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Tigers at Athletics 07/29/05-07/31/05

Game 1 (Final Score: 4-8, A’s win)

Someone finally got to Douglass and handed him his first loss of the season. The A’s started the second with a double and kept on trucking. Hatteberg singled, Kielty hit a groundout for an RBI, Johnson walked, Payton hit a sac fly, and Ellis hit a two run shot to left (0-4). The Tigers got a run back in the bottom half when Shelton singled Polanco home after he doubled and advanced on Guillen’s groundout (1-4).

The one run rally did nothing to stem the tide and Dingman came into the game after Douglass gave up a lead off double, sac fly, and two RBI singles in the bottom of the third (1-7). Dingman stayed in and pitched very well, shutting down the hot Oakland offense and giving most normal teams a chance to come back and make a game of it. The Tigers were putting the ball in play but it was mostly at Oakland’s defenders who fielded well and kept Harden propped up.

Finally some of the many base runners the Tigers put on came home in the sixth. Young took a one out walk, Monroe singled him to second, and Inge doubled him home with Monroe stopping at third (2-7). Polanco hit the inning’s second double and the Tigers were within three (4-7). Duchscherer quashed all Tiger notions of evening the score in this inning, earning a pair of strikeouts from Guillen and Shelton.

After the Tiger’s explosion they went back to stranding singles and walks and giving up runs. Kendall hit a sac fly to score Johnson from third after a pair of singles in the sixth and the game ended with the Tigers two games below .500 (4-8).

Game 2 (Final Score: 5-9, A’s win)

The game started out fantastic with the offense and Robertson producing. The Tigers scored twice in the first inning with Polanco again getting on base right from the start and coming home on Guillen’s two run shot (2-0). In the second Rodriguez hit a single, stole second, and scored on Young’s single (3-0). Robertson must have been really happy since he was pitching and he had an early lead. He pitched like it for three full innings before self-destructing.

Kendall worked a walk on a full count and was later joined on base by Crosby and Chavez who hit one out singles. The next man up made Robertson pay for crossing the bases on ball gods one too many times this season and hit a grand slam (3-4). It has been a while since Robertson combined the home run with his walk problem so I guess he was about due (Yes, I know that’s not a sound statistical statement). The inning got completely out of hand with two extra base hits by Johnson and Hatteberg; Two for Johnson and all four for Hatteberg (3-6). Pudge threw a tantrum so Vance “My Grandma” Wilson was called on to catch the rest of the game. Of course, my grandma does a lot more for the team that Wilson does so that’s not quite fair to her. Robertson finally escaped with another fly after giving up the second double of the inning.

The Tigers started chipping away in the fifth with Logan crossing the plate on the third single of the inning – by Ordonez – with two away (4-6). The A’s answered in the bottom half on their third single of the inning – by Payton – and only one out away (4-7). Spiting me for comparing him to an 80 year old woman, Wilson led off the sixth with a solo homer; the Tiger’s last run of the game (5-7).

A host of Tiger pitchers combined to ineffectively keep the team within two runs. Spurling gave up a lead of double in the eighth and Walker replaced him. Walker in turn gave up an RBI single after getting the first out and German replaced him once the next guy hit another single (5-8). Scutaro got some wood on the ball and plated Swisher from third (5-9). German proceeded to load the bases on a single and a walk before finally getting Crosby to hack away at strike three. I’d like to say the Tigers closed the gap in the ninth but they went out like kittens. Cute kittens.

Game 3 (Final Score: 2-5, A’s win)

The Tigers decided to spot the A’s five runs and then try to mount a come back against an overpowering pitcher that averages about as many walks as strikeouts per game with only one out left. To be evenhanded, Oakland is playing special baseball lately; They were the first team to solve Douglass (it’s only his first time against most teams this year) and Dingman (ditto) and they beat around Bonderman, who’s been good lately with an ERA of 3.40 and striking out 6.2 batters per nine innings in the last month.

The A’s scored four of their five runs with two outs, one courtesy of a Bonderman walk with the sacks stacked with A’s. Not much good to say here except that Ordonez is continuing his hot hitting to the tune of .343/.403/.956 and pairing well with Shelton’s .350/.402/.952 in the month of July. Actually, check out the performance of all Tigers batters with at least 20 plate appearances in July courtesy of the Day-By-Database at Baseball Musings.

This series is a perfect demonstration of how far the team needs to come to be a serious playoff contender. Right now the Tigers are only decent; Good teams tear decent teams a new one like the A’s did the Tigers and go on incredible hot streaks that can resurrect a season. It is a fine goal to shoot for the playoffs in the form of a wild card but I’d rather watch the team do something in them besides get swept in the first round. The playoffs were an enjoyable pipe dream and I won’t fault anyone for optimism after the experiencing the recent Tiger history. That’s my two copper plated coins.

C Guillen 14 2 3 2 0 7 0.214 0.500
B Inge 9 1 2 1 1 3 0.222 0.333
N Logan 6 1 3 0 1 4 0.500 0.667
C Monroe 7 1 2 0 0 2 0.286 0.286
M Ordonez 13 1 2 3 1 5 0.154 0.385
P Polanco 13 2 7 2 1 8 0.538 0.615
I Rodriguez 10 1 3 0 0 3 0.300 0.300
C Shelton 13 0 2 1 1 3 0.154 0.231
R White 8 0 3 0 1 4 0.375 0.500
V Wilson 2 1 1 1 0 4 0.500 2.000
D Young 12 1 4 1 1 4 0.333 0.333









J Bonderman 6 8 4 4 4 1 6.00 2.00
V Darensbourg 2.2 2 1 1 0 0 4.09 0.91
C Dingman 2.2 1 1 1 1 4 4.09 0.91
S Douglass 2.2 6 7 7 1 0 28.64 3.18
F German 0.2 1 0 0 1 1 0.00 10.00
N Robertson 6 9 7 7 1 2 10.50 1.67
F Rodney 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00 1.00
C Spurling 1 1 1 1 0 1 9.00 1.00
J Walker 1.1 2 1 1 0 1 8.18 1.82
Totals 24 30 22 22 9 11 8.25 1.63

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