The Tigers declined to take advantage of their $15 million option on Magglio Ordonez, although according to Jason Beck, they’re still keeping the door open to a possible return by the right fielder. After a rough 2009, Magglio Ordonez took some big strides in returning to form before his season ended prematurely because of that freakish injury when he broke his ankle sliding into home plate in late July.
It looks like Magglio Ordonez wants to stay in Detroit as well but the wild card will be Ordonez’s agent, Scott Boras. It’ll be interesting to see how much money it costs with the injury risks and my bet is, the Tigers get him to an incentive laden deal.
The Tigers 2010 season is over with and they finished with a nice even 81-81 record. The last time they finished exactly .500 was back in 1958 when the finished 77-77. Billy Martin played for the team that year and Al Kaline led the team in OPS with an .864. Entirely meaningless but a little bit of trivia for you there.
Dave Dombrowski announced that the Tigers won’t have Jeremy Bonderman, Johnny Damon and Gerald Laird back next year. Neither of those are huge surprises but it does open up a rotation spot that the Tigers have to fill. The Tigers could always go out and get someone but if they don’t, my money is on Andrew Oliver (as a a SWAG, but of course if he gets the spot, you heard it here first).
Of course with the season’s end, it means another post season missed. It’s hard to believe that 2006 was four years ago. I remember talking to people and we were all convinced that in the five years following the 2006 season, the Tigers would probably be in the post season at least two or three of those seasons. Of course close doesn’t count but 2007 and 2009 the Tigers made runs only to fall short. Still, the team did a lot better then most people thought they would.
Every time I think I’m going to be able to keep up with the team here, something derails my plans. I’m not giving up, I just can’t commit because I’ll go hot for a week then cold for two. I still have some personal things to resolve and until those fully play out it’s hard to plan too far ahead.
Armando Galarraga fell to 4-7 on the season with his second straight rough start in the Tigers 9-6 loss to Kansas City. The first four innings went fairly well then the floodgates opened in the fifth and he gave four runs (blowing a 3-0 lead). Alfredo Figaro and Eddie Bonine were also tagged for a pair of runs each.
Despite Galarraga’s recent struggles, I think he’ll still stick as the Tigers fourth starter next year. The big questions is whether Jeremy Bonderman is going to back as the team’s fifth starter. He showed some signs of improvement (namely he pitched the entire season) we’ll just have to see what the asking price is.
Brandon Inge went two for four with an RBI. Ryan Raburn hit home run number fourteen and Miguel Cabrera belted his 35th of the season.
One interesting note, the Royals have 62 wins and Joakim Soria has 40 saves. That’s a pretty high percentage and I wonder if anyone out there knows if this is a record or close to one.
My latest BOB Report should be up over at the Hardball Times soon. It’s been a couple of weeks but I touch on the McCourt’s divorce and the Athletics stadium situation amongst other things.
The rubber game is tonight (I might be at the game). Max Scherzer throws for the Tigers and Kyle Davies is the Royals starter.
It’s been a rough year for Zach Greinke. Coming off of his Cy Young season, he got off to a nice start in April (five starts, 2.56 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) only to get little run support and he went 0-2. Since then, he’s looked mortal and he now finds his ERA sitting at a nice even 4.00 after the Tigers tagged him for six runs (five earned) in six frames. Greinke will be back in my opinion but in more ways then one, I’m sure he’s not too sad that we’re closing the books on 2010.
Rick Porcello looked sharp through four innings but then he was tagged for five runs in the top of the fifth inning when the Royals took their first and only lead. In all, he gave up twelve hits in 5 1/3 innings and this was after a nice string of starts for Rick. The hitters came through and his four game winning streak is intact.
The Tigers took the lead back in the sixth inning when Will Rhymes belted a two run home run on a shot that was reviewed by the replay officials. Al Avila then hit a solo shot in the eighth inning for some insurance. Avila finished three for four with the home run, three RBIs and two runs. Ramon Santiago had a pair of singles and an RBI.
Brad Thomas picked up the win and he improved to 6-2 with 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief. Dan Schereth struck out the side in the eighth and then Phil Coke got the final two outs for his second save of the season.
Game two is tonight. Armando Galarraga goes up against Bruce Chen.
I went to bed after the seventh inning thinking the Tigers had this one in the bag. I was kind of right because they won but the game went into the eleventh inning and thanks to the bottom of the order, the Tigers walked away with the win. After this one being a pitchers duel through six innings, the Tigers finally got to John Danks and it started with a two run home run by Casper Wells. Then the Tigers took a four run lead into the ninth only to see Phil Coke (with an assist by Robbie Weinhardt) implode. Then the Tigers got it done in the eleventh with an RBI single by Gerald Laird to go ahead and then Austin Jackson doubled home Brennan Boesch for some insurance. Eddie Bonine then got into trouble in the bottom of the eleventh before Dan Schlereth pitched out of the jam to pick up his first career save.
Jeremy Bonderman gave up his share of base runners and while he gave up three runs, only one of those was earned. I could have done without the five walks and he didn’t strike anyone out but he got his ERA back below 5.00 for the first time in over a month.
Ryan Perry came up big and he pitched two shutout innings. I still think he’s the heir apparent for the teams closer and while we have Jose Valverde one more year, the Tigers can begin getting Perry ready to fill his spot.
Austin Jackson and Gerald Laird both had two hits and two RBIs. Brandon Inge and Brennan Boesch both scored a pair of runs.
The Tigers come home for the last time in 2010. First up are the Royals beginning tonight and we’ll get Rick Porcello against Zach Greinke. Johnny Damon has been good against Greinke (.318/.375/.500 in 24 plate appearances) so look for that matchup. Brandon Inge has the third most plate appearances (49) against Greinke then any other players and he’s hitting .244 with a pair of home runs. Game time is 7:05.
I forgot to throw this up, but David Laurila talked to Tigers minor leaguer Scot Drucker. Pretty good stuff especially on how the players keep up with some of the minor league sources like Baseball America.
Tigers are winning now after a big seventh inning.
I’m about twenty minutes behind on the game (thank you TiVo) but the Tigers haven’t gotten anyone on base after ten hitters. Check that, Sizemore just hit a home run right before I made myself look foolish for criticizing Leyland for hitting him second. 2-1 White Sox. Now Raburn just got a double. Interesting note on Raburn, he’s only four for twenty against Danks, but of his four hits, three have been for extra bases (two doubles and a home run).
I’m still 16 minutes behind, but I snuck a peak at the WPA graph and it looks like nobody has scored yet. Looks like the Tigers chances of winning right now are about 26%. This game is kind of cruising though.
Scott Sizemore blasted a big three run home run in the top of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie in the Tigers 6-3 win over the White Sox yesterday. It was just his second home run on the season in what’s been a disappointing year for the upstart second baseman. It’ll be interesting to see what the Tigers do at second base in 2011 and a lot will depend on what happens to Carlos Guillen, who the Tigers have for one more year (more on him in a bit). Three players started more then 30 games and five different players started at least ten games at the position. Even worse, as a team the Tigers got just a combined .727 OPS from their second basemen. That’s not their worst position hitting wise but it goes to show you why the Tigers have struggled at times to put runs on the board.
Ryan Raburn drove in a pair of runs. He has 40 RBIs and a .933 OPS since the All Star Break. Raburn has not only played six different defensive positions, but he’s also hit at every spot in the lineup. It’ll also be interesting to see what the Tigers do with Raburn because this coming year will be the first one that he’s eligible for arbitration.
On the pitching side, Justin Verlander was, well, Justin Verlander. He struck out eight and went the distance for his third complete game and seventeenth win of the season. I’m not sure why he was kept out there for 123 pitches in a meaningless game but Jim Leyland must have had his reasons. Yesterday I talked about Verlander reaching 200 strikeouts and now he’s just two away from that mark.
And since we talked about Guillen earlier, he has a microfracture in his knee that’s going to require surgery. The Tigers haven’t said Guillen won’t (yes, double negative, I know) be ready for the start of spring training but it looks like we need an optimistic healing and rehab time table for that happen. Dombrowski has said he’s comfortable with a Rhymes/Sizemore platoon at second base but I don’t so we’ll see.
The Tigers are playing on ESPN tonight. Jeremy Bonderman will go up against John Danks and depending on what’s happening on the home front, I might do something I haven’t done in a long time and that’s sit and watch a baseball game.
The Twins won earlier this afternoon so that means the Tigers are 15 1/2 games back with 15 to play, ending even their formerly remote chances of making the playoffs. Not surprising considering the Tigers are 25-36 since the All Star Break. Only the Kansas City Royals (21-37) have had a worse record.
Jeff Passan has a piece on baseball trivia and he mentions Austin Jackson’s .413 batting average on balls in play. That’d be the best since Babe Ruth in 1923 so he has some pretty select company.
Max Scherzer pushed his record onto the winning side as the Tigers came back to beat the White Sox 9-2. Scherzer gave up runs in the fourth and fifth and he had to wait until the seventh inning, when the Tigers scored six runs, to finally get some run support. In all, it was another nice outing by Scherzer and he struck out eleven in eight innings of two hits ball. Unfortunately, those two hits went over the fence. The eleven strikeouts were his second best total of the season and that brings his season total up to 173. It’ll be cool to see next year the possibility of the Tigers having two 200 strikeout guys in the same rotation.
Ryan Perry pitched a shutout ninth because Jose Valverde was shut down. Valverde has been having some problems with his right elbow so for now he’s not going to pitch. The Tigers haven’t said it, but I doubt if we’ll see Valverde again this year. After an awesome first half, Valverde has looked mortal with a 6.95 ERA and a 1.818 WHIP in 22 innings. Phil Coke was given the closer job for the time being.
Al Avila and Austin Jackson had the big hits in the Tigers sixth run seventh. Avila gave the Tigers the lead with a two run double and then Austin Jackson capped off the inning with a two run home run, his fourth of the season. Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs and Ryan Raburn continued his exceptional second half with a single, three walks and two runs.
The Tigers play at 4:10 this afternoon and it’ll be Justin Verlander going up against rookie Lucas Harrell. Either a Tigers loss or a Twins win means the Tigers will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Verlander needs 10 strikeouts to reach the 200 mark and if he does that, he’ll be the first Tiger since Jack Morris in 1986 and 1987 to reach 200 strikeouts in back to back seasons.
Alright, my big tax deadline has come and gone and at least one of my excuses for not writing is out of the way. Not only that, I have an incentive to get back on track so now it’s time to make up for some lost time. My timing couldn’t be better because Detroit lost a rough one last night to the Texas Rangers. The Tigers gave Armando Galarraga a two run first inning lead but that went up in smoke pretty quickly and he was bounced in the fourth frame. Eddie Bonine and Ryan Perry also gave up runs in the loss.
With Josh Hamilton on the shelf and the Tigers in Texas, the whole MVP debate has been pretty live these days. Miguel Cabrera doubled and drove in two runs and he now has 45 doubles on the season. If Cabrera hits another home run to bring his season total up to 35, he’ll be just the second Tiger to reach 35 home runs and 45 doubles in the same season. Only Hank Greenberg has done it and he did it three times (1935, 1937 and 1940) so that’s some pretty select company. It’s only been done 15 times since 2000 (Magglio Ordonez is on the list when he was with the White Sox, Adam Lind is kind of the weird stand out). Hamilton probably would have reached both those marks had he not missed so much time. In the end, I think both are pretty worthy, but the fact that Hamilton might win the batting title and he’s playing for a playoff contender will hurt Cabrera. Evan Longoria, who’s name hasn’t been thrown around quite as much, actually leads the AL in WAR (Wins above Replacement) so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in the whole mix.
I’ve also heard Austin Jackson’s name mentioned for ROY although I think that’ll go to Neftali Felix (also a Ranger). Since we’re throwing out tidbits, Jackson could become the Tigers’ first player to hit .300 or better, score 100 runs and strike out more then 150 times in a season. That’s only been done nine other times (three of those nine were by Sammy Sosa) ever.
The Tigers head to Chicago for three games beginning tomorrow. Edwin Jackson will be on the mound and he’ll face his trade mate, Max Scherzer. Then next week is the Tigers final homestand of the season with the Royals and the Twins coming into town.
At home against teams with sub-.500 records (before tonight’s game) the Tigers are 28-10 if you assume they’ll hold on to their 12-2 lead against the Royals tonight. In all other situations (on the road and at home against teams with winning records) they’re 34-53.
I didn’t confirm these numbers, but I’m listening to the Tigers game and Dan Dickerson mentioned that the average player scores 30% of the time when he reaches base. Austin Jackson scores 41% of the time he reaches base and he attributed this to his speed. I think it’s more because he has a guy like Cabrera hitting a few spots in front of him. Cabrera has driven in Jackson 21 times this season. Oddly, that’s third to himself (31 times) and Johnny Damon (23 times). Just wondering what others though.
The Tigers are in a freefall and for all intents and purposes, they should now be playing for next year. I also have to hand it to the people who blasted me for saying the Twins weren’t what they ended up being. I’m not saying I like them, but they’ve managed to once again put themselves into the mix and they also took advantage of their increase in revenue by making some prudent moves.
Anyway, that’s not why I’m here. I usually don’t mix personal stuff with this blog, but my writing this season has been even more sporadic then the past couple. Let’s just say it’s been an interesting summer. The good news is, my tax practice is doing really well. The bad news is, it’s draining time away from other things including baseball. The other big thing is I’m now going through a divorce and that’s taken time out of my schedule. Combine that will being a full time dad (Devin doesn’t go to bed until 8:30 so by the time I sit down and turn on the game, it’s mostly over) and my dad being in the hospital a couple of times, it’s made for both a physically and emotionally exhausting past couple of months.
So there. Tigerblog is still on my priority list, it’s just not near the top like in years past. Fortunately, at least for the past month and change, I haven’t been missing much. I still plan on making it down the ballpark (I haven’t been to a Tigers game yet this season and that would break a streak of over 20 years where I’ve made it to at least one game) and I’m still trying to figure out how to get my son to a new ballpark (which we’ve done five of the last six season) before the minor league season ends. I also have to figure out what to do with the whole Baseball Historians network, which has basically been on life support the past two to three years.
Anyway, I’m rambling now. The gist of this is, I’d love to immerse myself into baseball more, but the way things are right now, I can’t. Next year “should” be a lot smoother and I should have some time free up after September 15 (big tax deadline) so this isn’t a goodbye, it’s just an “I’ll see you later.” If you want to keep tabs with me, friend me on Facebook or follow my business page. I’ve been updating those more regularly.
The trade deadline has come and gone and the Tigers pretty much sat on the fence. I kind of like this move (or lack of moves). They did enough to say they weren’t giving up (there’s still two months worth of tickets to be sold) but they didn’t sell the farm. And this was before a rough weekend where they blew a four run lead on Saturday and then came back in the top of the ninth on Sunday only to lose it in the bottom half of the inning.
As it stands, the Tigers are seven back of the White Sox and six back of the Twins. The Wild Card is pretty much out of reach and they go into a four game series tonight with the White Sox. In a lot of ways, this is the Tigers season. Anything less then three of four is bad and the Tigers could really use a sweep and it all starts with Rick Porcello against Mark Buehrle this afternoon at 1 pm. Thursday’s game is also in the afternoon.
Wilkin Ramirez is gone. After being the Tigers top hitting prospect in 2009, he was dealt to the Braves for the infamous player to be named later. Our deals with the Braves haven’t gone very well. They’ve either been a wash or, like the Edgar Renteria deal, a disaster. It was also nice to see Jhonny Peralta get off to a nice start in his debut on Friday. He also drove home the tying run in the ninth on Sunday. I just think it’s too little to make an impact the rest of the way. I just hope I’m wrong.
It’s been a weird summer for me and I’m a little surprised we’re already four months into the season. Seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were excited about opening day.
The Tigers made a move to fill the gap left by Brandon Inge’s injury. I’ll write more on this when I get a chance.
Monday night, the Tigers were held without a hit. Last night, they picked up twelve hits and three walks and only managed to push two batters home. It didn’t help that they struck out eleven times but that shouldn’t explain this. The Rays picked up two of their three runs on a two run home run by former Tiger Carlos Pena and the other run was pushed across by an RBI double by Matt Joyce so it was definitely a time for the two former Tigers to shine.
It’s also bad that the Tigers lost on Justin Verlander’s start. It was nice that Verlander gave the pen a rest in his second complete game of the season. The Carlos Pena home run was unfortunate but after that in the first inning, he didn’t give up a run until the sixth.
Brennan Boesch is crashing down to earth. He went zero for four and he left five men on base. Miguel Cabrera doubled twice and he now has 35 on the season. Austin Jackson picked up his 25th double.
My latest BOB Report is up at the Hardball Times. I discuss the Rangers auction and both the Athletics and Rays’ stadium issues.
Game three between the Tigers and Rays is tonight. It’ll be Eddie Bonine making his first start of the season against Jeff Niemann. The Tigers are now four back of the White Sox and three back of the Twins so they have to make some noise here to stay in the mix.
It would have made for an interesting trivia question. Name the last team to have a pitcher throw a perfect game (or even a no hitter) and then have one thrown against them in the same day. Thanks again Jim Joyce.
If you’re looking for some good, Max Scherzer did throw five shutout innings before the Rays finally got to him in the sixth inning. The pen is also faltering. We won a lot of games in the first half because of a shutdown bullpen and now everyone is coming back down to earth.
Outside of that, there’s not much to say. I did want to give a shout out to Billfer, who’s taking a hiatus (I’m guessing, but I think he’ll be back at some point in at least a limited capacity). He was one of the few guys blogging when I got started and he’ll be missed.
Things have not gone well for the Tigers since the All Star Break. They’ve lost seven out of ten and they’re now short half of their infield and Magglio Ordonez is on the shelf for a while. More then half of the players in the Tigers lineup in yesterday’s finale were playing in the minors at this point last year and they needed a three run double by “veteran” Ryan Raburn in the eighth inning to pull that game out of their hat. Even the fact that the rest of the division has stood still as well could come back to haunt the Tigers.
And it is kind of funny that the rest of the division has been almost as bad since the break and the Tigers sit just two games back of the White Sox in the Central. With the trade deadline this upcoming weekend, the Tigers have some decisions to make. It’s hard to keep a straight face and say the Tigers team as it sits will be able to keep up with the other two teams but the fact is, they very well just might so giving up is hard to swallow. But if they get a good offer for someone like Jose Valverde and they don’t take it, then drop ten of twelve after the trade deadline, it’s not going to help the team moving forward.
I think this week is going to be very telling. They have four games in Tampa (second best team in all of baseball) then three against the Red Sox (with two of those coming before the deadline). It’ll be interesting to see where the team sits this time next week.
The All Star Game is in the books and if the Tigers make it to the World Series, they won’t get home field advantage this year because the National League won 3-1 last night. Growing up, the National League won most years and it wasn’t until the nineties when things switched around. Miguel Cabrera went one for two, Justin Verlander struck out two and gave out two hits in a shutout inning and Jose Valverde struck out the side in a shutout ninth inning to represent the Tigers. Brian McCann drove in all three NL runs in the seventh with a bases loaded clearing double and the AL scored their lone run on a Robinson Cano sac. fly.
Now the second half begins. The Tigers get, like a lot of teams, an extended break and they kick things off on Friday. The bad news is, they’re on the road. The good news is, they’re playing Cleveland. Friday’s matchup has Max Scherzer against Jake Westbrook and I like the way Scherzer’s been pitching lately.
The Yankees got hit hard this past week or so. First Bob Sheppard passes and then George Steinbrenner. Not this team needs any more edge, but it’ll be interesting to see whether this fires up the team. I’ve always been a Steinbrenner fan and his uniqueness will definitely be missed. Not that his heirs haven’t been doing a fine job so far since they took over the team a few years back.
I’m hoping to get more into the second half. I’m dealing with some personal issues at the moment as well as some logistical issues (Comcast went to this digital conversion so the little TV in my office doesn’t get FSD). Still, my hope is to do a better job in the second half especially with the Tigers in the middle of a division race.