The Wednesday Breakfast

Good Wednesday morning. It’s the last day of August and with a win this afternoon the Tigers will finish the month at 18-10. They were 13-13 in July.

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Leading Off: Ramon Santiago showed that sneaky power we’ve heard so much about (or at least saw a lot on Twitter last night), ending a taut, 1-1 game in dramatic fashion. Doug Fister was brilliant again and the Tigers maintained their five-game lead over the White Sox.

Around the Central: The White Sox downed the Twins 8-6, and the Indians beat the A’s 6-2.

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The Tigers are in first place, 5 games ahead of the White Sox, 5.5 ahead of the Indians.

Today’s Game: Rick Porcello (12-8, 5.01 ERA) vs. RHP Felipe Paulino (2-6, 3.83 ERA) | 1:05 p.m. – FSD/1270 AM and 97.1 FM

Notes on Porcello

Lifetimes against the Royals Porcello’s 4-2 with a 4.65 ERA … He’s limited opponents to a .227 batting average the first time through the batting order this season. Opponents are hitting .339 beginning with the second time through the order … He’s 1-2 with a 7.27 ERA (26.0IP/21ER) in five starts during the month … According to STATS, LLC, Porcello’s 36 wins are fourth-most by a Tigers pitcher prior to turning 23 since at least 1919. Denny McLain posted 42 wins for the Tigers prior to turning 23, while Hal Newhouser collected 38 wins and Art Houtteman registered 37 wins.

Notes on Paulino

Paulino has made a pair of starts in his career against the Tigers, but tonight will be his debut at Comerica Park … he’s 1-0 career vs. the Bengals with a solid 2.63 ERA with two walks and 16 strikeouts … he pitched three and a half weeks ago against Detroit at Kauffman Stadium on August 5, taking a no decision in a contest the Royals would lose, 4-3, in 10 innings … His first career outing against Detroit came in an Astros uniform on June 27, 2009 and resulted in an 8-1 win … he’s 1-0 career vs. the Bengals with a solid 2.63 ERA with two walks and 16 strikeouts.

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Phil Coke enters today’s game having not allowed a run over his last 13 outings dating back to August 2, striking out 20 batters in 12 scoreless innings. He has limited opponents to a .182 batting average during that stretch.

Happy 43rd Birthday to Hideo Nomo; Happy 51st Morris Madden, Happy 59th to Hamtramck native Bill Nahorodny and a Happy 64th to Boots Day, who was a coach on Les Moss‘s 1979 Tigers.

And you think Magglio looks old. On this date in 1906, the injury-riddled Tigers call 46-year-old Sam Thompson out of retirement; he drives in two runs in a 5-1 win over the Browns. Thompson, who last played in the majors in 1898, appears in eight games and bats .226.

On this date in 1937, rookie Rudy York sets a new record for home runs in a month, hitting his 17th and 18th to eclipse Babe Ruth’s mark set in September 1927. He knocks in seven runs against Pete Appleton, as the Tigers beat Washington 12-3. Six years later, York would hit 17 in August.

On Aug. 31, 1988, the Tigers try for pennant insurance: Ted Power from Kansas City and Fred Lynn from Baltimore for players to be named later.

How do you think Will Rhymes feels about returning to the Arizona Fall League in October? The Tigers’ Opening Day second baseman will joing five other Tigers players on the Salt River Rafters: righthanded pitcher Tyler Stohr, lefthanded pitchers Casey Crosby and Matt Hoffman, catcher Rob Brantly and Danny Worth.

Finally, Happy 66th Birthday to Van Morrison.

Friday Night Morsels

breadcrumbs.jpgThis week is the big Barrett-Jackson classic car auction here in Scottsdale and while I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a car guy, I find myself riveted to the coverage. Every year I watch and ask the same questions about the buyers: Who are these people and where do they get their money?

But anyway …

  • On this date in 1993, Tigers Hall of Fame second baseman Charlie Gehringer died at the age of 89 in Bloomfield Hills, one month after suffering a stroke. During a 19-year career in Detroit, the Mechanical Man posted a .320 batting average with 184 home runs and 1427 RBI. In 1937, he led the American League with a .371 average. Check out Gehringer’s Hall of Fame page here.

  • On this date in 2000, the Tigers signed free agent pitcher Hideo Nomo to a one-year contract. Nomo’s agent had declined a multi-year contract with the Brewers, expecting more on the open market. Shrewd.

  • Yesterday former Tigers outfielder Gus Zernial passed away at age 87. Jay Jaffe at FutilityInfielder.com shares this tidbit about the man nicknamed “Ozark Ike”:

    For a long time Zernial held the distinction of hitting the most homers for a player whose last name ends in the letter Z with 237, but Todd Zeile passed him in 2003 while playing for the Yankees, hitting a homer off the Red Sox Bruce Chen. In 1951, Zernial and Al Zarilla did team up to form the first outfield with two players with the last name starting with Z, so there’s still that.

    Also, he’s one of six players in Tigers history with a last name beginning with Z.

Finally, Happy 30th Birthday to Wil Ledezma, the winning pitcher of the 2006 pennant-clinching game. Here’s a little nugget that I uncovered today about Ledezma:

[He] holds one very obscure all-time record: the most consecutive starts of six innings or fewer: … At the end of the 2006 season, he had made 31 straight starts with six or fewer innings. The previous record had been 28, by Scott Elarton.

Who knew?

Enjoy your weekend.

Tigers Today: August 31, 2010

ViewFromOutfield.jpgTigers’ Record:

65-66, 3rd Place; 10 GB

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Twins | 8:10 p.m. ET – Target Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Armando Galarraga (4-5, 4.04 ERA) vs. Brian Duensing (7-2, 2.19 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Off Day

Continue reading “Tigers Today: August 31, 2010”

It Pays to Read the Agate Type

I read the Transactions in the sports page every day. Why? Because you might not otherwise uncover succulent tidbits such as two former Tigers moving a step closer to a big-league job, or at least one in the minors.

On Friday the Royals signed Hideo Nomo to a minor-league pact. In case you’ve forgotten, Nomo went 8-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 190 innings pitched in his one season in Detroit (2002). Notably, he gave up about a hit an inning (191) but struck out 181. He last pitched in the bigs during the 2005 season — where else? — in Tampa Bay.

Also on Friday a real blast from the past out of Cincinnati: the Reds signed LHP Adam Pettyjohn to a minor-league deal. Pettyjohn appeared in 16 games for the 2001 Tigers (nine starts) and compiled a 1-6 record and a 5.82 ERA in 65 innings. From Wikipedia:

In 2002, Pettyjohn didn’t play any professional baseball because he had to undergo a colectomy due to ulcerative colitis. In 2003, he played in the Tigers organization. He was released by the Tigers on March 28, 2003.

It sure would be nice to see him latch on.