Tigers Today: September 7, 2010

BallBatGrass.jpgTigers’ Record:

68-70, 3rd Place; 13 GB

Today’s Game

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

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander (14-8, 3.61 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (11-5, 4.82 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

White Sox 5 – Tigers 4 (10 innings)

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No Hitters? No-Hitter!

Thumbs Down.jpgIt seems awfully unfair for a guy to throw a no-hitter against a team that evidently has no hitters, doesn’t it?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t see any of Monday night’s bizarro-rama — Max Scherzer also had a no-hitter going into the sixth?! — because I was out at a family thing. (I think I would have put my marriage in jeopardy had I attempted to participate in Baseball Tonight Live on ESPN.com while at the restaurant.)

Nevertheless, I listened to the Rays’ announcers call the ninth inning on XM Radio on my way home. What a weird experience that was. The last time the Tigers were no-hit — June 2, 1990, by Randy Johnson — I couldn’t have listened to the Seattle feed even if I wanted to.

Whoa. Got off track there.

Anyway, what are Tigers fans supposed to do now? Their team is still — astonishingly — a mere three games out of first place at the end of July. You can’t give up on them, can you?

After all, on July 26, 2009, the eventual division champion Twins were one game under .500 and in third place just four games out.

Apple to apples? Not even close. Even though the Twins lost Justin Morneau they surged. Without Magglio Ordonez the Tigers are already showing signs of retreat.

So what if the Tigers pick up a hitter or two this week? Does Adam Dunn give them enough of a jolt — and protection for Miguel Cabrera? More than Aubrey Huff did last year. Would it help to bring Jermaine Dye back from retirement home? What about Carlos Delgado? Or Joe Crede?

Now this post has taken a turn toward the absurd. But that’s what we’re facing, isn’t it?

Even if Dave Dombrowski manages to add a few pieces will they be enough. It’s hard to believe they would be.

But he better get someone to hit the ball. Otherwise, Matt Garza‘s no-hitter might not be the last we see against the Tigers this year.

Series Preview: Mariners @ Tigers

mariners.jpgWhen I think back to all the Tigers games I went to as a kid, all I can see is the powder-blue uniform of the Seattle Mariners. If I had kept all of the ticket stubs I could verify my impression that I’ve seen them more than any other team.

Nevertheless, the Mariners are back in town. And these are not the powerhouse Mariners that opened Comerica Park on that ice-cold day in 2000. These are more like the Mariners clubs I watched as a kid: bad.

  • Current Record: 33-45, 4th place in A.L. West, 14 GB of Texas
  • Last 10: 6-4

Head to Head

  • 2010 Record: 1-4
  • 2010 at Home: 0-0
  • 2010 at Seattle: 1-4
  • All-Time Record: 191-160-1*
  • All-Time at Home: 107-67-1
  • All-Time at Comerica Park: 25-21
  • All-Time at Seattle: 84-93

*If you’re wondering about the one tie in their all-time series, read this Fungo Flashback.

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Series Preview: Tigers @ Twins

twinsLogo.jpgThe Tigers are visiting Target Field for the second time this season and, just like on May 3, they enter play just a half-game behind the Twins. Three days later Detroit was 3.5 games back. Bygones.

Among the many differences between the Tigers of May and the Tigers of late June — an overhauled rotation, a new second baseman, a new shortstop — is that today’s Tigers also must contend with a surging White Sox club. Depending how this series and the Sox’s series against the Royals pan out, the Tigers could be in first, second or third.

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Blogging a Thursday Matinee Game

The beauty of being self-employed: watching a Tigers matinee game on my office TV while working away. I don’t do this very often but he are my thoughts updated throughout the game.Jeremy Bonderman clearly has the slider going today.Wow, Timo Perez. As I’ve mentioned before, never in their history have the Tigers had a player named “Perez” on the roster. That streak ended last year when Neifi arrived. Chances are the Tigers are the first team in history to have a Timo and a Neifi on the 40-man.What’s with all the pop ups today?Timo Perez is wearing #19. It reminds me of the unfortunate Roger Cedeno years. Let’s hope Timo, if he’s in position to do so, shows up for the team photo.I’d like to see Mike Rabelo go yard. Today.I don’t think I’ve seen a major league game with as many key injuries as last night’s to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and Marcus Thames.Speaking of Cuddyer, he certainly doesn’t have quintessential clean-up hitter numbers: AVG .289 | HR 10 | RBI 56. I wonder why Justin Morneau doesn’t hit fourth…Timo looking too much like Craig Monroe.Uh-oh. Down a run. Better start hitting lest they want to face Joe Nathan.Good for Rabelo.Placido Polanco legs out a double. Guess his leg’s okay.Jeez, Sheff. You just cost the boys another run! > Bottom of the 7thHow big does that Sheffield blunder at second look now?Bonderman with his typical Metrodome implosion. Man, that’s getting old. > Top of 8thThey walk Curtis Granderson to face Polanco? Gutsy that Ron Gardenhire….freakin’ Neshek.> Bottom of 8thYou just knew that Morneau was overdue. Way overdue.Wow. Umpires always amaze me with their instant recall of the rule book.How in the world did they get out of that mess? Morneau will have to shoulder the blame for that one. > Top of 9thNo surprise Nathan is in this game. Gardenhire has to got to do whatever he can to prevent a Tigers sweep.Will the Tigers continue with Zach Miner in the bottom half or will they bring in Jose Capellan? Is it just me or is Capellan persona non grata in the Tigers’ bully?Think the Twins are eager to see Magglio Ordonez leave town?Sigh. > Bottom of 9thWhat can you say about that Zach Miner? > Top of 10thWho says the American League can’t play small-ball? Good for Brandon Inge. I think Nathan is the toughest closer out there so it’s about time the Tigers made some noise against him. Now, about that insurance run… Bottom of 10thHere comes that Todd Jones queasiness.Hey, Jones’s ERA is under five. When did that happen?Double pl— … d’oh!Nice and tidy by Todd Jones standards.Now I can eat lunch! 

The Non-Sequiturs return!

This morning I’m engaged in the highest form of multi-tasking: waiting for a conference call to begin, watching Jeremy Bonderman ease into and out of his standard first-inning high-wire act, and writing this post. Impressed? Thought not.Nevertheless, back from a long siesta here are the Non-Sequiturs:I called it. Sorta. During the pre-season podcast roundtable – the one that never “aired” due to technical issues – I asked my esteemed panel of guests to name their respective Tigers player to watch during 2007. My choice? Magglio Ordonez. I just had a gut feeling that he was poised to build off of his ALCS vibes. Has he ever. I think it’s safe to assume Ordonez will be an All Star this year whether or not he’s voted in or not. I’ll see if I can scare-up that sound bite…The Casey HR Watch. So here we are at Memorial Day weekend, an unofficial milestone in the major league baseball season, and Tigers’ first baseman Sean Casey has yet to go yard. Methinks we should start a pool for when he’ll first reach the seats. Anyone interested? Winner gets a Fungo T-shirt, a podcast T-shirt and another goodie from the Fungo bookshelf. To get things started, I say he goes yard on June 1 at Cleveland. My second guess, in case you’re wondering, Sept. 12 against Texas.Curious glove work. I just saw that Meijer is giving away Gary Sheffield gloves at Comerica Park one game this weekend. Why give away the glove of the full-time DH?Speaking of Sheff… Ernie Harwell, doing the TV call with Mario Impemba today, said that he read Sheffield’s autobiography and thinks it’s one of the best player-“written” books he’s ever read.Tigers punchless at first. We mentioned Casey’s power woes earlier. You have to believe that Dave Dombrowski has noticed the production the Tigers’ division rivals get from first base:

  • Tigers: Casey – .255 avg., 0 HR, 10 RBI, .312 OBP, .319 SLG
  • Indians: Ryan Garko – .325 avg., 6 HR, 15 RBI, .377 OBP, .516 SLG
  • Twins: Justin Morneau – .282 avg., 14 HR, 33 RBI, .358 OBP, .576 SLG
  • White Sox: Paul Konerko – .213 avg., 6 HR, 21 RBI, .308 OBP, .369 SLG
  • Royals: A platoonish arrangement of Ross Gload and Ryan Shealy (combined stats) – .254 avg., 4 HR, 28 RBI, .298 OBP, .394 SLG

Lynn Henning thinks the Tigers will target a first baseman at the trade deadline. They have to, don’t they?Feliz cumpleaños, Jose. Surely you sent warm birthday wishes to Jose Mesa on Wednesday, right? Hello? One thing’s for sure, he didn’t pitch any better at 41 than he did in the waning days of 40. Here’s the skinny on his last five outings: 12.46 ERA (4.1 IP/6 ER), 7 H, 3 BB, 2 SO. Stellar!By the by… Here’s the line for Jason Grilli over his last five appearances: 7.45 ERA (9.2 IP / 8 ER), 16 H, BB, 8 SO.That’s enough from me.What do you think?