Tigers Today: June 20, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

37-30, 2nd place; 1.5 GB Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Diamondbacks | 1:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (3-6, 6.14 ERA) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (3-4, 3.57 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Diamondbacks 6 – Tigers 5 | Fungo Recap

Tigers History Lesson

Today’s Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History

  • 1994 — In a 7-1 loss to the Indians, the Tigers’ string of 25 straight games of hitting a home run ends. The streak tied the major-league record set by the 1941 Yankees.
  • 1980 — White Sox reliever Ed Farmer swears he will take criminal action against Detroit’s Al Cowens following an on-field brawl at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.Cowens hit a grounder to short, and then charged the mound instead of running to first. He wanted to deliver justice for an incident a year earlier when a Farmer pitch shattered Cowens’ jaw.

    American League President Lee MacPhail suspends Cowens for seven games. The Tigers win 5-3 in 11 innings. (Read more on Cowens in this Fungo Flashback.)

  • 1961Al Kaline plays third base for the first time in his career. His two hits and two RBIs lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Senators. Kaline will return to the outfield and play third just once more in his career, in 1965.
  • 1914 — The Tigers lose the services of Ty Cobb when he breaks his thumb in a fight with a butcher’s clerk. Cobb will be out until August 13.
  • 1911Ty Cobb breaks the American League hitting streak record with an infield single against Cleveland’s Willie Mitchell. It is Cobb’s 30th straight game with a hit. He adds two stolen bases to help the Tigers win, 8-3.

Surgery for Miner; Brad Thomas Safer Than Ever

BallTherapy.jpgIn the back of our minds we expected, then we hoped, to see Zach Miner pitch for the Tigers in April, then May, then…

Well, we’re not going to see Miner at all this season, and who knows if we’ll see him again in Tigers uniform. The club announced today that the right hander will have season-ending — wait for it — ligament reconstruction surgery — a.k.a. Tommy John surgery — on Friday in Los Angeles.

Miner, a valuable if not altogether aggressive part of the Tigers bullpen the past few seasons, is not signed after this year and may not return. As Lynn Henning notes:

[A]lthough he will remain Tigers property until he comes off the disabled list, at which point his roster situation will be determined.

With Miner lost, it looks like Brad Thomas can breathe a tad easier — again. Now if word comes that Bobby Seay (left shoulder strain) is officially through for the year, Thomas can stop going month-to-month on that condo lease.

The DTP #99: One Week to Go

DetroitTigersPodcastAlbum.jpgWelcome to The Detroit Tigers Podcast. This is Episode #99 a 68-minute podcast about the Detroit Tigers recorded live from Scottsdale, Ariz., and Ann Arbor, Mich.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Is Nate Robertson on the trading block?
  • Bobby Seay‘s torn rotator cuff
  • The Tigers’ batting order
  • Last man on the roster: Don Kelly, Jeff Larish or Clete Thomas?
  • The Sporting News pre-season predictions
  • Did anti-Semitism cost Hank Greenberg a shot at 60 homers in 1938?

…and much more.

Continue reading “The DTP #99: One Week to Go”

Tigers Eyeing Free-Agent Lefty Beimel

So says Jon Paul Morosi by way of Jason Beck:

Beimel, 31, went 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 71 appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers this year. Left-handers batted .278 against him but had only three extra-base hits, all doubles. Beimel has allowed only one home run over the past two seasons.

If the Tigers sign a lefty, Beimel or whomever, I wonder if it means Bobby Seay or Clay Rapada are shown the door. Would Jim Leyland keep three lefties – not counting wild card Macay McBride – in the bully?

Catching Up on a Week of News

Catcher.jpgEvery time I sat down to write about a bit of Tigers news in the past five days, another shoe would drop and I’d think “I’ll write about both of those items.” Then another and another, etc.

So, as I wait out this Tigers/White Sox rain delay from bright, sunny Phoenix, it’s time to weigh in on:

  • Todd Jones’s Retirement. The decades-old joke in Detroit is that the most popular person in the city is the Lions’ backup QB and/or the Red Wings’ backup netminder. I think we can now add the Tigers’ setup man to that punch line. Detroit is unusually cruel to its closers. Less than a year after Willie Hernandez won the 1984 Cy Young and MVP awards, he started getting booed and it’s never stopped. Mike Henneman did too, but to a much smaller degree. The Tigers were so unwatchable during Todd Jones‘s first tour of duty in Detroit, that often he was the only bright spot. Come to think of it, he was a welcome sight then because it mean the Tigers were in line for a rare win.

    But what was it about Jones in his second stint as a Tiger? What made it so infuriating? Sure, he got 93 saves in just under three seasons but his ERA was always around four and … ah, what’s the use? Jones is a good guy and I’m sure he’ll be missed by his teammates. I guess. For me, though, I’ll never be able to forgive him for not being Joe Nathan.

    Continue reading “Catching Up on a Week of News”

Friday Fungoes

thermometer.jpgWelcome to August! In the Phoenix area we ring in the month with 113 degrees…but a mere 20 percent humidity. The poor Tigers head to Tampa where the temperature and humidity are 86. God bless Willis Carrier.

  • So how did July end up for the Tigers? Even. As in 13-13. Here are some other tidbits that helped shape a so-so month in this so-so season:
    • Losses to the Twins on July 1 and the Indians on July 31 bookend the month.
    • Top hitter: Magglio Ordonez: .386; however he played in only 15 games. We’ll expand this to the two players that played in the most games last month: Curtis Granderson (26 games) .324, and Miguel Cabrera (25 games) .330.
    • Most hits: Granderson, 36; Cabrera, 25
    • Most homers: Cabrera, 8.
    • Top pitcher, wins: Justin Verlander, 4
    • ERA, starter: Zach Miner, 1.29
    • ERA, reliever: Bobby Seay, 0.79
    • Saves: Todd Jones, 3.

  • The good news heading into a new month is that the Tigers are just 5.5 games out of first place with two months to play. The bad news? The Tigers are just 5.5 games out of fourth place. Savor that for a moment, won’t you?

  • According to the results of The Daily Fungo Pulse Check unscientific poll, 57 percent of Fungo readers said they expected the Tigers to be buyers at the trade deadline, 43 percent thought the Tigers would sell. Interestingly, I noticed a mini-surge in “sellers” votes after the Pudge deal was announced. Be sure to cast your vote in this week’s new poll.

  • The big media outlets released power rankings for this week. The Tigers certainly have the look of a middling team according to:

  • Does anyone else feel like it’s Sept. 20 and not Aug. 1? This season is exhausting.

Finally, on Aug. 1, 1974, at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Ron LeFlore made his major-league debut for the Tigers. Ralph Houk put him in the leadoff spot against the Brewers’ Jim Slaton and LeFlore struck out thrice. It wasn’t until his fourth at bat that he put a ball in play: a grounder to third baseman Don Money for the first out of the eighth.

The Tigers won the game 2-0 behind a masterful performance by Woodie Fryman: a complete-game one-hitter. Woodrow struck out 10 and walked three. Norm Cash drove in both runs with a solo homer and an RBI single.

Wondering who caught Fryman’s gem? Gene Lamont.

Have a great weekend.

Game 96: Six Straight Curveballs

ScorecardXSmall.jpg

The Score: Orioles 7 – Tigers 4

The Gist: Armando Galarraga gave up two, two-strike home runs and Bobby Seay refused to throw anything but a breaking ball to Luke Scott and the Tigers fell back to the .500 mark. The Tigers weren’t suffering from a lack of baserunners. In fact, they had bases loaded with one out in the third, among other stranded-runner situations. Speaking of stranded runners, Placido Polanco had five; Magglio Ordonez six. On the plus side, Pudge Rodriguez went 4 for 4 with a two-runner homer. Did we mention Bobby Seay? Oh, Bobby…

The Quote: “What do I have to do to get called up?!” — What I imagine lefty Clay Rapada says every time Seay has an outing like Friday’s.

The Stat: 0. The number of walks allowed by Galarraga. Darned impressive for someone on a staff full of generous pitchers.

Up Next: Tigers @ Orioles

Nate Robertson (6-9, 5.26) vs. Daniel Cabrera (6-5, 4.33)