Tuesday Tananas: Tiger Stadium’s Finale, Fister’s Dominance, and Meat Loaf’s Birthday

Things keep looking up for the Tigers. The ALDS is fast approaching, Wilson Betemit is playing tonight and Ozzie Guillen is leaving the American League. Good times.

[callout title=The Tuesday Rundown]

The Tigers are in first place, 13 games ahead of the Indians.

Today’s Game: Tigers vs. Indians – Max Scherzer (14-9, 4.37 ERA) vs. RHP Jeanmar Gomez (5-2, 3.52 ERA) | 7:05 p.m. – FSD/1270 AM and 97.1 FM

This season against the Indians, Scherzer is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA. Lifetime he’s 3-3, 4.79 ERA.

Did you know that Scherzer has never thrown a complete game or a shutout in his major-league career?

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Leading Off: The Tigers crushed the Indians and Ubaldo Jimenez Monday night 14-0. Doug Fister was his usual phenomenal self: eight innings, three hits, no walks, nine strikouts. And, 74 percent of his 109 pitches were strikes.

ALDS Start Time (Maybe): Matt Dery (@deryNBA) posted this on Twitter: “According to reports, Tigers would either host Bos or TB at 5 pm Friday for Game 1 or play at NYY at 8:30 fri night.” If it’s a 5 o’clock game, looks like I’m leaving work early.

The Tigers enter tonight’s game versus Cleveland having won 28 of their last 37 games dating back to Aug. 19, a .757 winning percentage — tops in the majors.

On this date in 1999, the Tigers played their final game at Tiger Stadium — an 8-2 win over the Royals. Homers by Karim Garcia, Luis Polonia and Robert Fick power the Tigers behind Brian Moehler.

We knew Doug Fister was good, but this is ridculous. From Elias Sports Bureau:

Remember at the trading deadline when the biggest-name pitcher moved was Ubaldo Jimenez? On Monday he was outpitched by a player whose trade received considerably less attention, Doug Fister. Fister improved to 8-1 since joining Detroit, making him only the fourth pitcher in the post-WWII Era to have at least eight wins with no more than one loss for a team after pitching for another major-league team earlier that season. The three others: Randy Johnson (10-1 for the 1998 Astros, after starting with the Mariners); Doyle Alexander (9-0 for the 1987 Tigers after starting with the Braves); and Rick Sutcliffe (16-1 for the 1984 Cubs after starting with the Indians.) Fister will end the season with a seven-game winning streak and Justin Verlander has won his last 12 decisions. They’re the first teammates to end a season with each on a winning streak of seven or more games, mainly or exclusively as a starting pitcher, since 1993, when Jason Bere and Wilson Alvarez of the White Sox each won their final seven decisions. The pair preceding Bere and Alvarez was Doyle Alexander (9) and Walt Terrell (8) for the 1987 Tigers.

I was talking to a friend of mine today about possible successors to Ozzie Guillen and we did a quick review of higher-profile bench coaches around the majors. One name he brought up was Kirk Gibson’s bench coach, Alan Trammell. While I fully support Tram getting another shot at managing, I can’t abide by him taking over the White Sox. Oh, and did you see where former Tigers manager Buddy Bell is in the mix for the Sox’ gig? Oy vey.

Happy 67th Birthday to Gary Sutherland. He hit .251 with a .295 on-base percentage with the Tigers from 1974-76 and played primarily at second base.

Checking in on trade pieces: In 31 games with the Mariners since the July 29 trade, Casper Wells is hitting .216 with seven home runs, 15 RBI and a .742 OPS. Meanwhile Charlie Furbush is 3-7 with a 6.62 ERA in 10 starts, and Chance Ruffin is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 appearances.

Why should you keep watching baseball this week?, asks Rob Neyer. One reason he offers is to see if Jose Valverde can keep up his perfect-save routine:

Valverde’s been phenomenal this season, and is only seven saves from tying Tom Gordon’s American League for consecutive saves (over different seasons). And the best part is that Valverde’s doing all this with lower strikeout and higher walk rates than his career norms.

Wanna bet he blows one in October? I don’t know. I predicted Lidge would blow a postseason save after his perfect 2008, but he didn’t and the Phillies won the World Series.

On this date in 1986, Jack Morris shut out the Yankees 1-0 in 10 innings, raising his record to 20-8 and snapped Don Mattingly’s hitting streak at 24 consecutive games.

I’ve had seller’s remorse on Omar Infante for a couple of years now — and especially since Placido Polanco was set free after the ’09 season. Infante just signed a two-year, $8 million extension with the Marlins. He enters tonight’s game batting .279 with seven home runs, 49 RBIs and only eight errors in 146 games. He’d look pretty good playing second for the Tigers these days, no?

Finally, Happy 64th Birthday to Meat Loaf.

The Daily Breakfast: July 23, 2011

BreakfastGood morning from Metro Airport, where I sit and write this with bleary eyes after an overnight flight from Phoenix. I’ve got an hour to kill before my ride arrives.

Leading Off: The Tigers continued their stunning dominance of the Twins with an 8-2 beat down on Friday night. Eleven in a row against Minnesota certainly has a nice ring to it, but wouldn’t have one win in late September 2009 been nice (not to mention October)? By gones. Max Scherzer pitched his fourth strong game in a row – he allowed two hits and a walk over his final five innings – and the remarkable Jhonny Peralta (3 for 5, four RBI) continued his torrid assault on the Twins this season. How does a .542 average, 1.764 OPS, four home runs and 13 RBI in seven games sound? Meanwhile, the Tigers did not trade for James Shields, Clayton Kershaw or Carlos Beltran but they did sign two draft picks: first baseman Aaron Westlake from Vanderbilt University (third round) and righthanded pitcher Tommy Collier from San Jacinto College (22nd round).
[callout title=The Rundown]

The Tigers are in first place, 1.5 games ahead of the Indians, and five up on the White Sox.

There are eight days left until the July 31 trade deadline.

Today’s Game: Brad Penny (7-6, 4.47 ERA) vs. Scott Baker (7-5, 3.01 ERA) | 4:10 p.m. FOX/1270 & 97.1

Penny is 2-0 with a 5.79 ERA in four starts against the Twins, but surrendered five runs and 10 hits in six innings and did not receive a decision in a 6-5 home win over Minnesota on May 30. Baker is making his first start since July 5.

On this date in 2002 the Tigers acquired infielder David Espinosa and two players to be named, outfielder Noochie Varner and righthander Jorge Cordova, from the Reds for righty Brian Moehler, infielder Matt Boone and cash-money.

Fifty years ago today, the Tigers and A’s used 21 pitchers, 11 for the Detroit and 10 for the Kansas City (10) set an American League record for most pitchers used in an 18-inning doubleheader. At three hours, 54 minutes, the second game is the longest nine-inning affair in A.L. history. The entire doubleheader lasts six hours, 50 minutes, a major-league record. The Tigers sweep 6-4 and 17-14, taking first place by one percentage point. How long would that double-dip last today?

[/callout]Around the Central: The White Sox blanked the Indians 3-0 in Cleveland while the Royals were dropping a 10-spot on the Rays in sweltering K.C.

Speaking of Jhonny: According to Elias Sports Bureau …

Jhonny Peralta followed up on Thursday night’s 3-for-4 performance against the Twins by going 3-for-5 with four RBI against the Twins on Friday. He’s now hitting .429 (42 for 98) against A.L. Central opponents this season, an in-division batting average that is more than 50 points higher than that of any other major-league player with at least 100 plate appearances in division games this season. Jacoby Ellsbury is next-best, at a distant .374.

City Hall Looks Dumb on this One: Yesterday, NPR’s All Things Considered program aired a story about the group of fans that are taking care of the old Tiger Stadium grounds for the purposes of, you know, playing baseball. Here’s the intro of the segment by ATC host Robert Siegel:

Imagine watching a place you love and that your family has loved for generations fall into disrepair. Well, that’s how it’s been for many Detroit baseball fans, who think of the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues as sacred ground.

It’s the site of the old Tiger Stadium, which was torn down in 2009. One group of fans decided to take care of the lot that remained, but while they may think they’re being helpful, the city of Detroit sees it differently.

Listen to the segment here.

Finally, Happy 50th Birthday to Woody Harrelson.

Tigers Today: April 11, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Record: 4-1

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Indians | 1:05 p.m ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD PLUS/1270

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander, 0-0, 7.20 ERA vs. Jake Westbrook, 0-1, 11.25 ERA

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 4 – Indians 2

Continue reading “Tigers Today: April 11, 2010”

Trades for The Ages: Brian Moehler

Dealing Cards.jpgAs the trade-deadline hysteria gains steam, let’s look back on this date in 2002 when the Tigers made another non-blockbuster for three prospects that amounted to bupkis.

Detroit traded righty Brian Moehler and infielder Matt Boone to Cincinnati for infielder David Espinosa and two players to be named. The Reds sent Noochie Varner and Jorge Cordova to the Tigers to complete the deal. As a Red, Moehler went 2-4 with a 6.02 ERA.

Moehler, now 37, was a fan favorite and, of course, the Tigers’ starting pitcher for the first-ever game at Comerica Park. After some arm trouble, there were some doubts that his career would last, but it has. In fact, he’s won 34 games since leaving Detroit. After leaving Cincy, Moehler pitched for Houston, Florida and he’s now back in Houston. This year he’s 7-9 with a 4.92 ERA.