28 extra base hits and the team leader, Granderson, has 32.  And that’s in a little more then half of the at bats.

I didn’t confirm this, but I heard on the radio that only two previous Tiger teams have had at least 50 wins at the 75 game mark.  The one time was 1984 when the Tigers won their last World Series.  The other time was 1911, who were 51-24 at the 75 game mark.  The 1911 team really collapsed shortly after that.  Their high point was 59-24 when they were 5 1/2 games in first place on July 18, 1911.  After that point they went 30-41 and finished in second place, 13 1/2 games out of first place.  1911 is also what was probably Ty Cobb’s best season.  He hit .420 that year, his career best and the eighth best single season average of all time.

Next up is the Astros, who are playing right now against the White Sox.  And speaking of the Sox, they’re still red hot.  If they can pull this game out (they’re down 2-1), they’ll have won their tenth straight game.  Tuesday’s matchup is probably the most interesting because it’ll be Roger Clemens second start since coming back for the Astros.


Speaking of milestones, this the 1,000 post at Tigerblog.  Most were written by me, but a few others made did their share as well.  It took me over three years to get here so post 2,000 will probably happen sometime in 2010.

[…] This man you see circling the bases is a fellow named Curtis Granderson of the perennially-woeful Detroit Tigers. He just spent the weekend obliterating the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff, racking up seven hits and six runs in a three-game sweep of the defending National League champions. […]

Posted by The Big Lead » blog » Restore the Roar on June 26th, 2006 at 5:20 am

Brian, good stuff. I know I’m a nitpicker, but I love to pick nits about stuff like this. I think Cobb’s 1915 season edges 1911 as his best. He drew 118 walks and stole 96 bases in ’15, and though his average was a more typical Cobbian .369, he posted his highest career OBP, a video game-like .486.

1911 and 1915 are pretty close though, even though they look so different, by Cobb’s standards. It sure as hell would have been fun to watch the guy hit .420.

What a weird player. He hits .420 with 44 walks and 79 extra base hits (in the dead ball era!), and then four years later he walks almost three times as often for some reason. If pitchers were going to be afraid of him you figure they’d have starter a little earlier.

All of this is beside the point, which is this year’s Tigers. Let’s hope they don’t resemble the 1911 version in the end. A .420 hitter is fun to watch, but it’s not as fun as the playoffs.

Posted by Dan on June 26th, 2006 at 10:50 am


We’re on the same page and that’s why I hedged myself :-). I was thinking the same thing about Cobb and 1915 vs. 1911. Finally decided to just say that it was “probably” his best season. Good pickup though.

Posted by Brian on June 26th, 2006 at 11:01 am

1911 was amazing. It’s hard to look at those stats and not see his best season. It’s pretty much a toss-up actually. Both seasons are not too shabby.

Posted by Dan on June 26th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Congrats Brian good job!

Posted by Darryl on June 26th, 2006 at 4:17 pm

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