Tigers Sweep the A’s! Rangers on tap

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Not watching the action, but hearing about it as it happens can be quite exciting. It can also be quite annoying. As a local baseball broadcaster, I missed all of this week’s action, but when I would take commercial breaks from my game, I could hear Dan Dickerson and Jim Price calling the game in the background of our radio studio. This became quite interesting, especially on Sunday. As I sat at the local baseball field calling a double header, The Tigers began play against the Oakland Athletics, looking for the sweep. Two innings later, as I am on the commercial break, I hear Dan deliver the bad news. The Tigers are down by six.  Two innings later in my error filled yet fast  paced Legion ball game, and Dickerson is back in my ear. This time just as I go to commercial break I hear a call that reminds me of the Magglio call in 2006. “A three run home run for santiago!”

I get a bit more excited now that the game I am calling is out of reach, but the Tigers are back into their ball game. Meanwhile at the local ball field, It is a struggle for the home team to get anything on the board. The visiting team’s pitching has been dominant.  The next time I took a commercial break, the Tigers were leading for good.

Little did I know, until I got home and did some reading that the 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup only went 1-12. Hitters six through nine though; 10-17. Not too shabby . Curtis Granderson hit his team leading tenth home run of the season, and the Tigers continue to roll.

A Look at the Numbers

  • Curtis Granderson is a stud- Just how good is he? Since 2007 Granderson is tied in the American League for extra base hits. Justin Morneau in Minnesota and Granderson have both tallied 160 extra base hits.  Top that sundae with this; Granderson has the most triples in baseball since 2006 with 46. 
  • Defense wins you ball games- The Tigers defense has allowed the second fewest amount of errors in the American League. This vast improvement is not only showing in the box score, It is evident in the pitching success this season. The Tigers  starting pitching has more strikeouts than any other squad in baseball. 
  • The Tigers are killing A.L. West Pitching- Yesterday, the Tigers hit .361 against the A’s, but that hasn’t been the only success the Tigers have had in the A.L. West offensively. Before yesterday, the Tigers were hitting .315 against A.L. West competition. Let’s hope that continues this week against the Rangers. 

Series on Tap:

Tuesday vs. Texas: Dontrelle Willis (0-0 7.71) vs. Brandon McCarthy (3-1 5.92)

Wednesday vs. Texas: Justin Verlander (3-2 4.29) vs. Matt Harrison (4-2 4.23)

Thursday vs. Texas: Edwin Jackson (3-2 2.42) vs. Kevin Millwood (4-3 2.93)

So far this year the Tigers are 9-3 against the A.L. West, but the Tigers are running into a hot Texas squad. The Rangers have won seven straight and sit in first place in the West. Consider two factors: 1.) The Rangers are 9-4 in series openers and 2.) Dontrelle Willis is on the mound for game one.

Rangers Notes

During the Rangers seven game win streak, it hasn’t been all about offense. The team is hitting .272 and averaging just about six runs a game. They are only hitting .217 though with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile their defense has been phenomenal. They are fielding at a .996 rate in their last seven games. Rangers closer Frank Francisco was placed on the 15 day DL on Saturday. Francisco threw a side session, and reported no discomfort and his location was there, but he said the ball didn’t jump out of his hand. The Rangers then placed him on the D.L.

Tigers Notes

After a sweep of Oakland, the Tigers will host Texas this week without their right fielder. Magglio Ordonez will miss the next two games at least after being placed on the bereavement list. Ordonez will attend to his wife, who is having surgery. It has been undecided on whether Magglio will be in the lineup for the last game of the series. The Tigers will be able to call up someone on the 40 man roster until Ordonez returns. They will wait to until Tuesday to make that decision. Josh Anderson and Ryan Raburn will most likely fill in for Ordonez.

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Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman had a successful start at class A West Michigan. Bonderman went seven strong, throwing over ninety pitches. His next scheduled rehab start will be for AAA Toledo on Thursday. Manager Jim Leyland is still content with not rushing Bonderman to the majors, but he does like seeing him work with pitching coach Rick Knapp at home.

"“It works out well right now, because we’re at home,” Leyland said. “So he can do his sideline [work] with Rick, and do some more strength work with [head athletic trainer] Kevin [Rand] and [assistant athletic trainer Steve] Carter and Javair. So that’s a bonus right now. It was great to see him on the bench the other night and it’s great to see his face.”"

Bonderman said on Friday that he is one or two starts away from being ready for the starting rotation. The Tigers still do not have any timetable set.