Tag Archives: Brandon Inge

Counter-Punch

maggshit

(Photo courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/DFP)

Well, after the Game 1 tirade, things turned around on the nightcap and the Tigers held on to a 6-5 win with a kung-fu grip. In true Tiger fashion, this one wasn’t in the bag until the last fly ball landed in Raburn’s glove, but a win is a motherf****n win and I don’t care how we get them at this point.

Hat tip to Miggy (solo homer), Maggs (2 RBI), Inge (2 RBI), Grandy (Solo homer, even though he gave the run back on a badly played fly to center) and Fernando (clutch save).

A BIG “We’re not worthy” to Verlander, who ended up pitching eight innings deep to the tune of something like 398,271 pitches.

The only number that matters now is FOUR.

Hunker down, Tigers. Stay hungry.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!

Centennial Celebration.

100th post

So I’ve been MIA for the past few days trying to find the right way to commemorate the 100th post for SIM. I’ve kicked around a ton of ideas. I thought about pulling in some friends to comment on the miserable predictions I’ve made over the last 99 posts. I debated tossing out some more ridiculous predictions that will fail miserably and only serve to further damage my sports writing credibility. I even thought about using the 100th post to call it quits and spare each and every one of you from the endless drivel of Michigan sports that (of late, rarely) graces this site.

But then I started thinking about all of the times we have had together. Yes, things got off to a rough start as Michigan football bumbled their way to the worst record in school history. Michigan hockey looked to carry the banner for the maize and blue, but a disappointing NCAA loss to Air Force ended the season on an incredibly sour note. You hung with me as I divorced that joke of a team that marauded as the Pistons. And you bravely hung with me as I watched my beloved Red Wings come within a game of raising their 12th Stanley Cup, only to be denied on home ice.

Yes, it wasn’t pretty at times. But let’s not forget that, despite some rough patches, there were also quite a few highs. For the first time in over a decade, Michigan basketball made it back to the NCAA tournament, even giving us a first round win. The Tigers, a middle-of-the-pack pick by most experts at the start of the season, currently lead the AL Central. Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge all made it to the All Star game. And, despite not bringing home the Cup, the Wings gave us a heck of a fun run through the Stanley Cup playoffs.

We’ve had our good and we’ve had our bad. And while it’s true that no championships have come home to Michigan since the inception of this blog, that doesn’t mean we won’t see any in the future. Winning a championship is an incredible feat and it never comes easy. If anything, the losses and shortcomings make you cherish those championship moments even more. They will come. And we will celebrate.

But in the meantime, I’m committed to enjoying the ride with all of you. These writings have forged new friendships and facilitated endless discussions. They have opened the doors to new opportunities and helped me embrace the passion of sports fans outside of the state of Michigan. But mostly, they have given me the chance to share something that I strongly believe in with a group of folks that share the same ideology: that sport can unite us, bring us together and provide us with incredible experiences and memories.

To each and every one of you that read this: Thank you. For all of those who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through SIM and Winging It: Thank you. And for those of you that have passed my little corner of the blogosphere along to others: a HUGE thank you. The first 100 posts have been great and have led to wonderful experiences. Here’s hoping to even better over the next 100.

OK. Enough of the sappy shit. Let’s celebrate!

dave-chapelle-as-rick-james

**Apparently, the Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t wait to give us our first present! According to Wyshynski over at “Puck Daddy”, our good friend Marian Hossa could be out until December with a shoulder injury. Which they knew about when they signed him. So basically, the ‘Hawks drop an injury risk in Martin Havlat to sign damaged goods in Hossa, all while shelling out more cash for him in the process.

*Slow Clap*

He’s the gift that just keeps on giving, ‘Hawks fans. Until you get to the playoffs, that is. ENJOY!

1 Comment

Filed under Hooray!, State of the State

Series Wrap-Up: Brewers – This Brew Goes Down Smooth.

38-31, 1st in AL Central (4.0 GU on MIN)

rodneypump

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

Well then! Apparently all it takes is a little ranting from yours truly, and all of a sudden the wins start piling up and the brooms get dusted off. Obviously, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but sweeping a division leader is something that is never easy. But the Tigers held fast, surviving a couple of rain delays on Friday, a rookie on the mound Saturday, and an old fashioned pitching duel on Sunday to get the sweep of the Brew Crew and get back on track in the standings.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. Literally. Friday night’s game got underway with the threat of rain looming, and Armando Galarraga pitched like he was afraid of getting hit by a lightning bolt on the mound. The “Sick Cat” pitched the Tigers into an early hole, giving up a three run shot on a miserable changeup to Prince Fielder. Honesty, Galarraga just doesn’t have it right now and it’s really starting to show. Seriously, when he’s on the mound, does ANYONE feel like the Tigers have a chance to win? I sure as hell don’t.

Anyways, despite Galarraga’s best attempts to fail, the Tigers’ bats came alive and the baseball gods offered up a rain delay after the boys clawed back for a lead, mercifully ending Galarraga’s night. Marcus Thames popped a pair of home runs, and Miguel Cabrera and Curtis Granderson added their own, fueling the Tigers to a 10-4 win.

Coming into Saturday’s affair, all of the talk was around 24 year old starter Alfredo Figaro, making his major league debut. However, the storyline quickly shifted to the re-energized Tigers’ bats, led by Thames and Cabrera, who both went 3 for 5 on the day. Add to that rookie Don Kelly adding three hits, and the Tigers offense was officially back in the swing of things (no pun intended.) This is not to take anything away from Figaro, though, who performed very well in his first start, going five innings while giving up two runs on eight hits and striking out seven.

With a sweep on the line, both squads trotted out their aces on Sunday, as Justin Verlander squared off against Yovani Gallardo. Neither pitcher disappointed, as they both threw late into the game and struck out eight each. But it would be Brandon Inge’s sixth inning home run that would be the difference in this one, giving the Tigers a 3-2 win and a series sweep to boot.

Like I said earlier, this was a big sweep for the Tigers. Not only did it give them a four game winning streak *knock on wood*, but it was a real confidence booster for a team that has struggled to sustain any sort of momentum throughout this season. That said, any momentum earned over the last four games will be put to the test when the Cubs come calling, and the Tigers will need to play to their full potential to win what is all but guaranteed to be a fun and entertaining series over the next few days.

Roster movin’: The Tigers will recall right-hander Freddy Dolsi before tonight’s game. Dolsi appeared in 42 games for the Tigers last year, and had a 3.97 ERA. (I also gave him many shouts of Budweiser infused encouragement last year during a warm-up session in the Safeco Field bullpen. Not that this has any bearing on his call-up. Just thought it was worth a mention.)

Also worth noting, Jim Leyland has said that he will move Alfredo Figaro in between Verlander and Edwin Jackson in an attempt to provide the bullpen with more regularity when it comes to their appearances.

And just because I forgot to mention it this weekend, Skippah’ Jimmay signed himself a two-year extension, ensuring that that ever-present cloud of Marlboro smoke in the dugout tunnel isn’t going anywhere.

On Deck: Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 34-32 (3rd in NL Central, 2.5 GB of St. Louis)

Tuesday, June 23

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.39 ERA, 72 SO)
  • Cubs – Carlos Zambrano (4-2, 3.44 ERA, 59 SO)

Wednesday, June 24

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (8-4, 3.54 ERA, 41 SO)
  • Cubs – Rich Harden (4-3, 5.27 ERA, 64 SO)

Thursday, June 25

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-7, 5.62 ERA, 45 SO)
  • Cubs – Ted Lilly (7-4, 3.04 ERA, 75 SO)

1 Comment

Filed under Hooray!, SW

Series Wrap-Up: White Sox – Grind and Survive.

33-27, 1st in AL Central (4.0 GU on MIN)

grandyhug

(Photo courtesy of Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

I hate when the Tigers go on the road to Chicago. Nothing against the city whatsoever, but it’s always a brawl when we head into US Cellular field for a series against the White Sox. And more times than not, we come out on the wrong end.

This time around, things went a bit differently. Despite playing five games in the Windy City in order to make up a rain-out from earlier this season, the Tigers slogged and fought their way to a series win, taking three of five from the Sox. But it wasn’t pretty, and the Tigers have some decisions to make about their roster and who is going to be a contributing member of it.

First and foremost, Jeremy Bonderman is nowhere close to being ready to return to the starting rotation, let alone the big club’s roster. Bondo pitched the second game of a doubleheader on Monday and got shelled. He was only able to go four innings, throwing 85 pitches, and gave up six runs on eight hits. The problem? Three of those runs were home runs. Bondo also struggled with his control and velocity, only topping out at 90 MPH and leaving pitches up in the strike zone.

The obvious question is “now what?” Well, it looked like the initial plan was to put Bonderman in the bullpen until he was actually ready to return to the rotation, but that looks like it might be off the table. After being optioned to Toledo on Monday, Ryan Perry looks set to re-join the team when they arrive in Pittsburgh. Since he didn’t complete his 10 day stint with Toledo, that can only mean that someone from the current roster is headed to the DL. I have to believe it’s Bonderman, given that his ineffectiveness would keep him out of the rotation, and because he has never really worked in a bullpen role. We’ll know more when the team gets to Pittsburgh, but my money is on a quick trip to the DL for Jeremy.

As far as the rest of the series goes, it wasn’t EXACTLY business as usual, but it worked. Armando Galarraga had a decent outing in a “no decision”, Justin Verlander threw a complete game win, Dontrelle Willis was his usual roller coaster ride and Edwin Jackson cooled off a bit.

Offensively, it was Adam Everett (Adam Everett?!?!?) who had the big weekend, going 5 for 9 and driving in four runs, including a solo home run, which was only his second of the season. Brandon Inge also showed some flashes of his early season brilliance, and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come as the season keeps chugging along. But it wasn’t all peaches and cream for the Tigers, as Clete Thomas was sent back down to Toledo again. Jim Leyland said it was to work on his bat speed, as Thomas’ recent power surge has been supplemented by a surge in strikeouts as well. Replacing him is youngster Don Kelly, who has been a hitting machine for the Mud Hens, batting .339 with three home runs and 22 RBI’s. He will get the start in left field tomorrow.

On Deck: Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Record: 28-32 (5th in NL Central, 5.0 GB of Milwaukee)

Oh goodie. More sports against Pittsburgh.

Friday, June 12

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (6-4, 3.98 ERA, 36 SO)
  • Pirates – Ian Snell (1-6, 5.54 ERA, 45 SO)

Saturday, June 13

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-6, 5.19 ERA, 44 SO)
  • Pirates – Zach Duke (6-4, 3.07 ERA, 44 SO)

Sunday, June 14

  • Tigers – Dontrelle Willis (1-3, 6.60 ERA, 16 SO)
  • Pirates – TBD

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!, SW

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!, Three Thoughts

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Argh!, Hooray!, This Is Why I'm *not* Hot, Three Thoughts

TT: Blast Off for First!

Sat: Tigers 9, Royals 1

Sun: Tigers 3, Royals 2

10-8, 1st in AL Central (1.0 GU on CHI/KC)

tigerskc

(Photo courtesy of Charlie Riedel/AP)

  • After losing on Friday, the Tiggers bounced back to take the series from the Royals and put their claim on first place in the AL Central. On Saturday, Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird led the charge, going five for seven at the dish. Inge would tag in Josh Anderson on Sunday, going a combined 4 for 6, with his seventh home run of the season, tying him for second most in the majors.
  • How about a big “Welcome Back!” for both Joel Zumaya and Magglio Ordonez. Zoom-Zoom made his return to the Tigers’ bullpen on Saturday, and was called on for an inning of relief work during the 9-1 win. Despite giving up two hits, Zumaya got through the inning unscathed, and it had to feel good for him to get back on the big league mound and face some big league hitters. Not to be outdone, Ordonez must have found his bat hiding somewhere in those curly locks, as he finally got around to hitting one over the fence on Saturday. While his “extra-base” woes are far from solved, it sure was nice to Ordonez turn and drive one deep.
  • Zach Miner looked shaky again during his start on Saturday, but was able to pull it together and go five innings while giving up only one run on three hits. I’m still not sold on Miner as a long term solution in the rotation, but as long as the Tigers give him run support and strong efforts from the bullpen, he should be ok. Armando Gallaraga bounced back nicely from his last effort, going six strong innings, issuing only one run on three hits, while striking out seven.  He continues to dominate the Royals, giving up only four runs in his last three starts against the club from KC.

Probable starters for 4/27:

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (0-2, 9.00 ERA, 25 SO)
  • Yankees – CC Sabathia (1-1, 4.81 ERA, 12 SO)

**For the love of god Verlander, let’s win a game, eh? Those 25 strikeouts mean diddly poo until you get a “1” in that W column. Why not tonight?

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!, Three Thoughts