Comeback Tigers (4/11)

Game 3:

Justin Verlander vs. Jake Westbrook

Justin Verlander had an awful 1st inning. He gave up 5 runs, 4 of which came off the bat of Indians 2B Luis Valbuena. You should have heard some of the things Tiger fans were saying. Yes, he struggled but even Verlander has said he is still finding a rhythm and pitched a good game after the 1st. The Tigers were down 5-0 in the first and things were not looking to bright. It stayed 5-0 for 4 innings then the Tigers finally scored a run when Miguel Cabrera singled in Austin Jackson. The Tigers then gave 2 runs right back and the game was 7-1 in the top of the 6th inning. I thought it was over. But my Grandma, never doubted and said they still had time to comeback. My brother and Grandpa did not agree and were just waiting for the game to end.

But my Grandma was right. The Tigers scored 2 more runs when Magglio Ordonez score Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore in the bottom of the sixth and the game was 7-3. I could see the comeback, but a lot was going to have to happen. In the 7th, both teams scored a run. The Tigers scored when Scott Sizemore doubled in Ramon Santiago, making the score 8-4.

The Tigers shut down the Tigers in the 8th and scored 2 runs, when Brandon Inge scored Miguel Cabrera on a single and when Ramon Santiago grounded in to a double play to score Carlos Guillen making the score 8-6.

Tigers reliever Phil Coke shut down the Indians again in the ninth and went into the last inning down two. Carlos Guillen doubled in Magglio Ordonez, making the score 8-7 with the bases loaded. Johnny Damon pinch hit for Gerald Laird and got walked on 4 pitches tying the game 8-8. Bases were loaded and Scott Sizemore was at the plate. Indians closer Chris Perez pitched a wild pitch and Carlos Guillen scored to give the Tigers a comeback win.

Tigers 9, Indians 8

Tigers Player(s) of the Game: The offense produced 18 hits with all the starting position players getting at least 1 hit.

The Box Score http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2010_04_11_clemlb_detmlb_1&mode=wrap#boxscore

Brady-

Tigers Win the First Two (4/9-4/10)

Game 1: Opening Day at Comerica Park

Rick Porcello vs. David Huff

Rick Porcello pitched good and the Tigers got lucky.

Play ball! Tigers 5, Indians 2  in home opener

 It was a 2-2 game, when Indians 3B Jhonny Peralta threw a ball across the diamond that got passed the 1B, and the Tigers scored 3 runs. The bullpen didn’t allow a run and the Tigers won 5-2 in front of 45,000 Tiger fans.

Tigers Player of the Game: P Rick Porcello- 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks

Game 2:

Jeremy Bonderman vs.  Mitch Talbot

Jeremy Bonderman had a spectacular start going 5 innings only allowing a hit and 1 run. Jeremy could have gone one more inning if Jhonny Peralta hadn’t had a 12 pitch at bat that really wore down Bonderman.

Tigers 4, Indians 2

Magglio Ordonez backed Jeremy up, with a 2 run homer at 345 in left field. Ryan Perry got his first career save as the Tigers won 4-2.

Tigers Player of the Game: P Jeremy Bonderman- 5 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks

Game 3 continued…

Brady-

Verlander Going for the Sweep

Today my Grandparents are taking me and my brother to Comerica Park to see the Tigers play the Indians at 1 o’clock.

The weather in Michigan has been weird lately. It was cold and cloudy Friday, sunny and warm Saturday, and today it is supposed to be both. The news is saying it will be raining and cloudy in the morning, then the sun will come out and it will warm up a bit.

I hope it is nice out today, as I want to see Justin Verlander take out the Indians. Verlander won 4 games against the Indians last year, and dominates all the hitters in their lineup. After an average outing on Opening Day in Kansas City, Justin is going for a bounce back performance in front of the home crowd.

Justin will be taking on Jake Westbrook. Westbrook was very rusty on Opening Day and is still recovering from Tommy John’s surgery. Westbrook started for the Indians on Opening Day and these were his numbers against the White Sox earlier this week.

  • 4 innings pitched
  • 5 hits
  • 5 earned runs
  • 4 walks
  • 1 strikeout

The Tigers will be aggressive in the early innings. Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge have a good history against Westbrook, all of them with 20+ at bats and all batting over .350 against him.

I’m looking for the Tigers took get after Westbrook in the first couple on innings, and knock him out of the game by the 5th. I also see Verlander having a dominate start and overpowering Indian hitters.

I will post pictures and recap this game tonight.

Brady-

Opening Series Recap: (4/5-4/8)

Game 1: W 8-4

Justin Verlander vs. Zach Greinke

A battle of the aces that ended in a no decision for both pitchers. Both pitched solid and never got into a “Cy Young” groove. The Tigers were down 4-2, and then the Royals pen took over and that was when things went wrong for the Royals. The pen let up 6 runs in the 7th inning.

Austin Jackson got his first major league hit on a double that he poked down the left field line. Johnny Damon scored 2 runs on a double and Brandon Inge did too.

Tigers' leadoff hitter Austin Jackson connects for an RBI double as part of the team's six-run seventh inning. The rookie was 1-for-5 in his major league debut.

The Tigers pen pitched well and did not allow any runs.

Tigers Player of the Game: LF Johnny Damon- 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.

Game 2: L 3-2 (11 innings)

Max Scherzer vs. Luke Hochevar

Newcomer Max Scherzer pitched his first game with the Tigers and he did not disappoint. He pitched 6 innings of scoreless ball, allowing only 1 hit and hit 2 batters. Unfortunately Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar also pitched great. He pitched 7.2 innings allowing 5 hits a walk and 2 strikeouts. Hochevar had 15 ground ball outs which kept him in the game.

Royals 3, Tigers 2 in 11 innings

Miguel Cabrera hit a homer in the last out of the game to tie it to go to extra innings. The Tigers got 2 good innings from Phil Coke, and everything was looking the Tigers way. Carlos Guillen got an RBI to score Don Kelly and the tigers were leading 2-1.

Tigers closer Jose Valverde blew the save by allowing a home run by Alberto Callasapo. Billy Butler than had an infield single, and Rick Ankiel got the game winning hit scoring Billy Butler on a double in the right field gap.

Tigers Player of the Game: P Max Scherzer- 6 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks

Game 3: W 7-3

Dontrelle Willis vs. Brian Bannister

Dontrelle Willis made his first start for the Tigers this season and he was very solid. He had a shaky first inning allowing a run , but was able to settle down after. Willis pitched 6 innings allowing 7 hits, giving up 2 walks and 2 runs and struck out 4.

Tigers rally for 7-3 win

The Tigers didn’t get to Bannister, but when the Royals pen took over the Tigers made a run.  Austin Jackson had 2 doubles, Magglio Ordonez had a homer and 2 singles. Miguel Cabrera went 4-5 with a homer and 4 RBI’s. The pen pitched well as Eddie Bonine and Jose Valverde did not alow a run.

Tigers Player of the Game: Miguel Cabrera- 4-5, HR, 4 RBI’s

Tigers win the Series 2-1, with 2 comeback wins.

Brady-

Opening Day is Here!

After a long, cold, gray six months of waiting, Opening Day is here. The Tigers journey as the underdogs in the Central begins.

Maybe the two most dominant pitchers in the American League face off, as A.L Cy Young Award winner, Zack Greinke duels against the A.L Strikeout leader Justin Verlander, at Kauffman Stadium.

The 2010 Detroit Tigers Opening Day Starting Lineup:

1. CF Austin Jackson

2. LF Johnny Damon

3. RF Magglio Ordonez

4. 1B Miguel Cabrera

5. DH Carlos Guillen

6. 3B Brandon Inge

7. C Gerald Laird

8. 2B Scott Sizemore

9. SS Adam Everett

David Cook sings the National Anthem before the opener between the Tigers and Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Brady-

My 2010 Detroit Tigers Season Preview

THE OFFSEASON:

I SAY GOODBYE:

The Tigers let go of DH Aubrey Huff, and SP Jarrod Washburn, who both struggled when they came to Detroit. The Tigers did not re-sign Gold Glove 2B Placido Polanco, who left for Philadelphia. The Tigers decided they would not re-sign reliever Brandon Lyon who went to Houston and closer Fernando Rodney who went to L.A to play for the Angels.  The Tigers then made a controversial, blockbuster trade by sending All-Star CF Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees and All-Star SP Edwin Jackson to the Arizona. At this point of the off season I thought the Tigers were “D as in done”.

YOU SAY HELLO:

In return from the blockbuster trade the Tigers received some young talent, Max Scherzer and Dan Schlereth from Arizona, and Austin Jackson and Phil Coke from New York.  Max Scherzer could possibly fill Edwin Jackson’s spot with the help of the final 2 spots of the rotation. And then bright spot came into the 2010 Tigers off season when the Tigers signed Houston’s closer Jose Valverde to a 2 year deal. Valverde will fill the hole that Rodney left, and relievers like Ryan Perry, Fu Te-Ni and a healthy Joel Zumaya will replace the innings Brandon Lyon left. The Tigers went out and signed LF Johnny Damon to a 1 year deal to play LF and bat 2nd in Jim Leyland’s lineup.

Manager Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

AT THE PLATE:

1. #14 CF Austin Jackson

In the deal that sent All-Star CF Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees the Tigers in return received a talented kid named Austin Jackson.  He is very comparable to Granderson as they both weigh 185 pounds and stand 6’2.  Jackson is a young athletic outfielder with great range and great instincts when tracking the ball down.  He has a good arm and can steal a base when needed. He can run, catch and throw, but can he hit?

Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

In AAA Toledo, Jackson hit .300, with not a lot of power. He has easily been the biggest surprise this spring, batting .356 with 10 extra base hits. His goal this year should be to play great defense and get on base. “AJax” will replace Granderson in Comerica Park’s CF and in the leadoff spot of Jim Leyland’s lineup card, without playing a game in the big leagues.

2. #18 LF Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon #18 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

The Tigers had two huge question marks this spring. Who would play LF and replace Placido Polanco in the 2 hole? This question was answered when the Tigers signed veteran LF Johnny Damon. Damon had a great year for New York batting .282, with 24 homers and 82 RBI’s. He is a winner and a consistent hitter. I think Damon will be a great fit with the Tigers.

3. #30 RF Magglio Ordonez

 Magglio Ordonez #30 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Magglio is the biggest key for the Tigers success. He had a lot on his mind last year. His family was having health problems and he was busy thinking about his expiring contract. This was probably the reason Magglio struggled in the first half with a .260 average. But when “Maggs” cut his greasy locks around the All-Star break he started hitting again, and hit .375 in the second half. He is said to be in the best shape any Tiger fan has ever seen him in. He is stronger both physically and mentally and is better conditioned after an enduring off season. Magglio will have a bounce back year.

4. #24 1B Miguel Cabrera

 Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Cabrera has put last year behind him and is now focusing on this year. He has said he has stopped drinking and his personal life has been cleaned up. “Miggy” is one of the most talented players in the game today. He is a game changer. He can change a game with one swing of the bat, against any pitcher in any park. Miguel is so great at what he does because he does it on a consistent basics year in and year out. You can pencil in Cabrera will have 35+ homers, a .300+ average and knock in 100+RBI’s. If he can put the past behind him and focus on the now, Miguel will be a contender for the Triple Crown and the A.L MVP.

5. #9 DH Carlos Guillen

 Carlos Guillen #9 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Carlos Guillen was on the DL for a good 2 months last year and when he returned he was never able to get into a hitting groove. Guillen was told last year that he would be in LF in 2010. But, when the Tigers signed Johnny Damon, he was moved into the DH role. Carlos accepted his role, and bought into the idea that it would be good for the Tigers. Guillen’s goal this season is to stay healthy and be consistent at the plate.

6. #15 3B Brandon Inge

 Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Brandon had a great first half last year, batting .268 with 21 homers. But, the second half was a different story. Inge began to have soreness in his knees. He played through the pain but his production decreased in a drastic way. He had a tough time moving and batted .186 with 6 homers in the second half. Inge had surgery on both knees this off season. He is healthy now and needs to stay healthy all year.

7. #8 C Gerald Laird

Gerald Laird #8 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Laird is one of the best defensive catchers in all of baseball. He does a great job with the pitchers and has a cannon arm. But he can’t hit. He has changed his bat placement by simply resting the bat on his shoulder until the ball is released. This will help him relax at the plate. Laird was trying to hit for the fences which caused him to get underneath the ball and hit a ton pop-ups last season.  Laird needs to shorten his swing and focus on making solid contact.

8. #20 2B Scott Sizemore

 Scott Sizemore #20 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

When Placido Polanco left Detroit, the Tigers said Scott would be Placido’s successor. And the Tigers stuck to their word. Sizemore was Tigers Minor League Player of the Year last year. Sizemore swung a good bat. He combined to have a .308 average in AAA Toledo and AA Erie, with 61 extra base hits. But he broke his ankle in the Arizona Fall League. He had surgery and has slowly recovered. He now is healthy. Many people have had worries about Sizemore’s glove, but he is very steady and is only going to get better.

9. #4 SS Adam Everett

Adam Everett #4 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Adam Everett is a steady SS that makes all the plays. He knows his role is to play great defense and small ball at the plate and occasionally come up with a big hit.

TOEING THE RUBBER:

1.       #35 Justin Verlander

 Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Justin Verlander was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball last year. He led baseball in games started, innings, and strikeouts, striking out an incredible 269 batters. As a reward the Tigers gave Verlander a 5 year, 80 million dollar extension. Justin is happy which made the Tigers happy. Verlander has the best stuff in baseball. He has a 100 mile hour fastball, an 85 mile hour curve that breaks 12 inches, and a changeup that breaks hitters’ ankles. Verlander will once again be in the hunt for the AL CY Young.

2.      #48 Rick Porcello

 Rick Porcello #48 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

I often forget that Rick is only 21. And last year he pitched like a 10 year veteran. He has a lot of poise and knows how to pitch.  He had an ERA under 4 with 14 wins. Porcello did everything the Tigers could ask for. He had a great spring with a 1.21 ERA and only giving 3 walks in 22 innings of ball. Porcello worked all offseason on his stuff and command and will even more comfortable this year. Porcello is a star in the making and will be a CY Young candidate real soon.

3.      #37 Max Scherzer

 Max Scherzer #37 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Max Scherzer will replace Edwin Jackson. Many people think this will be a breakout year for Max. He has the stuff. He has a zippy fastball, and a developing change up and slider. Scherzer struck out 174 batters last year with 9 wins for a bad Arizona team. Scherzer is a talented kid that needs a good home where he will win some games. Hopefully, Detroit will be that for Max this year.

4.      #38 Jeremy Bonderman

 Jeremy Bonderman #38 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Jeremy Bonderman’s shoulder is now healthy after missing most of the last two years. Bonderman is a real key to this team and is going to have to pitch good ball and stay healthy all year.  

5.       #21 Dontrelle Willis   

 Dontrelle Willis #21 of the Detroit Tigers poses during photo day at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility on February 27, 2010 in Lakeland, Florida.

Dontrelle Willis has recovered from anxiety disorder and has regained some of his control. Willis won the final spot over Nate Robertson, and is going to need throw more strikes than balls if he wants to keep his 5Th spot in the rotation. Pitchers like Armando Galarraga and Eddie Bonine will be waiting for call ups.

SPRINTING FROM THE PEN:

Bobby Seay and Zach Miner will start the season on the 15 day DL. Pitchers Eddie Bonine and Brad Thomas will replace them for the time being. Phil Coke will also have a role for the pen.

Setup Man #59 Fu-Te Ni

                Fu-Te Ni pitched great baseball down the stretch for the Tigers last season, with a 2.61 ERA. He is going to have a major role in the pen this year with Brandon Lyon gone and Bobby Seay and Zach Miner on the 15 day DL to start the season.  

Setup Man #45 Ryan Perry

                Ryan had a great rookie year with a 3.79 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 61 innings. He can really pitch. He has a power fastball and is really fierce on the mound. This is the Tigers closer of the future and will most likely be the 8th inning setup man for closer Jose Valverde.

Setup Man # 54 Joel Zumaya

Joel Zumaya has been on the shelf for the Tigers for the past two seasons and is ready to show he can still pitch. He had a bad spring but he is healthy again and is throwing 100 miles like the old “Zoom-Zoom”.  Zumaya is going to need to locate his pitches and throw strikes.

Setup Man #46 Jose Valverde

                The Tigers lost a 37 game saver in Fernando Rodney this offseason, and then gained an even better closer. Jose Valverde is similar to Rodney. He throws hard in the 95 mile hour range and pitches with passion and enthusiasm.  “Papa Grande” is known for his antics on the mound and will keep this bullpen relaxed and will give this team the energy it needs.  Opposing teams are going to have a rough time in the last 3 innings, knowing they will face 3 or 4 pitchers who can all throw 95+ miles an hour.

OFF THE BENCH:

C #13 Alex Avila

The Tigers catcher of the future, Avila will have a shot to play a lot if Laird doesn’t hit. He has a short compact swing and hits lasers all over the field. This kid is going to be a real good catcher for the Tigers real soon.

INF #39 Ramon Santiago

If Scott Sizemore doesn’t produce like the Tigers want, look for Santiago to take his role.

UTL # 25 Ryan Raburn

Ryan had real good spring batting .370. If Austin Jackson fails in CF, Ryan will replace him. And when Johnny Damon or Magglio Ordonez needs a day off Ryan will replace at the corners. He can also play 3B if Brandon Inge needs a break.

UTL #32 Don Kelly 

Don outplayed Clete Thomas for the final spot on the Tigers 25 man roster. He deserved the spot with a great spring batting .338. Kelly has never made a major league team and plays with a chip on shoulder that keeps him motivated.

IN THE END:

The Tigers lost 5 of their top players from last year.  Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon were  and are replaceable and so might Edwin Jackson. The players the Tigers are going to wish they still had are CF Curtis Granderson and 2B Placido Polanco. The Tigers are taking a risk by starting two rookies that have never played a game in the big leagues.

The Tigers also have a lot of questions and a lot of things that have to go right.

  • Will Magglio Ordonez bounce back?
  • Will rookies, Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore produce?
  • Will Carlos Guillen, Brandon Inge, Jeremy Bonderman, Joel Zumaya and Scott Sizemore return from injury and be productive all year? Will Jeremy Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis produce as the 4th and 5th starters?
  • Will Miguel Cabrera move on from last year, and play MVP caliber baseball?

The Tigers have a good mix of young players and veterans. The Tigers have veteran hitters, sure handed defenders and many power pitchers. The Tigers pitching will be their strength and hitting will be their weakness. There are too many things that could go wrong and too many things that have to go right. In the end the Twins lineup and the White Sox pitching staff will over power the Tigers in the Central.

The Tigers will finish 3rd and have a record around .500. 

Brady-

Go Tigers!



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.