The Non-Sequiturs: The Peralta, Sardinha and Pirates Edition

We’re now so far into the Post-Jhonny Peralta Era that we’re starting to talk about his possible, potential and highly unlikely and not improbable return to the Tigers for the last weekend of the season – and presumably the postseason. This whole saga calls to mind a couple of things. First, it’s how fleeting these controversies can be. In the course of five days, the Tigers trade for José Iglesias, keep him warm at third base for a couple of games, watch Peralta get suspended and then … crickets. Or what seemed like crickets.

I’ll admit there have been several game situations in which I wished Peralta was in the lineup, but for the most part it’s bygones. What about you?

The second thing is that when you think about all the things we Detroit fans have endured over the years, we haven’t witnessed a key player at the center of huge MLB-wide story. Think about the occasions when the national spotlight shone on a Tigers player it was,by and large, for positive reasons. Here are the stories that come to mind:

Am I missing anything? I don’t think so.

The last baseball scandal I can remember which remotely approaches Biogenesis is the mid-’80s Pittsburgh cocaine trials, but no Tigers were implicated in that one. But this time, man, the Tigers were in the thick of it. (Unlike when fringy player Exavier Prente “Nook” Logan was named in The Mitchell Report back in 2007, but he was hardly a household name or an essential part of the Tigers future – or present for that matter.)

Even though he’s working out with the Tigers now, I still can’t imagine we’ll see Peralta again in a Tigers uniform. Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but I can’t see the Dombrowski/Leyland Administration brining that level of distraction to the club during a playoff run.

Apropos of nothing:

  • Now, can we talk about Rick Porcello? Actually, I’d rather not; it’s too frustrating. Some other time.
  • I can’t believe I’m writing these words: I wish the Mets were better than they are. This is quite a statement given my deep-seated hatred of those mid-‘80s teams led by Davey Johnson. The only redeeming quality from those clubs was my favorite undervalued Tigers player: Howard Johnson. I always felt like he was the solution to Sparky’s third-base problem but instead, the skipper saw the future at third with Tom BrookensChris PittaroDarnell Coles, Jim Morrison and whomever else they could plug into that spot. And more often than not, it was Brookens. Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah, the Mets. Never mind.
  • If the Tigers’ current situation leaves you unsettled, contrast it with last year’s Sept. 10 dilemma: they were three games back of the White Sox. A 5.5-game lead over a flawed Indians club works better for me.
  • I was glad to see Tony Paul’s article last week on how this team is not the 2009 Tigers – and it’s not simply because there’s no Dane Sardinha, no Zach Miner, no Fu-Te Ni. This team just doesn’t have the feel of a club that will cool along with the September temperatures. Am I wrong? (Just for fun, look back on some of the names on that ’09 roster. Oy.)
  • Don’t look now but thanks to his four-hit night on Tuesday Alex Avila is hitting .221.

Finally, speaking of Pittsburgh: congratulations to the Pirates and their fans on a long-deserved winning season. Pittsburgh officially might have suffered more years of losing baseball than Detroit fans, but we’ll always have this on them and any other awful team: 2003.

Game 65 Recap: Bonderman Sharp, Offense Relentless

Jeremy Bonderman threw seven strong innings and the offense added 19 hits as the Tigers defeated the Washington Nationals 8-3 on Thursday afternoon.

The victory caps a second straight series sweep, and overall 6-game win streak, a stretch in which the Tigers have scored 37 runs on a whopping 70 hits.  It’s a pleasant sight for Tigers fans, who had recently endured a stretch where the cats had lost 12 of 18 with the main culprit being a stagnant offense.

Miguel Cabrera extended his league-leading RBI total to 59, going 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI.  Alex Avila went 2-for-4 with a long double in the 2nd inning, driving in two runs.

Not to be lost in the offensive onslaught is Jeremy Bonderman, who allowed just two earned on five hits while fanning seven in seven innings of work.

Continue reading “Game 65 Recap: Bonderman Sharp, Offense Relentless”

Game 19: Rangers 8 – Tigers 4

ESPN highlights available here.
ScorecardXSmall.jpg
The Score: Rangers 8 – Tigers 4

The Gist: Jekyll and Hyde. Rick Porcello‘s sophomore tumble continues and Dontrelle Willis can’t seem to decide whether or not he wants to stick in the rotation this season. Porcello lasted only four innings, surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits; his ERA plumped to 7.91 Willis? Well, one inning, 28 pitches…11 for strikes.

Austin Jackson hit a leadoff homer — his first in the bigs — and the Tigers looked like they were off to the races, scoring three more times in the first two innings. But it was the Rangers that poured it on: a half-dozen runs in the first and second. On the bright side, Fu-Te Ni pitched a near-flawless pair of innings — 0 hits, two walks and five strikeouts.

The Quote: “I’m giving up way too many belt-high fastballs.” — Porcello

The Stat: 61 — The percentage of pitches Willis threw for balls.

Up Next: Tonight: Tigers @ Rangers | 8:05 p.m. ET

Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 7.20) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (0-1, 4.24)

Follow The Daily Fungo on Twitter: @DailyFungo

Roster-palooza: Avila Heads North, One Decision Remains

Coach Clipboard.jpgIn the latest episode of the podcast, Ian and I reviewed the looming roster decisions facing Jim Leyland and the Tigers. Today we have answers.

All that’s left to decide is the 25th man. Will it be Don Kelly or Clete Thomas? They both bat from the left side, so you can cross that off the list of criteria.

Tigers Today: March 30, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Spring Training Record: 14-9-2

Today’s Game:

Tigers @ Orioles | 1:05 p.m. ET – Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, Fla. | On the Air: MLB Gameday Audio

Pitching Matchup

Dontrelle Willis (2-0, 1.20 ERA) vs. Brad Bergesen (3-0, 3.77 ERA)

Also scheduled to pitch: Ryan Perry, Jose Valverde, Fu-Te Ni and Joel Zumaya

P.S. Jeremy Bonderman will pitch for Triple-A Toledo at 1 p.m. in Lakeland.

Yesterday’s Results

The Tigers and Jays finished Monday’s game as a 2-2 tie and the story of the game was Rick Porcello. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth, setting down 16 of the first 17 hitters he faced. He allowed two runs on three hits, finishing with two strikeouts and no walks. He tossed an economical 72 pitches. Sounds like he’s ready for the season to start.

Tigers History Lesson

Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History – Updated

Tigers Today: March 29, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Spring Training Record: 14-9-1

Today’s Game:

Tigers @ Blue Jays | 1:05 p.m. ET – Dunedin Stadium, Dunedin, Fla. | On the Air: None

Pitching Matchup

Rick Porcello (1-1, 0.75 ERA) vs. Dana Eveland (0-1, 1.69 ERA)

Also scheduled to pitch: Eddie Bonine, Brad Thomas, Phil Coke and Ryan Perry

Yesterday’s Results

The Tigers game against the New York Yankees in Tampa on Sunday afternoon was cancelled due to rain in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Tigers trailing 8-0.

Tomorrow’s Game:

Tigers @ Orioles | 1:05 p.m. ET – Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, Fla. | On the Air: MLB Gameday Audio

Pitching Matchup

Dontrelle Willis (2-0, 1.20 ERA) vs. Brad Bergesen (3-0, 3.77 ERA)

Also scheduled to pitch: Ryan Perry, Jose Valverde, Fu-Te Ni and Joel Zumaya

Tigers History Lesson

Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History


*I incorrectly listed these two trades as occurring yesterday.

Tigers Today: March 28, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Spring Training Record: 14-10-1

Today’s Game: Tigers @ Yankees | 1:05 p.m. ET – Legends Field, Tampa | On the Air: 97.1 FM/1270 AM and MLB.TV

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (1-1, 7.15 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Also scheduled to pitch: Fu-Te Ni, Phil Coke, Joel Zumaya and Jose Valverde.

Yesterday’s Results

The Tigers suffered a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees yesterday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium. Nate Robertson (2-1) took the loss for Detroit after allowing two runs in five innings of work. Magglio Ordonez singled and drove in Detroit’s lone run.

Tomorrow’s Game

Tigers @ Blue Jays | 1:05 p.m. ET – Dunedin Stadium, Dunedin, Fla. | On the Air: None

Pitching Matchup

Rick Porcello (1-1, 0.75 ERA) vs. Dana Eveland (0-1, 1.69 ERA)

Also scheduled to pitch: Eddie Bonine, Brad Thomas, Phil Coke and Ryan Perry

Tigers History Lesson

Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History