July 9, 1970: The Grand Slam Single

From today’s installment of the BR Bullpen on Baseball-Reference.com:

Dalton Jones of the Tigers loses a grand slam against the Red Sox when he passes teammate Don Wert on the basepaths. Jones pinch hits for Jim Price and belts a 2-2 pitch from Vicente Romo into the right field upper deck for an apparent grand slam. However, he passes Wert between first and second and is called out, ending up with a three-RBI single.

Here’s the boxscore from that game, a 3-2 Red Sox win.

Video: Today in Tigers History: McLain Wins #31, Surrenders Mantle’s #535

On this date in 1968, Denny McLain earned his 31st win and along the way, grooved nothing but heat* to Mickey Mantle, helping The Mick hit his 535th career homer.

Five years ago, in a nod to the 40th anniversary of that 31-win season, The New York Daily News caught up with McLain:

Who has only two of his own teeth, could pass for a sumo wrestler and yet still eats a pack of Twinkies most every day?

Turns out that Dennis Dale McLain is still pitching after all these years. It’s just not fastballs and curves anymore, and not with his signature leg kick.

“I am who I am,” McLain says. “I’m not going to change after 64 years. I get up every day and do Denny.”

On that night 45 years go, before just 9,063 at Tiger Stadium, McLain went the distance in the Tigers’ 6-2 win – the club’s 99th of the season.

Here’s Mantle telling his side of the story:

*From Baseball-Reference: McLain allegedly calls catcher Jim Price** out and tells him to inform Mantle he’s throwing the slugger nothing but fastballs. The home run gives Mantle undisputed hold of third place on the all-time home run list. Mantle tips his cap to McLain as he rounds third base. Joe Pepitone, the next
batter, signals where he would like the ball, and McLain dusts him. The Tigers win the game, 6-2, the 12th straight complete game for the Tigers staff.

**Price went 0 for 4.

 

Tigers Today: September 1, 2010

DaveRucker.jpgTigers’ Record:

65-67, 3rd Place; 11 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

Max Scherzer (10-9, 3.60 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (12-7, 3.41 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Twins 4 – Tigers 3

Continue reading “Tigers Today: September 1, 2010”

Video: George Kell Interviews ’68 Pennant Winners (Part 2 of 3)

Here’s the second installment, starting with George Kell’s interview with Al Kaline, who scored the pennant-winning run.

Ten years later, Kell and Kaline would be paired up in the Tigers’ TV booth. Later, Kell and sidekick Larry Osterman talk to Dick Tracewski and Jim Price.

Here’s part one.

Tigers Today: July 9, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpgTigers’ Record:

46-37, first place; 1/2-game ahead of White Sox

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Twins | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander (10-5, 3.85 ERA) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (6-6, 3.32 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Off Day

Continue reading “Tigers Today: July 9, 2010”

D-Train DFA’d: The D Stands for Disappointing

Wow.

So that’s how the Dontrelle Willis Era ends in Detroit? With him being designated for assignment? Who thought he’d be the Tigers’ version of Brian Glynn*?
Dontrelle Willis.jpg

In my post from Saturday in which a I speculated about the fallout from Max Scherzer‘s recall, an anonymous commenter was stunned — to the point of calling me a dufus! — that I didn’t include Dontrelle in the list of possible roster moves. I suppose that’s fair.

But here are the two reasons why I thought the Tigers would stick with Willis come hell or high water:

Continue reading “D-Train DFA’d: The D Stands for Disappointing”

Three for Thursday: ’06 All Over Again

3 fingers.jpgLooking at the scene today at Comerica Park — brilliant blue skies, a sun-drenched field — I can’t help but think back to three years ago today when the Tigers choked on a golden opportunity to win a division title. History repeating itself?

  1. Dan Gladden made an interesting point on the pre-game interview with Jim Price Wednesday evening. The Twins don’t have a Latin coach on their big-league staff and Orlando Cabrera has helped calm some of the club’s Latin players. I wonder what impact the Tigers’ infield coach Rafael Belliard has had on Miguel Cabrera, Ramon Santiago, et al? We know he worked wonders with Cabrera’s defensive work at first base. How much did the language thing play into it?

  2. The last Tigers’ division champion relied on contributions from several rookies including Scott Lusader, Jim Walewander, Matt Nokes and Mike Henneman. This year’s club has Rick Porcello, Alex Avila and Ryan Perry. At this point, 1987 wins on contributors and championships. For now.

  3. From the moment I saw the Tigers’ 2009 schedule, I didn’t like them playing the White Sox to end the season under any circumstances. Now the Tigers have to win two of three if they want to guarantee a championship. The weekend starts by facing Jake Peavy on Friday night, and then the Tigers are counting on Alfredo Figaro on Saturday? Yeah, things are certainly aligning nicely for Detroit.

Finally, Happy 63rd Birthday, 1968 Tiger Jon Warden.