Another Wild One for the Tigers

Blake VandeBunteContributor IJuly 8, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 1: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during action against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game on July 1, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Last night was yet another example of how frustrating the game of baseball can be.

I was more than happy to see a soft throwing south paw on the hill for KC, something we seem to feast on. 

Call me crazy, I just assumed we would go out there and knock Bruce Chen out of the game quickly. I mean really, who is Bruce Chen?

After Miguel Cabrera clubbed his bottom of the first solo shot off Chen, I thought perhaps it was on. Thames struck out, though, and JV was in for his worst inning of the night. 

With two on, two outs, and a 2-2 count, interference was called, so Callaspo was awarded first base.

That b/s call loaded the bases for David DeJesus, who angered me and all of Detroit with a bases-clearing double.

I’m not sure how or why one swing of the bat can deflate a person so much, but it sure did. Our inability to score runs lately combined with our ability to make mediocre pitching look Cy Young-worthy had me concerned.

Justin Verlander's pitch count was now near 220 (alright, a tiny bit of sarcasm but it was very high and things were looking bad) in just the second, and I had a BAD feeling.

Placido Polanco responded by hitting a two-run shot to tie it up in the third. JV then found his groove and the offense decided their holiday vacation was over in the fifth inning.

With two outs, four runs were scored—that in itself made my night.

As it seems, it's nearly impossible for us to drive in a run with a runner on third and less than two outs.

JV came back out in the sixth, knocking on the door of 100 pitches, and gave up a lead-off home run. Inge's error then put another run on.

Verlander decided to let us all get a little more worried as he gave another single up to Guillen before retiring the next three in order.

Polanco drove in an insurance run and the bullpen decided to return to form and close out the game.

The 8-5 win was critical as we were 3-7 in our last 10. Minnesota lost and Chicago..well they didn’t quite get the memo to lose, I guess.




PLACIDO POLANCO went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, and four RBI, raising his average from .256 to .262 with the night.

While I will be the first to admit that we are struggling (much in part to underachievers like him), you just know he will turn it up sooner or later. You just hope that this continues, as Poly is a critical piece to the success of our lineup.


MARCUS THAMES hit his third home run in four games last night. In those four games, Thames is 5-for-16, with 3 HR, 6 RBI, and 4 R. We all know that his power comes in bunches and he is very streaky. Lets hope that this streak is a long one!


JUSTIN VERLANDER recorded his ninth win last night. His 11 Ks last night have him leading the AL with 141 strikeouts. He is tied with Tim Lincecum for the overall lead in all of baseball.

While he did scatter seven hits last night, he was able to limit much of the damage much in part to his zero walks, an area that is much improved this year.



Although I hate to be so negative about something so positive, CARLOS GUILLEN will be returning as soon as later this month

I am a big Guillen fan, but fear that Mr. Glass will again be injured and that Guillen's return will stop all chatter of acquiring a much-needed left handed bat. I really hope for the best but history gives me a bad feeling here.



In today’s rubber match, we face off against Zack Greinke (10-4 2.00 ERA 120 Ks 1.05 WHIP).

Everything about his stats are sick and this game will be a difficult one. He is not unbeatable, obviously, but Mr. French will have to bring his A-Game as runs will be at a premium.