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Comebacks, Shutouts and the White Sox and Cubs Brawl

Another solid weekend series for the Tigers.  Their seven game winning streak came to end after the Reds blew them out on Friday, but they got back on track with two nice wins over the weekend.

I had a chance to see the end of both Saturday’s and Sunday’s game.  It’s been a long time since I felt this way, but you almost knew the Tigers were going to do something in the ninth inning on Saturday.  Ken Griffey hit the grandslam off of Joel Zumaya, but Curtis Granderson came through with some heroics in the bottom of the ninth with a two out solo shot to send the game into extra frames.  Then the Tigers put runners at second and third with two outs and Craig Monroe hit it well enough to cause Felipe Lopez to misplay it and throw the ball away, allowing Carlos Guillen to score and end the game.

Today’s game was equally as dramatic, and while it didn’t have the billing of Justin Verlander vs. Johan Santana, it was equally as impressive.  Aaron Harang threw seven shutout innings, but he finally got into trouble in the eighth inning.  Brandon Inge drew a leadoff walk and then Vance Wilson (his name seems to keep popping up in the close games) turned a bunt attempt into a two base error when Harang was forced to try to shuffle pass it (unsuccessfully).  Then Placido Polanco came up huge with a pinch hit RBI single to drive home the only run of the game.  Nate Roberton and Todd Jones combined to throw a three hit shutout.

Two things of note.  Todd Jones saved his 155th game as a Tiger, making him the all time Tigers leader.  Just behind him is Mike Henneman, and in third place is my personal favorite, John Hiller.  I think Hiller was one of the best and most underated relievers of all time and a great story because of his comeback after a heart condition.  Also, the Tigers threw their eighth shutout of the season, which leads all of baseball.  Oddly, all of those shutouts have been combined with a starter and at least one reliever.  In fact, no Tiger starter has completed a game yet.  In 2005, the Tigers had nine shutouts, but that was their season ending total.  The last time they had at least ten, which is certainly attainable, was in 1990, when they had twelve.

I also happened to be watching the White Sox/Cubs game on Saturday when the brawl happened.  While I’m not certain what, if anything, A.J. Pierzynski said to Michael Barrett, it didn’t to appear to me that anything was out of sorts.  I thought the punch by Barrett was a sucker punch and I also didn’t think A.J.’s slapping home plate was all that strange.  I’m sure we’ll hear more about this over the next few days.

Kansas City is on deck for a four game series. Odd scheduling, because the Tigers were at home all this past week, then they go to KC, and then come back and play ten straight games at home.  The White Sox lost to the Cubs today, so the Tigers are back on top of the division, and for that matter, all of baseball.

The series against KC is pretty huge. Maybe we’ve been playing above our heads a bit? We can play at “head level”, so to speak, and still take 3 of 4. I’d love to see is cool down a bit and STILL kick the crap out of the 2003 Tigers, I mean the Royals.

Posted by Jeff on May 21st, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Man I love this Blog. I wish that there was a Pistons Blog that I could read and post on. I guess I shouldn’t even mention the Pistons here since Mike Illich won’t even allow them to announce the Pistons scores at the games. Who knows if there is any truth to the gossip I heard that said that, that is because Davidson and Illich are not talking.

Posted by Mike Green on May 21st, 2006 at 9:05 pm

Wow……. That, That, That,That,That.

Posted by Mike Green on May 21st, 2006 at 9:07 pm

You have to keep in mind that A.J. Pierzynski is the least liked player in the major leagues. He is a major league asshole figuratively and literally! His reputation precedes him. His is well know among players as someone who jaws at other players like a professional wrestler ad infinitum. The play at the plate was clean. But when Barrett gets up and finds A.J. Pierzynski in his face he only assumes that it’s A.J. being A.J. I’m glad Barrett plugged him. Lets call the slapping the plate what it is. It’s garbage. Score your run and go to the dugout. Its classless. Living in Chicago I have to deal with this jerk every day. I’m tired of everything Black Sox. If there is a divine power to the universe it will show itself this season and give me the joy of seeing the tigers overtake the Black Sox.

Posted by Michael on May 22nd, 2006 at 6:43 am

Agreed, Mike! Pierzynski got the first of what I hope is to be many many socks in the face. They guy is a jackass.


Also, is Dmitri Young turning himself in today? I’m not talking about the alleged choking incident-I’m talking about for crimes against the strike zone. Get him out of there!

We got very lucky yesterday. Craig Monroe and Dmitri Young need to learn that it is sometimes wise to take a pitch. Monroe is going to kill us if this continues, as will Young, though I suspect that not even his $8 million salary can keep him in the lineup much longer.

Posted by Dan on May 22nd, 2006 at 7:35 am

Make that 9 shutouts and a complete game to boot.

Posted by Ryan on May 23rd, 2006 at 3:21 am

My feeling is that if we can get to 20 games over .500 we have a great shot at making the playoffs. the tigers will bend back towards reality at some point and start playing .500 ball ( much like the white sox did last year after their hot start.) the black sox need to go on a slide too. Im tired of them gettign all the luck and the tigers are havign to earn every win. when the sox win because the A’s all of a sudden cannot execute a simple bunt defense, it means that luck is on their side again this year.

Posted by Michael on May 23rd, 2006 at 6:17 am

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