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Category Archives: Detroit Tigers

ALDS Preview: New York Yankees vs Detroit Tigers

New York: 97-65; 1st in AL East
Detroit: 95-67; 1st in AL Central

Schedule
Game 1: Sep. 30, 8:37 PM – (C.C. Sabbathia vs Justin Verlander)
Game 2: Oct. 1, 8:37 PM – (Ivan Nova vs Doug Fister)
Game 3: Oct. 3, 8:37 PM – (Freddy Garcia vs Max Scherzer)
Game 4*: Oct. 4, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 5*: Oct. 6, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
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Happy Opening Day, folks

The Phillies Opening Day may be tomorrow but tonight, the MLB season finally kicks off.

Today features the first real baseball of the season with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals at 1:05 PM. ESPN will also be airing the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers at 1:05. There are also four more games being played today.

So I leave you with this to get your mind set for baseball:

Season Preview: AL Central

Chicago White Sox

Expectations: Ozzie Guillen tweets every lineup change from the dugout.
Key addition: 1B/OF Adam Dunn (.260, 38 HR, 103 RBI with Washington)
Key loss: RP Bobby Jenks (1-3, 27 Saves, 4.44 ERA)
Projected record: 92-70

Summary: Most of the puzzle pieces remain from last year’s team, with a power addition of Adam Dunn.  The team has speed (Juan Pierre, Alex Rios), power (Dunn, Paul Konerko) and pitching (John Danks, Mark Buherle).  Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin are all solid ballplayers. The White Sox have a question mark in the bullpen, as they will have Chris Sale or Matt Thornton closing.  Jake Peavy’s injury concerns are troublesome, but as an end of the rotation guy, he won’t be relied on as an ace.

Minnesota Twins

Expectations: Increased amount of man-crushes on all-star catcher Joe Mauer.
Key addition: 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka (.260, 14 HR, 41 RBI with Chiba of the Japanese League.
Key loss: 2B Orlando Hudson (.268, 6 HR, 37 RBI)
Projected record: 89-73

Summary: Mauer leads the Twins, who are bitter after two straight first round exits to the Yankees.  The core of the team returns, although key component 1B Justin Morneau missed the second half of last year with a concussion, and has only played six spring training games thus far.  The Twins rotation is decent; no stud ace, but some solid pitchers to get the job done.  One of the biggest question marks is the bullpen.  Joe Nathan is coming off Tommy John surgery, and if he is the Joe Nathan of old, the Twins will be fine.  If not, Matt Capps will be their go-to guy.

Detroit Tigers

Expectations: Leading the league in DUI arrests.
Key addition: C/1B Victor Martinez (.302, 20 HR, 79 RBI with Boston)
Key loss: OF Johnny Damon (.271, 8 HR, 51 RBI)
Projected record: 85-77

Summary: The Tigers underachieved last season going 81-81, finishing 13 games behind the first place Twins.  They added Boston’s Victor Martinez, who is a .225 career hitter at Detroit’s Comerica Park.  Will Martinez continue his struggles at his new spacious home?  He will likely DH for the team, hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez, so RBI opportunities will be there.  Detroit’s pitching is good with Justin Verlander, Matt Scherzer and Rick Porcello.

Cleveland Indians

Expectations: The Indians beg Pedro Cerrano and Rick Vaughn to come back and play for the team.
Key addition: OF Austin Kearns (.263, 10 HR, 49 RBI with Cleveland and New York AL)
Key loss: Uhhhh…. I guess 3B Andy Marte (.229, 5 HR, 19 RBI)
Projected record: 70-92

Summary: Carlos Santana has recovered from a knee injury he suffered last August, only two months after being called up to the major league club.  The Tribe are going to rely on their young catcher and OF Shin Soo-Choo, who hit .300 last year, with 22 HR and 90 RBI.  Other offensive weapons, Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore, have had trouble staying healthy in recent years.  Pitcher Fausto Carmona had a good year last season (3.77 ERA), despite losing 14 games.

Kansas City Royals

Expectations: Could contend for the AAA Championship.
Key addition: OF Jeff Francoeur (.249, 13 HR, 65 RBI with New York NL and Texas)
Key loss: SP Zach Greinke  (10-14, 4.17 ERA, 181 K)
Projected record: 65-97

Summary: The Royals fortunately have a deep minor league system, stocked up from many years of top draft picks.  However, that won’t help them this year.  They do have 1B Billy Butler, who hit .318 last year.  Top prospect 3B Mike Moustakas is ready for a promotion, and might get one this season.  Unfortunately the Royals traded away their best player, SP Zach Greinke for a boatload of prospects.  It’ll be a while before Kansas City is a competitor again.

Phils lose split squads

V. Detroit

The Tigers got two runs off reliever David Herndon in the eighth inning to beat the Phillies, 3-1.

Ryan Feierabend pitched five innings, allowing a run on two hits and two walks while striking out one.

Ross Gload went 2-for-4 and Brian Schneider went 2-for-3 with the lone RBI, driving in John Mayberry.

WP: Perry (3-0). LP: Herndon (0-1). S: Ruffin (1).

V. Toronto

The Blue Jays scored in the top of the ninth and held off the Phillies, 7-6, in Clearwater.

Kyle Kendrick had the start, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out two in 4 1/3 IP.

Ben Francisco doubled and drove in a run. Luis Castillo had his first good game at the plate, going 2-for-4 while reaching base three times and scoring twice.

Carlos Ruiz homered in the loss.

2B: Francisco. HR: Ruiz.

WP: Rauch (2-0). LP: Chapman (0-1). S: Abreu (1).

Phils play Tigers, Rays in split-squads.

Phils Cliff Lee throws against the Rays on Sunday. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

VS TAMPA BAY — Cliff Lee was on my TV!

Lee was exceptional today in his start for the Phillies in their 5-4 win over Tampa.

Lee gave up two hits and struck out five in four innings of work. It was the type of spring outing fans were waiting to see from Lee, the off season block buster free agent.

The Phils coughed up a 3-0 lead in the fifth and then fell, 4-3, in the seventh. But a Matt Rizzotti homer in the eighth to tie and Joel Naughton walk-off single in the ninth to score Ross Gload ended the game.

Gload and Ryan Howard had two hits apiece with Howard hitting his second homer, a solo shot in the second, of the spring. Brian Schneider also homered.

2B: Gload. HR: Howard, Schneider, Rizzotti.

WP: Mathieson. LP: Balker.

Boxscore.

VS DETROIT – Kyle Kendrick wants a spot on the Phillies 25-man roster. And he made a good case for that today in the Phils 2-1 loss against the Tigers.

Kendrick pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only a hit while striking out one. David Herndon also pitched two scoreless innings in which he allowed two walks.

Wilson Valdez gave the fans some reassurance with Chase Utley’s injury by continuing his stellar play, going 3-for-3 in the lead-off spot. John Mayberry, Jr. crushed a pitch in the second inning to give the Phils a 1-0. He too has been playing well and is fighting for a bench spot.

Bryan Holiday tied the game up in the eighth with a solo homer, the Tigers’ second hit of the day. The homer came off of Michael Stutes.

Matt Anderson pitched in the ninth inning and was clocked at throwing 99 MPH according to a tweet by Matt Gelb. His final line was three hits and allowed the walk-off single in a third of an inning pitched.

With that velocity, he could vie for a spot in the pen.

3B: Gosewisch. HR: Mayberry, Jr.

WP: Below. LP: M. Anderson.

Boxscore.

Phils fall to Tigers in Lee’s debut

Lee only gave up one hit in his first Grapefruit League start. (Photo by: Getty Images)

Another day another ace. Tuesday marked the spring debut of free agent acquisition Cliff Lee as the Phillies fell to the Detroit Tigers 6-2.

Lee went two innings, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out three and walking a batter. Brian Schneider and Josh Barfield had good days at the plate, both going two-for-three.

Jimmy Rollins had his first RBI of the spring on an RBI single that scored Barfield. Ben Francisco also knocked in a run on an RBI groundout to first base.

Francisco did not register a hit, going zero-for-three today but knocked in his fifth run of the spring. He has hit .400 so far this spring, going 4-for-10 with a home run and five RBIs.

The Tigers jumped out early on Lee with Ryan Rayburn hitting an RBI triple. First baseman Dom Kelly then plated Rayburn on a sacrifice fly.

Rayburn had a huge day for the Tigers. He went two-for-three with two home runs and three RBIs.

Phillies fans continue to wait for Domonic Brown to register a hit this spring. He is 0-for-12 so far this spring. It’s too early to panic about the young left fielder. But he does need to improve his play soon since Francisco already has a leg up on him.

2B: Barfield (1)

WP: Oliver (1-0). LP: Lee (0-1).

Boxscore

Phils sign former fire baller

In a move to add depth and add a little competition during Spring Training, the Phillies signed former first-rounder Matt Anderson to a minor league contract. Anderson, 34, was drafted first overall in 1997 by the Detroit Tigers and has hit 103 MPH on the radar gun a few times.

Anderson, a right-handed reliever, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2005 with the Rockies and has a career ERA of 5.19.

In a tweet by @RandyJMiller: “Before arm injury, new Phillies reliever Matt Anderson hit 100 mph. After surgery, he was throwing in 80s.”

Moyer Handles First Start

Moyer tosses to Baltimore batters. AP Photo.

Jamie Moyer was very good in his first start of the Grapefruit league (his prior starts were in B games) and he pitched very well as he makes a case for fifth starter. Moyer went five innings, allowing a run on five hits, striking out six in the Phillies 5-4 loss to Baltimore. The game was delayed almost two hours.

Moyer has only two more starts left to make his case against Kyle Kendrick, who also has two more starts before the final rosters are made.

“The manager could be looking at one thing. The pitching coach could be looking at something else,” Moyer said. “Other people that are involved in the decisions could be looking at other things. I have no idea. I’ve never been on that side of it, but it would be very interesting to see what people think or what they’re looking at.”

Placido Polanco made his return yesterday and had a pair of hits. Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Perez also had a pair and Paul Hoover and Greg Dobbs each had homers. Mike Zagurski was unimpressive in his appearance, allowing three runs in only 2/3 of the eighth inning.

Boxscore.

******************************************************

Roy Halladay wasn’t rattled by his first bad start of Spring Training where he gave up three runs in the 3-0 loss to Detroit. Infact he felt “inconsistent” but remained positive about the bad start as it’s only Spring Training and there is more room for error.

“I was just kind of inconsistent,” Halladay said. “It really felt like I was searching for an arm slot, and I just didn’t repeat extremely well. I just left some balls over the plate, ran some balls back over the plate. The curveball wasn’t very good. The change-up was real good. I was very happy with that. It was the best it’s been all spring. The curveball was kind of nonexistent today.”

“Even though it’s Spring Training, just being able to battle, to try to find ways, it’s the kind of stuff you have to do during the year,” Halladay said. “For me, I think it’s always a personal challenge when you go out and you kind of feel like you’re all over the place, and you’re able to find a way to minimize things and keep yourself in it, it’s always a challenge. Even though it’s Spring Training, I don’t think you ever throw in the towel like, ‘It’s one of those days.'”

Phillies Shut Out Again

Roy Halladay got hit hard in the second inning as the Phillies lost 3-0 to the Tigers. They were shut out the second straight game. Halladay showed he was human as he allowed three runs, all in the second, in five innings. He allowed six hits and two walks, striking out none. Doc also singled.

Ryan Howard doubled as well. It was one of those uneventful games for the Phillies, who are 8-6-1 in Spring Training.

Boxscore.

Brown Sent to Minors

After Domonic Brown’s huge day today against the Tigers, he got sent to the minors camp. Brown went 3-3 with two homers and four RBI’s. His shots came off of Detroit ace Justin Verlander and former Yankee Phil Coke. But Brown knew his time with the Phillies was a great learning experience as it is evident to all of us that Brown could be a major league super star.

“I thought I was going down last week,” Brown said. “I mean, this is all a plus for me. This has been great. All these guys brought me under their wing. It’s a major confidence booster for myself. It’s really taught me the hard work part of it. I’m really happy, but there’s a long way to go.”

Brown hit .417 (10-for-24) with two homers, eight RBIs and three walks in 11 Grapefruit League games. His time was only going to last as long as Spring Training. All three outfield spots are locked up with 2009 all stars and sitting the bench would be a very unwise decision. We will see him again when the rosters expand in September.

But with Jayson Werth’s future after this season uncertain, many speculate Brown will be his replacement. If Werth is signed long-term, then Brown will be Raul Ibanez’s replacement, creating an outfield that could scare every pitcher in the majors for many years.

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