Tag Archives: Fernando Rodney

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.

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Series Wrap-Up: LA Angels – Punch ‘em right in the mouth.

31-25, 1st in AL Central (4.0 GU on MIN)

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(Photo courtesy of Duane Burleson/AP)

**FYI: Record has been updated to reflect the Tigers beating the White Sox in Game 1 of their doubleheader today. WOO!!!

So the last time we checked in with the Tigers, they had just been swept by the Red Sox, Jim Leyland got himself tossed from a game, the doubters were out in full force and the Los Angeles Orange County Angels of Anaheim and Surrounding Neighborhoods and Communities were on their way into town before the Tigers embarked on a week-and-a-half long road trip.

The Tigers needed to bounce back strongly and get some wins.

The answer started with Justin Verlander, who pitched another fantastic game in the opener, but got let down AGAIN by sub-par hitting from a mashed up lineup due to Miguel Cabrera’s hamstring injury. Verlander’s work was good enough to keep the team in the game, but Fernando Rodney came in and gave up a run, and with the sub-par hitting, that was enough for LAOCAASNC to escape with a 2-1 win.

Knocked down again.

But what do you do when you get knocked down? You get back up and punch that dude right in his mouth.

Detroit’s counter-punch? Edwin Jackson. The KO punch? Clete Thomas. (Clete Thomas?!?!)

Despite suffering from the same lack of run support that plagued Verlander, Jackson put the team on his back and just took over on Saturday night (and Rodney didn’t blow this one.) And on Sunday, Clete cleared the bases with a grand slam as the Tigers started to locate the offense.

KO delivered. Tigers take the series.

Look, the series win was important for the Tigers, despite being less than aesthetically appealing. The Tigers are in an interesting position where two to three games a week, they are going to get good/great pitching and then to to three games a week they will put up solid batting numbers. When those two line up, the Tigers win ball games. But the rest of it is a crapshoot.

I know Leyland is making an attempt to generate some offense by moving Curtis Granderson back up to the leadoff spot and adding in the newly rehabilitated Marcus Thames for some additional power. But I don’t think that is going to cure the inconsistencies of this team. The real trick for Jim is to find a way to start small with this team. This is NEVER going to happen, but they need to focus more on hitting for singles and sacrifices, and maybe even *GULP* the occasional bunt or two. Sacrilege, I know. Yes, the Tigers will always have power and yes, that power is a great thing, but yes, that power disappears from game to game and yes, if we stick to the power game for the entire season, we might finish somewhere around .500.

Anyways, it’s a thought. Maybe try it out one night when Verlander or Jackson is on the mound since nine games out of 10 you are going to get a top notch performance from them. I’m just sayin…

One last thing before we go: Jeremy Bonderman returns to the bump tonight finally. This could be interesting, as most of the folks that regularly cover the Tigers say that Bondo doesn’t have that “umph” back in his velocity, which means he should be less overpowering and more crafty.

Kenny Rogers, anyone?

On Deck: Chicago White Sox

  • Record: 26-31 (3rd in AL Central, 5.5 GB of DET)

Monday, June 8 (DH)

Game 1

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-6, 5.31 ERA, 41 SO)
  • White Sox – Clayton Richard (2-1, 3.97 ERA, 34 SO) **Yes, THAT Clayton Richard. As in the Clayton Richard that used to be a backup on the Michigan football team. Whoa.

**Since the game is over and I already updated the records, here are the resulting lines for each guy. Joel Zumaya got the win for the Tigers, BTW. Rodney, the save.

  • Galarraga: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, No decision
  • Richard: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, No decision

Game 2

  • Tigers – Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, –.—ERA, – SO)
  • White Sox – Jose Contreras (0-5, 8.19 ERA, 17 SO)

Tuesday, June 9

  • Tigers – Dontrelle Willis (1-3, 6.84 ERA, 13 SO)
  • White Sox – Mark Buehrle (6-2, 2.91 ERA, 46 SO)

Wednesday, June 10

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (6-2, 3.26 ERA, 97 SO)
  • White Sox – John Danks (4-4, 5.10 ERA, 54 SO)

Thursday, June 11

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (6-3, 2.16 ERA, 62 SO)
  • White Sox – Gavin Floyd (4-5, 5.35 ERA, 66 SO)

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TT: Hitting the road

Tigers 4, Rangers 3

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

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(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)

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(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)

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(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)

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(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: Wild West Shootout

Tigers 12, Angels 10

8-6, 1st in AL Central (Tied w/CHI)

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(Photo courtesy of Hector Mata/AP)

  • Well then. Talk about an interesting game. A hugely back and forth affair saw the Tigers finally emerge with a five run seventh to claim an insurmountable* lead and get a win over the Los Angeles Orange County Angels of Greater Anaheim and Parts of Other Smaller Regional Cities. How bizarre was this one? Juan Rincon got the “W” for the Tigers with a “one run on two hits, two walks AND a wild pitch” performance. Yea.
  • While the pitching was atrocious on both sides of field, the Tigers got the pop back in the bats with an 18 hit performance, which included homers from both Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge. Props also to Adam Everett, who somehow wound up going 3 for 4 last night even though none of his hits could have cleared the fence on a softball field.
  • Dear Fernando Rodney of last night: Please give us back the Fernando Rodney that is not you. Watching you do everything in your power to give away the win is not good for my heart. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with coming in and not giving up runs. I promise. So if you can just drop off the preferred ‘Nando at the clubhouse door tonight, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

*When “Oh $**T Fernando Rodney” takes the mound, no lead is insurmountable.

Probable starters for 4/23:

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (1-0, 2.14 ERA, 13 SO)
  • Angels – Matt Palmer (0-0, –.—ERA)

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