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Gut Check Time

Since winning six straight a week and a half ago, the Tigers have now lost seven of their last ten.  The Twins have been winning but not enough so the Tigers enter their three game set in Minnesota with a four game lead.  If the Tigers can win two of three, it’ll put their magic number into single digits.  If they can pull off a sweep, they can pretty much put the division away.  Conversely, if they play like they’ve played the last week and a half, things are probably going to go down to the wire.

The Tigers failed to pick up their half game this afternoon as they were dismantled, again, by the Royals.  Edwin Jackson was roughed up and Zach Greinke pitched like he has all season in the 9-2 loss.  Jackson fell to 12-7 and he gave up five runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts in five innings.  Armando Galarraga was also roughed up and he gave up three runs in just 1/3 of an inning.  The only pitcher to escape unscathed was Jeremy Bonderman, who pitched 1 2/3 innings to close out the game.

Miguel Cabrera belted his 30th home run of the season and he became the first Tiger since Tony Clark in 1998 and 1999 to hit 30 home runs in back to back seasons.  He also brought his season RBI total up to 91 with the two run shot.  Aubrey Huff was the lone Tiger with a multi-hit game with his two singles.

The Tiger and Twins kick things off tomorrow night and it’ll be Rick Porcello against Brian Duensing.  Duensing has won three straight decisions and in his last outing against the A’s, he threw seven shutout innings.  Game two is on FOX at 4 pm on Saturday and then Sunday’s game is a typical afternoon affair.



Tigers Swept By Royals

Jarrod Washburn had his second best start since joining the Tigers.  Unfortunately, he still gave up three runs in five innings and he needed 105 pitches to get through the five frames.  He yielded to Zach Miner out out of the pen and Miner gave up three runs combined in the sixth and seventh in the 7-4 loss.  Miner took the loss and he fell to 6-5.  Eddie Bonine gave up a run in two innings and he Fe-Tu Ni was the lone Tiger not to give up a run but he pitched to just one batter and walked him.

The Tigers racked up 15 hits but managed just four runs as they left ten guys on base in this one.  Every Tiger regular had at least one hit and Magglio Ordonez went three for four with a walk.  Wilkin Ramirez went two for three with two runs and an RBI.

The Twins also lost so that helped.  Not the come home to play three against the Jays.  Back in the day, the Tigers and Jays were a hot ticket.  Now they play each other 6-8 times a year and rarely does it mean anything.  This is a wrap around series but Monday’s game is at night.  In fact the lone day game is on Sunday.



RSS Feed Test Two

Another test.



RSS Feed Test

Just trying to fix this, seeing if what I did worked.



Tigers Hold On To Beat Indians

Looks like my usual fix for the RSS feed didn’t work so I’ll have to try something else.  At times, WordPress (the program I use) can be very cool but it’s times like these where it gets annoying.  Anyway….

The Tigers won their 70th game of the season last night.  Edwin Jackson got some unusual run support and it was good for his eleventh win as the Tigers shot out of the game with four runs in the first.  By the end of the fourth, it was 8-1 and while the Indians chipped away at the lead and made things pretty interesting, the Tigers walked away with an 8-5 win.

Aubrey Huff showed his thing finally as he put together a nice game.  He went two for two with a home run, three RBIs and two walks.  Placido Polanco, Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen also went yard in the win.  Every Tiger hitter had a hit in this game by the end of the third inning (Adam Everett was the last). 

Three Tigers have 25 home runs on the season.  The last time three Tigers had more then 25 was 2006.  The last and only time three Tigers hit 30 was 1992 when Cecil Fielder, Mickey Tettleton and Rob Deer all hit more then 30.  That would be impressive in that the Tigers have only had two 30 home run seasons in the 2000′s (Bobby Higginson in 2000 and Miguel Cabrera last year).

Edwin Jackson improved to 11-6.  He gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts in five innings.  Bobby Seay threw 1 1/3 shutout innings and Fernando Rodney threw a shutout ninth for save number 30.

The Twins beat the White Sox again and we just can’t shake them.  The Tigers lead is still 3 1/2 games although it is four in the loss column.  The Tigers still have seven games against the Twins so a lot will come down to that.  It’ll be Rick Porcello against Aaron Laffey.  The Twins and White Sox wrap up their series this afternoon.



Rays Pummel Jarod Washburn

Jarod Washburn hadn’t been very effective since he put on a Tigers uniform and now this deal looks like a big time bust unless Washburn can turn things around in a hurry.  He had his worst start of the season and the only good thing you can say about it is he did pitch into the sixth inning even after giving up six runs in the top of the first inning.  He then threw three shutout innings before giving up a run each in the fifth and sixth.   He’s seen his ERA baloon from 2.64 to 3.55 since he’s joined the Tigers and that’s tough to accomplish this late in the season.

Ryan Perry didn’t fare much better and he gave up three in 2 1/3 innings.  The only pitcher to escape unscathed was Fu-Te Ni, who threw a shutout ninth.  I was at work (I’m back to work) so I didn’t get a chance to see this train wreck.

Carlos Guillen provided the bulk of the offense with a pair of home runs, three runs and four RBIs.  He finished four for five.  Curtis Granderson didn’t pick up a hit or a walk but he scored two runs.  Placido Polanco went two for three and he scored a run.

The White Sox and Twins kick off a three game series beginning tonight in Minnesota.  I’ll probably turn this one on tonight.  At least for today, I’ll be rooting for the White Sox.  It’s be nice if they took two of three.  The Tigers host Cleveland beginning tomorrow and it’ll be Edwin Jackson against Carlos Carrasco, who will be making his major league debut.



Tigers Remain In First Despite Series Loss to Rangers

The Tigers hit a bit of a tough stretch in Arlington earlier this week.  I’ve been up in Tawas since Saturday with a crappy wireless connection so most of my news has come mid-day (and late) via MLB.com.  I was glad to see Cliff Lee depart from the division and it’ll be interesting to see where Roy Halladay lands.  My guess is still the Dodgers despite the Rangers throwing their names in the hat but as always, it’ll be an interesting trade deadline tomorrow. 

Being up north was relaxing most of the time (at least as relaxing as it can get with a five year old) and of course the downside to taking several days off is the work doesn’t go away.  Throw in the fact that my clients have put off getting me stuff until now and it’ll make for an interesting next couple of weeks.  I always manage to get through it, there’s just the pain that goes with it. 

Tawas was fun. I got to spend an extended amount of time with my family which was nice.  My son had a blast and it was all low key, leisurely stuff.  Let’s just say, it’s going to be tough getting up tomorrow morning and cranking out some work.

Which gets us to the Tigers.  They lost two of three to the Rangers but they still have a two game lead in the division.  Oddly, it’s no longer with the White Sox, it’s with the red hot Twins who sweeped said White Sox while the Tigers were struggling against the Rangers.  This is shaping up to be an interesting race and so far, none of the three teams have made a monve of consequence.  I was a little surprised Josh Anderson was sent to the pasture (at least we got some cash for him) but with Carlos Guillen back  it made him expendable.  Anderson got off to the good start but he’s lost a lot of time to guys like Clete Thomas and now Guillen and when you combine that with his current struggles, he was the odd man out.

Tomorrow, the Tigers kick off a road series against the Indians.  Game one will have Edwin Jackson going up against Fausto Carmona.  Fausto has been kicking it down in the minors for the past two months and it looks like he’s coming back up to fill Cliff Lee’s role.  Hopefully the Tigers will be patient at the plate because one of Carmona’s big problems this year has been finding the strike zone.  He’s not in Dontrelle’s class,  but 41 walks in 60 2/3 innings for a guy who doesn’t strike out a ton of batters isn’t good.



RSS Feed Test Two

Just making sure this morning’s changes stuck.

The Indian in the Cupboard dvdrip



RSS Feed Test

Tart release

My RSS Feed was hacked so if you get this via Google Reader, you’re getting a bunch of text link ads.  I’m experimenting to get rid of it and this is my first test.

Meet Wally Sparks download

Rising Damp on dvd

***UPDATE***

Be Cool Reservoir Dogs download

Looks like I got it to work.  Thanks for your patience on this.  For someone who has a ton of domains registered under his name, I’m woefully of short of skills when it comes to this kind of stuff.

More to Love dvdrip


Inge, Verlander Lead Tigers To Finish Sweep Over Brewers

Not too shabby.  The first place Brewers (at the time) rolled into town for a three game series and they left with three losses as the Tigers took care of business in a 3-2 win this afternoon.  Brandon Inge had the big hit with a three run blast and that was all the Tigers needed (or would get) in the game.  It was Inge’s 16th of the season and that ties him for the second highest season total of his career.

Justin Verlander had another nice start and he improved to 8-3.  He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.  Bobby Seay got the final out in the eighth and then Fernando Rodney didn’t allow a baserunner in the ninth to pick up his 14th save of the season.  Rodney needed just eleven pitches, and eight of them were for strikes.

I’ve been told I’m having problems with my RSS feed.  At this point, I’m working on it as best I can, I just don’t really know how to fix so please bear with me until I get some help.

The Pearl of Death hd The win gave the Tigers a four game lead.  Next up are the Cubs after a day off.  Edwin Jackson gets the nod and it’ll be Carlos Zambrano who’ll be throwing for the Cubs.



Hardball Times Season Preview 2009

The third installment of the Hardball Times preseason preview is now finished. There’s a little bit of self-promotion here because I wrote the Tigers section. You can check out all of the details by clicking on the link.

Hardball Times Season Preview 2009 This Is Spinal Tap dvd



Matt Joyce Interview

Ring Around the Rosie full

Lisa Winston at MiLB.com sat down with former Tigers outfielder Matt Joyce for an interview.  Looks like he’s a Heroes fan (as well as a fan of Angelina Jolie).



Tigers Sign Scott Williamson to Minor League Deal

One Hell of a Christmas dvd I missed this yesterday when Brandon Lyon signed, but the Tigers also inked Scott Williamson to a minor league deal and he’ll get a look this spring.  Williamson has had an interesting past.  He was a ninth round pick by the Reds in 1997, won the Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All Star Game as a setup man/part time closer in 1999, then the Reds tried to convert him to a starter in 2000 with mixed success.  In 2001 he was hurt and then in 2002 and 2003, he bounced back and had solid campaigns.  Midway through the 2003 season, he was dealt to the Red Sox for Phil Dumatrait and Tyler Pelland and made the postseason roster where he pitched in eight games including all three of the Red Sox wins in the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees.

From there, he bounced around and spent some time in the majors with the Cubs, Padres and Orioles as well their minor league affiliates.  Then in 2008, he spent the whole season in the minors, pitching for both the Mariners and Braves system without much success.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest dvdrip The Good German film

Now he’s a Tiger.  His last really good year was 2002 but this guy was Joel Zumaya before Zumaya when he came up with the Reds back in the late 1990s.  He’ll be just 33 years old in February despite the fact that it feels like he’s been around for ever (I’ve had five jobs between then and now and that’s just if you count my time as an employee).  He touched the low 90s in a throwing session that caught the Tigers attention so we’ll see what he can do and it never hurts to throw another possibility into the mix.



Brandon Lyon, John Parrish Still on Tigers Radar

We talked about John Parrish the other day and now it looks like the Tigers have their eyes set on Brandon Lyon.  Lyon has that intangible closer experience (Yes, I’m being sarcastic) and he saved 26 games for the Diamondbacks last year.  2007 was probably his best season when he was a setup man and he finished with a 2.68 ERA in a career high 74 innings.

I guess I just don’t know why the Tigers don’t give a guy like Casey Fien a shot.  The kid has had some very good years in the minors and would probably make a good one or two inning reliever.  I guess the Tigers just don’t have the confidence in Fernando Rodney or they wouldn’t still be shopping for a bargain closer.

It’s definitely some time to give some Super Bowl Props with the playoffs over and done with.  I haven’t seen any Super Bowl Odds yet, but it looks like this Super Bowl is going to be one for the ages.  And the fact that the Cardinals finally got in means they’ve made it a lot further as a franchise then the Lions have.



2009 Hall of Fame Thoughts

Well, the ballots are in and as expected, both Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice made the cut.  Rickey was a no-brainer (despite the fact that 28 people left him off of their ballot) and he’s one of the best players to lace them up.  Jim Rice comes with some controversy, but you can find as many reasons for him to get inducted as you can to keep him out.

Andre Dawson came in third place and the Hawk may have set himself up for a 2010 or 2011 induction.  Ditto for Bert Blyleven, who came in fourth place.  Jack Morris was sixth on the list with 44% but, as I’ve said before, it’s hard to think of Morris getting in until Blyleven does.  Alan Trammell continued to flounder with 17.4% as his chances look more and more bleak every year.

2010 has a few interesting names.  Roberto Alomar is probably a first ballot Hall of Famer but with that, I’m sure I’ll start bringing out my Lou Whitaker arguments.  Barry Larkin is probably also destined for the HOF, but my bet is, he doesn’t get in on the first try because his career, while exceptional, wasn’t on par with guys like Rickey and Robbie.  Andres Galarraga would probably be a fringe candidate (did you know he’s fourth all time in strikeouts, because I didn’t).  I wonder if Fernando Vina will get any votes.

With that, the window will be open for Dawson and Blyleven to get in next year with Alomar.  Then that will free up those top spots so guys like Jack Morris and Tim Raines can make their move over the ensuing years.



Billfer on the Radio

Be sure to check out Billfer of Detroit Tigers Weblog fame on WDET 101.9 this morning.  He’ll be on around 11 am for a bloggers roundtable with a few other Detroit area bloggers you might recognize.



Two and a Half Weeks Late

In game 15, the Tigers finally did what the fans thought would be a regular occurance this season.  The Tigers completely dismantled the Indians and that was with C.C. Sabathia on the mound.  The final was 13-2 and the big inning was the fifth in which the Tigers scored seven.  The Indians had a brief lead in the first inning, but this game was all Tigers after that point.

Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Renteria both drove in five runs and both homered in the win.  Cabrera was four for six and Magglio Ordonez did a nice Gary Sheffield imitation with three walks, a single and three runs.  Of the 12 Tigers who stepped up to the plate, only Ivan Rodriguez failed to get a hit.

Armando Galarraga also got the job done as well.  He gave up two runs but on just one hit in 6 1/3 innings.  Jason Grilli then had a nice outing with a 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief to close the game out.

The end result is the Tigers now have a three game winning streak and the offense really looks like it’s starting to click.  They can get out of the cellar tomorrow if the can beat the Indians and it’ll be Justin Verlander looking for his first win.  Fausto Carmona throws for the Indians.



Happy Birthday Ernie

Former Tigers radio broadcaster and Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell turned 90 today.  The last time I talked to Ernie was over the summer about a book project I was working on and he’s still sharp.  I still highly recommend his audio scrapbook.  You get four discs of baseball memories that at least I’ve listened to over and over and over again.



Mike Green at the Comedy Castle

I’m a huge fan of live comedy and one of the best shows I ever went to was back in 2005 when we saw Mike Green at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak.  Mike is from the Detroit area and he’s both a Tigerblog reader and a big Tiger fan (even though at the time, he made a point to poke fun at the Tigers.  It’ll be interesting to see what he does with them now or if he just replaces them with the Lions).  Anyway, Mike is going to be back in town performing at the Comedy Castle Thursday through Saturday.  I was really hoping to get out to catch his show but unfortunately we have plans every day this week.  Hopefully he’ll come back again soon so I can check out to see what how he’s perfected his act.

You can check out more on Mike at his website and his myspace page.



Tigers Keep Playoff Hopes Hanging By a Thread With Comeback Win Over Royals

The Tigers scored five unanswered runs last night to come back from a 4-0 deficit to take care of the Royals.  Sean Casey belted a three run homer in the fifth inning to cut the Royals lead to a single run and then Brandon Inge came up huge with a two run single in the fifth for the game winner.  Magglio Ordonez picked up two hits he now leads Ichiro in the batting race .354 to .350.  Placido Polanco picked up hits number 190 and 191 and he’s at .344.

Jair Jurrjens had his first his first really poor start of the season but the bullpen really picked him up in this one.  Tim Byrdak picked up the win with two innings of shutout relief in which he struck out five and both Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones held the Royals scoreless in their stints.  For Jones, it’s his 38th save of the season.

The Tigers are sending three players to play in the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League this year.  Catcher Dusty Ryan, infielder Cale Iorg and outfielder Jeramy Laster will be their representatives.

The Yankees lost, so the Tigers now sit 4 1/2 back of them with eight games left.  The Indians won and their magic number to clinch the AL Central is down to two.  Tonight, it’ll be Kenny Rogers going up against Kyle Davies.



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