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Gary Sheffield Homers Twice In Tigers Blowout Win

A lot of people asked me whether the Tigers made a good trade when they picked up Gary Sheffield and from the get go, I’d always given an emphatic yes.  Yeah, he had the rough April but Sheffield has always been able to rake and I knew it was just a matter of time before he got going.  In May, he picked things up and now in June, he’s looking like one of a few MVP candidates on the Tigers team.

Sheffield finished the day three for four with a two homeruns and five RBIs.  He’s raised his batting average up to .272 and OPS is now above .900 for the first time this year.  Hopefully it’s there to stay.

Curtis Granderson hit his tenth triple of the season last night.  He’d need nine more to just get into the top ten Tiger seasons (and it’s a list dominated by Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford), but that’s definitely within reach.  Only five hitters in the last 50 years have hit 20 triples in a season (Christian Guzman was the last back in 2000) and nobody has hit more then 21 (Lance Johnson in 1996 and Willie Wilson in 1985).  Kiki Cuyler was the last hitter to rack up 25 triples and that was way back in 1925 so Granderson has a chance to really do something special this year.

Lost in all of the offense was a great start by Justin Verlander.  He gave the Tigers seven innings and after some of the work the relievers got yesterday, this is just what the Tigers needed.  He gave up five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings and he improved to 5-2 on the season.

Tonight’s the rubber game and it’ll be Mike Maroth against Kameron Loe.  Loe’s had a tough time this season and he’s dropped his last five starts so hopefully this is another guy the Tigers can jump all over.

Let’s not get lost in the fact that Magglio has 29 doubles as well. That’s pace for 81. I’m sure he’ll fall off, but the all time record is 67. The more Sheffield hits, the better chance Magglio will have to drive the ball in the gaps.

If the pitching comes around like it should, this could be another magical season. The pitchers got no rest last year at all, and all of them missing a start here or there early in the season might help out in September/October.

Posted by Chris on June 7th, 2007 at 11:20 am

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