A look back at what transpired over the 9 times that these 2 teams hooked up in 2006:
Game 1: April 18th – Oakland 4, Detroit 3
This game came one day after Leyland’s blow-up following the last game of the team’s inaugural homestand. The Tigers came out and played hard and Justin Verlander was fairly effective. At least effective enough for Leyland to leave im in for 121 pitches. However 2 Nick Swisher homers and 2 Carlos Guillen errors proved to be the difference. The Tigers record went to 7-7 and it would be the last day they touched .500.
Game 2: April 19th – Detroit 11, Oakland 4
Kenny Rogers loves pitching in Oakland and held the A’s to 3 hits. Meanwhile the Tigers led by 4 hits from Placido Polanco knocked Joe Blanton out in the 5th inning.
Game 3: April 20th – Detroit 4, Oakland 3
If you can trace the success of a season to one game in particular, I’d pick this to be the game that propelled the Tigers. Jeremy Bonderman allowed 3 runs in the first inning, but then matched Barry Zito pitch for pitch through the next 6 innings. With Huston Street unavailable Justin Duchschere was called into to protect a 3-1 lead. The Tigers rallied for 3 runs in the 9th inning. The comeback featured a 15 pitch at-bat by Brandon Inge (the Tigers got a break on a blown check-swing call) that resulted in a walk to load the bases. A Curtis Granderson walk forced home the winning run. Fernando Rodney loaded the bases in the bottom half, but managed to escape with the Tigers first late inning heroic victory.
Game 4: July 3rd – Oakland 5, Detroit 3
Nate Robertson and Joe Blanton started in a game which switched leads 4 times. Jay Payton had the final and decisive blow, a 3-run homer in the 6th inning.
Game 5: July 4th – Oakland 2, Detroit 1
This game took 10 innings before all 3 runs crossed the plate. Justin Verlander and Dan Haren allowed 3 and 4 hits respectively in 7 inning starts. Jay Payton once again was the hero knocking in both runs including the game winner in the bottom of the 10th.
Game 6: July 5th – Detroit 10, Oakland 4
The Tigers turned to Kenny Rogers got avoid the sweep on get-away day. Rogers wasn’t perfect, but definitely good enough to make 10 runs stand up. Craig Monroe and Brnadon Inge went deep while Pudge Rodriguez picked up 3 hits. Kirk Saarloos was knocked out in the 5th inning. Roman Colon went 3 1/3 without allowing a run to pick up the save.
Game 7: July 21st – Detroit 7, Oakland 4
This game was notable in that it marked the return of Dmitri Young to the Tigers roster. Detroit was held scoreless by Danny Haren until the 4th inning when they notched 3 runs, and added 3 more in the 5th. Justin Verlander allowed 1 urn over 6 innings before Roman Colon started to make things interesting in the 9th.
Game 8: July 22nd – Oakland 9, Detroit 5
Things looked great for the Tigers in the first when they plated 5 runs off of Joe Blanton. Unfortunately for Detroit, Zach Miner gave all 5 back in the next inning. Oakland went on to plate 4 more runs while Detroit was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Game 9: July 23rd – Detroit 8, Oakland 4
The Tigers learned that 5 runs in the first didn’t guarantee victory the day before. They came back and scored 6 in the first in this game. Esteban Loaiza was chased after 3 innings and all 8 runs. The A’s tried to chip away off of Nate Robertson, but never got close. Joel Zumaya pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief. Carlos Guillen went 3 for 3 with a walk and was a homer short of the cylce.
Powered by the Baseball Musings Day by Day Database…
Justin Verlander easily had the most success against the A’s among Tiger starters. In 3 starts he allowed only 6 runs over 20 innings while fanning 16. Kenny Rogers numbers were rather pedestrian on the whole, but he did pick up 2 wins. Nate Robertson, who rest wise would be the game 1 starter, had the least success with an ERA in excess of 5. Oddly enough, Todd Jones has not faced the A’s this year.
A good deal of the Tigers success against the A’s came at the hands of Joe Blanton who won’t be starting in the ALCS. The Tigers did have some success against Danny Haren and Esteban Loaiza while struggling against Barry Zito. Out of the pen the Tigers managed 1 baserunner and 7 K’s over 4 innings of Huston Street work.
Curtis Granderson, Placio Polanco, and Carlos Guillen did the bulk of the damage against the A’s this season. If Granderson and Polanco can carry it over into the postseason, there could be many RBI opporunitites for Sean Casey and Magglio Ordonez. Marcus Thames struggled going 1 for 26.
Nick Swisher, Milton Bradley, and Bobby Kielty were the trio who had the most success against the Tigers this year. Frank Thomas was held in check, but that was before he turned into an MVP candidate.