The Saturday Breakfast: Al’s Okay, Penny’s Good Enough and Happy Birthday to “Schneider”

Good Saturday morning. Thank goodness Al Alburquerque is going to be okay after a batting practice scare yesterday. The Tigers placed Alburquerque on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion effective August 12 and recalled Ryan Perry from Toledo. Perry appeared in 20 games with the Mud Hens, posting a 3-0 record, 3.03 ERA, seven saves and 30 strikeouts.

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Leading Off: The Tigers won their seventh-straight one-run game, topping the Orioles 5-4 [highlights here]. Andy Dirks went 4 for 4 and knocked in the winning run and Brad Penny was good enough for his eighth win … The victory marked the seventh straight game the club has won by one run. According to STATS LLC, Detroit’s seven straight wins by one run matches a club record, equaling the mark established by the 1944 club. The 1944 Tigers won seven straight such games July 18-29 … In other news, the Tigers transferred the option of pitcher Lester Oliveros from Triple A Toledo to Double A Erie on Friday.

Around the Central: The Indians beat the Twins 3-2 in Cleveland and the Royals handed the White Sox their seventh-straight home loss, 5-1.

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The Tigers are in first place, three games ahead of the Indians.

Today’s Game: Tigers @ Orioles: Max Scherzer (11-7, 4.33 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (5-15, 4.38 ERA) | 7:05 p.m. – FSD/1270 AM and 97.1 FM

Scherzer enters his start this evening at Baltimore looking for his 12th win of the season. With a win tonight, he would equal his career-high win total established with the Tigers during the 2011 season.

His career mark against Baltimore 1-1, 3.46 ERA. This will be the first start of his career at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

With a win tonight, he would join Justin Verlander to become the first pair of Tigers pitchers with 12-or-more wins in the club’s first 119 games of the season since Jeff Robinson and Frank Tanana did so in the first 119 games of 1988.

One hundred years ago today, in a move that only Carlos Zambrano could appreciate, Ty Cobb, apparently believing the Tigers can no longer win the pennant race, begins a vacation.

On this date in 2007, Placido Polanco played his 144th consecutive game at second base without an error. This broke Luis Castillo’s record, set earlier that season. The two streaks overlapped for many months. The Tigers still lose, 7-2, dropping them to eight wins in their past 25 games and a tie for first place with the Indians.

Happy Birthday to Roman Colon, 32, and Jarrod Washburn, 37.

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More great work this week by Paul Swaney and his team at StadiumJourney.com. The spotlight turns to Jerry Uht Park, home of the Erie SeaWolves, the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate. Here’s a taste of Joshua Guiher‘s review:

Jerry Uht Park … was originally built in 1995 at a cost of $8.7 million. In 2006, the park underwent a $4 million upgrade that added a nice scoreboard, a very large picnic area and a second level of seating among other things.

All About Al. In his ESPN.com blog [$], Jim Bowden lists the under-the-radar players on each American League club. His pick for the Tigers is Alburquerque.

Alburquerque has been an important part of the first-place Tigers’ bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander has an impressive 2.29 ERA with 55 strikeouts and just 18 hits against him in 35 1/3 innings pitched. His fastball plays in the 93-96 mph range, and he has a hard, downward, biting slider that misses bats.

The Phighting Phifty-one-year-old Tony Phillips. Choose your own bizarre angle to this story (with video!), I’ll go with the ‘Tony Phillips is still playing?!‘ perspective.

Did you know that Wilson Betemit is hitting .360 since joining the Tigers last month? With as little as he’s played on this road trip, I’d have guessed it was about 200 points less.

Finally, a Happy 49th Birthday to “Mad Men” star John Slattery. And we can’t forget to mention the 82nd birthday of actor Pat Harrington who played Schneider in the unwatchable 1970s sitcom “One Day at a Time.”

Tigers Today: July 21, 2010

BallTherapy.jpgTigers’ Record:

48-44, 2nd place; 3.5 GB Chicago

Today’s Game

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

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (6-7, 4.74 ERA) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (9-5, 3.42 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Rangers 8 – Tigers 0

Continue reading “Tigers Today: July 21, 2010”

Tigers Today: April 25, 2010

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Tigers’ Record: 10-8, 2nd place; 3 GB Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Rangers | 3:05 p.m. ET – Rangers Ballpark in Arlington | On the air: FSD/1270 AM & 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Rick Porcello (1-1, 6.46 ERA) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (2-0, 3.12 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 8 – Rangers 4

Continue reading “Tigers Today: April 25, 2010”

Non-Sequiturs: Winter Caravan Memories

Tigers thoughts while listening to a pounding rain:
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  • I attended the Tigers Winter Caravan one time, in 1991 when I was living in Kalamazoo and had some connections with the local paper. Back then, only the media was invited. Or so I thought. I walked into a Kalamazoo hotel and saw dozens of fans asking for autographs from the players and Sparky Anderson.

    If memory serves me, Cecil Fielder was there. Recently signed Tony Bernazard was too. This I remember because I asked Sparky during the Q&A how he’d work Bernazard into the lineup without Tony Phillips losing at bats. The answer was classic Sparky and basically amounted to: “I have no idea but Tony is Tony and we’ll be all right.” Uh, yeah. (Bernazard was released in April after playing in just six games and hitting .167).

    The real story that winter was the recent firing of Ernie Harwell and, lo and behold, new Tigers President Bo Schembechler was on hand to answer questions about it. As you might guess, Bo was not happy with the first round of reporters’ questions being about Ernie and not the team. After that, he said he wouldn’t answer other questions on the topic and though people tried, he wouldn’t bite — other than to bite their head off for even asking.

    It was a great experience. If you get an opportunity to attend a Winter Caravan event, do it.

    Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: Winter Caravan Memories”

Friday Fungoes

Happy 33rd Birthday to Jacque Jones. Let’s hope he’s recuperating nicely from his collision with an unruly guard rail on Thursday.

• Speaking of birthdays, Feliz Cumpleaños to former Tigers Tony Phillips (49) and Larry Pashnick (52).
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• The Tigers moved up seven slots on ESPN.com’s Baseball Power Rankings this week: from 27 to 20.

• On today’s Baseball Today podcast, another ESPN deal, co-host Eric Karabell spoke about how bad the Giants were. He said that only one player on the Giants would even be able to make the Tigers roster: Aaron Rowand. “You could put Rowand in center and move Curtis Granderson in left.” Hmm…

• Lately I’ve been wondering about the 30-year contract between the Tigers and Comerica Bank for the naming rights to the Tigers’ home ballpark. With Comerica moving to Dallas, does it make sense to have a Texas company on the marquee? I’m sure this deal will go the distance, but personally, I’d prefer to see Faygo Field.

• Looking for something to do this weekend in Detroit? The Detroit chapter of SABR is presenting a symposium on race and integration at the major league level, with a focus on Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, the final teams to integrate in the late 1950s. Events will be held Saturday and Sunday, including a bus tour of historic sites, a Sunday brunch at the Marriott Hotel, and two panel discussions featuring notable figures representing the Tigers and Red Sox.

Among the scheduled participants are keynote speaker Deacon Jones, and former Tiger greats Willie Horton and Gates Brown. For more info visit SABR-Detroit Online.

• Finally, how are you feeling about Kenny Rogers these days? SportingGurus.com think he’s through.