Game 80: Tigers at Pirates

PREGAME: If the Tigers win tonight, they will match the pace of the 1984 Tigers. It would also give them their first 20 win month since 1979. The matchup certainly looks favorable with Kenny Rogers taking of Kip Wells.

Wells is making just his 3rd start of the season after coming back from surgery to repair an artery in his shoulder. He was knocked around for 5 hits as he stuggled to find the plate (5 walks, no strikeouts) in his last outing which lasted only 3 1/3 innings.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME
You know things are going well when your team wins, and you are ready to criticize them. The offense was active early, which was fortunate because Kenny Rogers was getting hit hard. The early 7-2 lead was chipped away throughout the game. Meanwhile, the Tigers offense went to sleep. They were swinging early and often in the later innings, and never really threatened after the 5th inning. And then there were a couple of errors by Shelton.

But there were also a lot of little things to like:

  • Roman Colon was very good in relief. He faced 6 hitters, and allowed only a single while fanning 2
  • I haven’t been a big fan of the Alexis Gomez-as-a-defensive-replacement-for-Thames strategy, but I’m pretty sure Thames wouldn’t have reached that ball in the 9th
  • Curtis Granderson has been very clutch with the bat this season, tonight he was clutch with the glove.
  • Todd Jones had another nice outing. It was more interesting than you’d hope for, but it wasn’t his doing. He should also receive credit for helping to induce that bunt pop-out.

6 Comments

  1. Joey C.

    June 30, 2006 at 8:54 pm

    Granderson with the diving catch!

    The thing is, as soon as I saw that thing hammered to center, I fully expected Granderson to make the play. It’s become that routine. It’s like having Chester out there all over again.

  2. Jeff M

    June 30, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Great catch. ESPN called it the #1 web gem tonight.

  3. Jason

    June 30, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    I am no fan of Todd Jones, but I noticed he really bore down against Casey and Bay – two professional hitters – in the 9th. He threw his sinking fastball at 93-94, when he’s usually in the 89-91 range.

    Gomez isn’t a pennant-quality 4th outfielder, but he did his part to help the Tigers notch another W.

  4. Steve

    July 1, 2006 at 6:58 am

    I am no Todd Jones fan either, but after getting beat around for a few games he seems to be righting the ship.

    Some interesting things coming up:
    What will really happen if Big D makes it back? Will he DH? Hes not a reliable fielder other than 1st. Will that alone push Big Red along.

    Could we for a 2-3 week period have Z start and Verlander hang in the pen?

    Does DD sit tight or make a move for a bat. Who could it be.

    And we still have the rest of the season to watch Tiger baseball. Its been a really great first half, fun to see that they find a way to win when they are down or have guys out.

    How a bout a hand for Billfer hosting and posting the site. The minor league stuff take a lot of time to compile and we get to read a snap shot every day.

    Peace to all you Tiger fans on the 4th weekend. We live in the best country, have great freedom and lives to enjoy. May God continue to bless our country.

    Steve

  5. Andrew

    July 1, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    I, too, say “here-here” to Bilfer for all the work he does on this excellent Tiger site. I check it out every weekday morning looking for everyone’s insight on the previous night’s game.

    (Building on Steve’s post) Some more questions for the second half of this most enjoyable season so far –

    Will Todd Jones be more “coast” and less “roller” in the second half?

    Will Dmitri be a plus to the team or an unneeded distraction? Can his bat be a factor?

    Will DD make a big (or any) trade in July for that left-handed bat?

    Can Verlander continue pitching at his current rate? Will Leyland make some moves to rest him? (6 man rotation? Call up Sanchez?)

    Has this been fun so far or what? 🙂 F-U-N Fun! Definitely!

  6. Nate

    July 1, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    Yep. We’re coming up on the interresting part of the season. All the questions asked by Steve and Andrew we’ll get to see the answers too.

    The only one I’m even gonna attempt to predict right now is resting Verlander. I think he will get his rest, but I dont see a Sanchez call up as likely.

    Miner has been pitching awsome and Maroth might be back later this year. Plus we’ve got 2 men in the pen who can fill in as starters with Colon, Ledezma. Grilli could arguably fill the spot too. I’d expect to see Tata or Bobby Seay up again before Sanchez.

    Still, its going to be exciting. 4 more series with the White Sox, and a couple yet with the Twins who’ve finially found a spark. Plus rematches whith the heavy hitters from the east.