I guess there’s two ways to look things. If you would have told me the Tigers would be at an even 47-47 record at the All Star break back in March, I would have been extremely disappointed. Had you asked me in early June, I probably would have been excited. It’s been one of those years where expectations have definitely been tempered and with some help from the Rangers, the Tigers still sit seven games out of first place despite dropping three of four to the Twins.
And what a series. The Tigers were outscored by a single run through the four game series, yet they manage to win just one of four. And while the Tigers have turned it around as of late (taking out the last week or so), Justin Verlander has been one of the guys to lead the charge. He struck out eight today in seven solid innings and he gave up just four hits. In his last eight starts, he’s thrown 53 innings and struck out 52. He’s also shaved 3/4 of a point off of his ERA and he’s now won five straight games. Not too shabby for a guy who looked to be making a run at 20 losses.
Matt Joyce hit his ninth homerun of the season and what a surprise he’s been. His batting average and OPB isn’t anything special, but that .600+ slugging percentage looks might fine. 17 of his 25 hits have been for extra bases and he’s hit six of his nine homeruns at home. Not too bad for a guy who didn’t even show up on most prospect lists heading into the season.
Clete Thomas belted his first career homerun and while his batting average has tapered off, he’s still hitting a healthy .284 although he’s benefited from a .360 (prior to today’s game) batting average on balls in play. He’s also drawn 14 walks which is a solid mark for the number of times he’s come up to the plate.
I might find time in the next couple of days to pen my typical “The All Star Game is no longer what it used to be” column that I’m known for this time the year. In the meantime, I’m happy that work is going to be lightening up and Burn Notice is back on the air. The first show of the season was solid and it looks like they’re not going to make too radical of a turn from what was a solid first season. I don’t watch much television and I pick my shows wisely and outside of maybe 24, which isn’t on for another several months, Burn Notice is the best show around.
Alright, this has absolutely nothing to do with baseball, but I just got done watching the latest episode of Burn Notice. I talked about this before, but I’m a big Bruce Campbell fan and he’s on the show. Anyway, the main character on Burn Notice, Mike, has a new government agent following him around Miami and making his life difficult. At the end of the show, the agent’s name was revealed as Bly (Jason Bly). This is either a huge coincidence or a neat twist because the name of the primary bad guy in the Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., which starred Bruce Campbell, was John Bly. I’d love to know if this was Campbell having some fun and getting the Bly name in there.
The Tigers don’t play until tonight but I thought I’d pass on a little non-baseball public service announcement. I watched the first two episodes of the show Burn Notice on USA Network and I enjoyed it quite a bit. They’re replaying the episodes over the weekend so check it out if you get a chance. One of my favorite actors, Bruce Campbell, is a co-star. Campbell starred in what was another one of my favorite shows, the Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., and while Brisco only lasted one season, it had the distinction of leading into the X-Files in that show’s first season.
I’d liken it to an A-Team that meets the 21st century or a spin off of F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack. The main character is a CIA operative who’s effectively been fired and dropped in Miami. Now he does basically takes on jobs helping people in tight situtations.