Greetings, salutations, and happy Independence weekend fellow Tiger fans! Today I begin a (hopefully) weekly series chronicling the exploits of our boys of summer.
The last week was not particularly kind to the Tigers, who dropped two series against two very beatable teams.
- Friday @Houston: Joel Zumaya recorded his second loss of the year in relief. (L, 5-4)
- Saturday @Houston: Alfredo Figaro got knocked around in his second major league start. (L, 8-1)
- Sunday @Houston: Brandon Inge saved the day with a ninth inning two-out-two-run blast. (W, 4-3)
- Monday @Oakland: The Detroit bats were silent in the series opener. (L, 7-1)
- Tuesday @Oakland: Armando Galarraga earned his second win in as many tries. (W, 5-3)
- Wednesday @Oakland: The Detroit bats were silent, again, in the series finale. (L, 5-1)
That makes the Tigers starting pitchers 1-3 on the week, but the hitters can’t escape blame, the Motor City Kitties were outscored 31-16.
On the bright side, Armando Galarraga has started to give the boys a chance to win. Wins have come in each of the last three games that Armando has toed the slab.
Minnesota, and the dreaded baggie dome, is the next stop on the Tiger tour. The Twinkies currently sit three games back of Detroit in the Central Division (tied with Chicago), but hold a 4-1 season series lead against the Olde English D (3-0 within the friendly confines of the H.H.H Metrodome).
This is exactly the type of series that Detroit has not been successful in over the past few seasons and it is imperative for Detroit to have a good showing this weekend.
- Friday @Minnesota: Luke French (0-0, 0.00) vs. Kevin Slowey(10-3, 4.41)
- Saturday @Minnesota: Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.49) vs. Francisco Liriano (4-8, 5.62)
- Sunday @Minnesota: Rick Porcello (8-5, 3.90) vs. Nick Blackburn(6-4, 3.10)
The Twins' pitchers usually pound the strike zone, so hopefully the Detroit hitters will go up to the plate looking to swing. This has all the make-up of a great July series (and plus, my relatives from Minneapolis are coming to town).
Finally, the Tigers will return home after what seemed like a long road trip. Hasn’t it seemed like the Tigers have been on the road for the entire first half?
Kansas City has cooled off considerably since a relatively quick jump in April, they sit 10 back of Detroit. Zack Grienke, with an ERA below two, remains the class of the Royals staff and the class of the American League. Zack has dominated Tigers hitters this year going 2-0 (in two starts) with only one earned run allowed. He’s gone nine innings on both occasions.
- Monday vs. Kansas City: Armando Galarraga (5-7, 5.34) vs. Gil Meche (4-8, 4.20)
- Tuesday vs. Kansas City: Justin Verlander (8-4, 3.54) vs. Bruce Chen (0-2, 4.38)
- Wednesday vs. Kansas City: Luke French (0-0, 0.00) vs. Zack Grienke (10-3, 1.95)
The Tigers have usually been able to feast on the weaker opponents. Detroit can use this series to extend a winning streak or stop the bleeding, depending on what happens in Minnesota.
Here’s what others are saying about the Tigers right now.
- Rudy Dominik and Johnny Lawrence discuss Magglio Ordonez’s place in the Tigers' Lineup.
- Austin Drake tosses out some trade deadline options for the Tigers to grab.
- Magglio’s hair is still up for auction, benefiting a cancer support organization.
- Jason Beck discusses July roster questions.
- Tom Gage thinks Detroit could end up with four all-stars.
- John Lowe breaks down the Tigers' daunting challenge.