A Look Back on Tigers’ Last 10-Game Winning Streak (Actually 11)

The Tigers tonight notched the club’s longest winning streak since 1968 when the eventual World Series champs won 11 straight. Thanks to the wonder that is Baseball-Reference.com, here’s a game-by-game look at that ’68 string.

Tigers Today: May 14, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Record: 20-15, 2nd place; 2.5 GB of Minnesota

Today’s Game

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

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (1-3, 6.81 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (3-3, 3.82 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 6 – Yankees 0

Tigers History Lesson

Today’s Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History

  • 1920Walter Johnson wins his 300th game in the Senators’ 9-8 victory over the Tigers.
  • 1986Joe Sparma, a pitcher on the 1968 Tigers, died at 44.
  • 1994 — The Indians’ Paul Shuey struck out four Tigers batters in the ninth inning of the Tribe’s 9-3 win.
  • 1996 — The Tigers acquired RHP John Farrell from the Indians for RHP Greg Granger.

  • 1973 — The Tigers acquired C Bob Didier from the Braves for C Gene Lamont.

Three for Thursday: Verlander, Branyan and Birthdays

FireballXSmall.jpgWho needs a groundhog? Two weeks until pitchers and catchers arrive in Lakeland for Spring Training.

  1. I never doubted for a minute that the Tigers would sign Justin Verlander to a long-term contact, did you? Given the questionable extensions of recent years — Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson to name two — the Tigers were due for a wise contractual decision.
  2. Last year at the trading deadline I thought the Tigers might make a move for the Mariners’ Russell Branyan. Instead they went after Aubrey Huff. Bygones. Today, Branyan is still looking for work. Should the Tigers be interested? Not at the three years, $20 million he had in mind, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. ESPN Rumor Central spells out the risks of Branyan for any team:

    Branyan hit 22 homers and posted a .956 OPS before the All-Star break last season, but his OPS dipped to .688 after the break and he was forced to shut it down in late August with a herniated disc in his back.

    So, the question then is, “Is Branyan essentially Carlos Guillen?” Probably.

  3. Happy Birthday today to: Stan Papi (59), Rusty Kuntz (55), Chris Bando (54) and the late Joe Sparma. If you want to hear an interview I did with Rusty Kuntz, you can find it here.

August 2 in Tigers History: How the Tigers Have Celebrated My Birthday

BaseballCandlesXSmall.jpgI thought it was my birthday gift from the Indians — Carl Pavano starting? That’s gotta be a win waiting to happen, no? No. Not against this mirage of a first-place club.

Some birthday for me. Actually, yesterday was a fine day and I never let the Tigers’ performance impact my birthday mood.

Because there’s absolutely nothing positive to discuss about the Tigers’ finale against the Tribe, humor me as I walk through notable Tigers games and events that happened on Aug. 2 since the year I was born.

  • Overall, the Tigers are 20 and 15 on my birthday; in seven years they didn’t play, including during the 1981 strike.

  • The Tigers beat the Twins 6-5 at Metropolitan Stadium on the day I was born in 1968. Don McMahon got the win in relief of Joe Sparma. Bill Freehan drove in three runs while the Twins’ Rod Carew went 3 for 4, of course.

  • On Aug. 2, 1972, the Tigers purchases the contract of P Woodie Fryman from the Phillies. Two days later, they purchased C Duke Sims‘s contract from the Dodgers. Fryman, just 4-10 for Philadelphia, goes 10-3 for Detroit, while Sims hits .316 for the Tigers in 38 games.

  • In 1975, at Fenway Park the game-time temperature was 103 degrees and the Tigers wilted under the heat of Rick Wise and the Red Sox and lost 7-2.

  • In 1984, I was there when Jack Morris out dueled Bert Blyleven as the Tigers beat the Indians 2-1.

  • On Aug. 2, 1985, Frank Tanana allowed one hit, a homer by Ben Oglivie in the 5th, and struck out eight on his way to beating the Brewers, 4-1.

  • In 1990, Yankees rookie Kevin Maas hits his 10th home run in just 77 at bats, the fastest any player has ever reached that mark. Big deal. The Tigers won 6-5 in 11 innings.

Thanks for taking the trip down memory lane with me. Assuming you’re still there. Hello…?