Category Archives: Three Thoughts

TT: Feelin’ Squirrely

Red Sox 5, Tigers 1

28-22, 1st in AL Central (3.5 GU on MIN/CHI)

squirrel

(Photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

Honestly, I’ve been looking forward to this series for a while now. The Tigers have been holding their own in the AL Central, but there’s been some lingering doubt about how good the division REALLY is, especially with Detroit’s recent struggles against the Orioles.

That said, I’ve also been scared of this moment, as a sweep at the hands of the Bo’ Sox is entirely possible. Tonight did nothing to abate those feelings.

  • Rick Porcello’s luck finally ran out, but damn what a run for the youngster. Despite not making it out of the fifth, this kid is still the real deal in my book. He’ll bounce back, but the Tigers may not in this series. With Dontrelle Willis and Armando “Sick Cat” Galarraga slated to finish up against the ‘Sawcks, two more losses may be imminent.
  • In the same vein, if the Tigers keep stranding runners like they did tonight, you can also forget about any hope of winning a game in this series. Unfortunately, this has been an “on again, off again” problem for the Kitties all season, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.
  • Enough about the game already. How about that squirrel running around between innings 2 and 3. Ian over at Bless You Boys has all of the hilarity documented, so head over and have a laugh.

Probable starters for 6/3:

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-5, 5.50 ERA, 39 SO)
  • Red Sox – Josh Beckett (5-2, 4.60 ERA, 59 SO)
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TT: Hitting the road

Tigers 4, Rangers 3

23-16, 1st in AL Central (3.0 GU on KC)

everettwin

(Photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

While the Tigers aren’t hitting the road until Monday, I will be heading out of town tomorrow for a weekend on the Oregon coast. With that in mind, I’ve been busy doing all of those fun and exciting things that come with preparing for a trip. Despite my best efforts, there are still things to get done, so please pardon me for “mailing it in” on this post.

The short of it: The Tigers won an interesting game that saw Edwin Jackson go eight innings, throwing 132 pitches, Clete Thomas homer and Fernando Rodney try to give away another save. Whatever. The boys got it done, and have rattled of a six game win streak.

If you want more details on today’s afternoon game, I encourage you to check out the much more thoughtful and in-depth writings over at Bless You Boys. Ian does a great job breaking out every game, and if you don’t come back here because he’s far and away better than me, well, I don’t blame you.

The Tigers kick off interleague play tomorrow with a three game series against the Rockies.

Probable starters for 5/22:

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (4-3, 3.86 ERA, 25 SO)
  • Rockies – Ubaldo Jimenez (3-4, 4.30 ERA, 41 SO)

As for me, I am going to actually attempt to disconnect as much as possible, so don’t expect much from me until Tuesday of next week. I think you will survive. If you MUST follow along with my ridiculous thoughts while I step away, feel free to check out my twitter (@chollis) which will be updated sporadically throughout the weekend.

Talk to you all on Tuesday.

GO WINGS! GO TIGERS!

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TT: Wilkin Wagon!

Tigers 5, Rangers 3

22-16, 1st in AL Central (2.0 GU on KC)

verlandertoss

(Photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

  • With Magglio Ordonez out to be with his wife (best wishes, Mags!), rookie Wilkin Ramirez got the opportunity to suit up with the big boys tonight. Despite striking out twice, Ramirez came in with a bang. A 433 foot bang. Ramirez launched a monster blast into the center field greenery in the sixth inning, giving Tigers fans a preview of what the future holds. Not to mention that his blast jump started a four run sixth for the boys. Well done young man. Looking forward to many more of those shots.
  • Justin Verlander continued his winning ways, despite struggling to get out of the fifth inning. Following four hitless innings, Verlander was rushed onto the mound in the fifth following an inning ending TRIPLE play (yes, TRIPLE play) and it showed. JV wound up tossing 41 pitches in the fifth frame, but was able to escape with one run of damage against him after David Murphy grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning. All-in-all, not a bad outing for JV. Final line goes like this: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO.
  • Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn also got back into the HR column tonight, while Fernando Rodney picked up his seventh save in as many tries.
  • Bonus thought: Last Tiger to homer in his major league debut? Reggie Sanders in 1974.
  • Bonus Bonus thought: Kevin Millwood is on the bump for the Rangers tomorrow. He pitched against the Tigers on April 12, going seven innings and allowing no runs and four hits, while striking out six, but wound up with a “no decision”.

Probable starters for 5/21:

  • Tigers Edwin Jackson (3-2, 2.42 ERA, 41 SO)
  • Rangers – Kevin Millwood (4-3, 2.93 ERA, 32 SO)

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TT: That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout, Willis!

Tigers 4, Rangers 0

21-16, 1st in AL Central (1.0 GU on KC)

DTrain

(Photo courtesy of Duane Burleson/AP)

  • Finally. That’s about all that needs to be said. After enduring the roller coaster ride of the majors to the minors and now back up to the majors, Dontrelle Willis put it all together, at least for one night. Willis went 6.1 innings, allowing only one (yes, ONE) hit. Willis did a nice job working the zone, throwing 61 of 101 pitches for strikes, and retiring five by way of the “K”. Honestly, if you don’t feel good for this kid, you don’t have a heart. Let’s just hope he keeps it up.
  • The bullpen was lights out again, keeping the shutout intact. Brandon Lyon, “The Real” Bobby Seay, Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney teamed up to throw 2.2 innings of perfect baseball.
  • If you’re curious, Michael Young had the only hit for the Rangers last night. As opposed to the 10 the Tigers put on the board. Big ups to Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera, who both notched a two-out RBI last night.
  • Bonus thought: The Tigers will face Matt Harrison tonight, who threw against the boys on April 11th. His result? A big fat “L”, with a line of 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO.

Probable starters for 5/20:

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (3-2, 4.29 ERA, 69 SO)
  • Rangers – Matt Harrison (4-2, 4.23 ERA, 24 SO)

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TT: Swept Up!

Tigers 11, A’s 7

20-16, 1st in AL Central (1.0 GU on KC)

grandycelebration

(Photo courtesy of Duane Burleson/AP)

  • A big thanks should go out to Ramon Santiago for turning a potentially awful day at the park into a win for the Tiggers. Santiago went 4-4 on the day, hitting for two singles, a triple and a HR, and collecting four RBI’s. He jump started the Tigers offense with the triple in the second, and then poured it on with the three-run homer in the third.
  • If there is a polar opposite performance to Santiago’s, then it has to be Armando Galarraga. The “Little Cat” gacked up his third hairball in a row with this start, this one being the worst of all. Galarraga lasted all of 41 pitches, which got him through 2/3 of an inning, while giving up five runs. With the word on the street that Jeremy Bonderman could end up taking Armando’s spot in the rotation when he returns from a blood clot in his shoulder, with Galarraga potentially getting shelved on the DL since there is no room in the bullpen for him.
  • The bullpen deserves some credit in bailing out Galarraga, depite Zach Miner coming in and going 4.1 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits, with six strikeouts. Rather, it would be the combination of Luke French, Ryan Perry and Fernando Rodney saving the day, throwing four scoreless innings and allowing only one hit combined.

The Tigers get a day to rest up before tangling with the Rangers tomorrow night.

Probable starters for 5/19:

  • Tigers – Dontrelle Willis (0-0, 7.71 ERA, 0 SO)
  • Rangers – Brandon McCarthy (3-1, 5.92 ERA, 29 SO)

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TT: Triple Play

Thurs: Twins 6, Tigers 5

Fri: Tigers 14, A’s 1

Sat: Tigers 9, A’s 1

19-16, 1st in AL Central (1.0 GU on KC)

ingegrande

(Photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

So amidst all of the excitement of a Red Wings win, a good friend being back in town and me realizing I need to be working out more often, I COMPLETELY neglected our beloved Tigers over the last three days. In fact, it seems like I have been neglecting them alot more than I should be. For that I apologize.

I can tell you that, as the season moves forward, my coverage will become more and more in depth and and might even become worthy of reading (no promises.) For the time being, however, this is what you are stuck with.

Anyways, rather than bore you with three thoughts about each game, I will give you one thought about each of Detroit’s last three games. Make sense? No? Awesome.

  • Thursday’s game against the Twins is one of those games that really left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure I’m not the only one. After an OUTSTANDING start from Justin Verlander, and with a five run lead in the seventh, Bobby Seay promptly came in and gave up six runs, which would be enough for the Twins to hold on to, as they completed the three game sweep of Detroit. Bad taste aside, I feel bad for Bobby Seay in this one. He’s been pitching well all season and was probably due for a bad game somewhere along the way. It just sucks that it happened on the same day that Verlander set a career high in strikeouts and was pitching out of his mind. Ugh.
  • Friday made life all better. Not because the Tigers won. Not because they hit two grand slams in the same game for the first time in franchise history. Rather, life got better because you could tell this was a pissed off team that wanted to get a win. Badly. An offensive explosion was exactly what the doctor ordered, and with the help of the aforementioned grand slams from Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge, offense was not a problem. Edwin Jackson also turned in another solid performance on the mound, but unlike his other outings, run support was not an issue in the 14-1 win.
  • The run scoring fun would continue on Saturday, as “Fake Ryan” Raburn continued his torment of the A’s, slamming a three run shot in the fifth. I’m not really sure what the deal is with Raburn, who came into this series with a clunker of a batting average (.095) but apparently decided that he just needed Oakland to come to town to start hitting the ball. Rick Porcello would also turn in another solid performance on the mound, giving up only one run on three hits with five strikeouts over six innings.

Tiggers go for the sweep of Oaktown today. In like ten minutes.

Probable starters for 5/17:

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-3, 4.61 ERA, 33 SO)
  • Athletics – Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.69 ERA, 14 SO)

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TT: “Slam” the Door

Twins 14, Tigers 10 (13 Inn.)

17-15, 1st in AL Central (Tied w/KC)

JoeCredeTwins

(Photo courtesy of Associated Press)

  • Damn you and your walk off grand slam, Joe Crede!
  • In his first game back in the rotation, Dontrelle Willis looked like…Dontrelle Willis. It was not a great return, with Willis going only 4.2 innings, while giving up four runs on eight hits. However, Willis did *kinda* get over a shaky start, and was able to throw strikes on 53 of his 87 pitches. He still has some work to do, though, and it will continue to be a roller coaster ride as he works his way back into big league form.
  • The “bizarro” moment of the night had to be the sequence between home plate umpire Paul Schrieber, Magglio Ordonez and Tigers skipper Jim Leyland. After being called out on strikes, Ordonez stood at the plate to argue the call. Schrieber then put his hand on Ordonez’s back, apparently gesturing him towards the Tigers dugout. Leyland erupted, charged the field, was ejected and continued to yell at Schrieber. Leyland was obviously upset that Schrieber had touched a player, while it is explicitly prohibited for players or managers to make contact with an umpire. After the game, Leyland challenged reporters to “have the guts to write what they saw on the field.” Joe West, umpire-in-chief for the series, had no comment

Probable starters for 5/14:

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (3-2, 4.50 ERA, 56 SO)
  • Twins – Scott Baker (1-4, 6.83 ERA, 21 SO)

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