I know. The big news of the weekend was the Tigers thrilling sweep over the Cleveland Indians. But lost in that excitement is the call up of Third Baseman Brandon Inge. After being exiled to Toledo for the past month, Inge made his triumphant return to the Tigers lineup Saturday night, when he promptly responded with a homerun in his first at bat back in Detroit.
t’s still early. But so far, the results of the Tigers trade with the Seattle Mariners are mixed, at best. The Baltimore Orioles hit Doug Fister early and often on Sunday, as he allowed eight runs in his second straight loss since joining the Tigers. Meantime, rookie Charlie Furbush, who the Tigers traded away for Fister in a six player deal, allowed just one run to the hard-hitting Boston Red Sox, to pick up his third win.
These are the “Dog Days” of summer for Major League Baseball , when teams that were riding high in the spring are fading under the hot July and August skies. And as we move into the second week of August, the Tigers are riding high in first place in the American League Central, with a four game lead over second place Cleveland .
Whenever you hear about a matchup of two of the best pitchers in baseball, the game rarely lives up to the hype. Sunday’s game at Comerica Park pitting Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander against the Angels’ Jered Weaver was the exception. Both pitchers were sensational. But Verlander was better.
At least it wasn’t a sweep. The Tigers managed to salvage one game of their their three game series with the White Sox, thanks to some clutch hitting by Victor Martinez and excellent work by the bullpen. Some thought the Tigers paid too much for Martinez, signed by the team as a free agent in the offseason. But he has turned out to be worth the investment, unlike some other high priced players signed by other teams, like Adam Dunn, who has been a dud for the White Sox and has become the subject of nearly constant booing by fans in Chicago.
Two halves are supposed to make a whole, right? Unfortunately, the Tigers first and second halves haven’t added up to a strong finish over the past five seasons. Even in 2006, when the Tigers made it to the World Series, they faded fast in the second half of the season and only managed to make it to the post-season because they won the Wild Card spot.
There is justice after all. Thanks to a last minute surge in fan voting, led by manager Jim Leyland and Pitcher Justin Verlander’s Twitter campaign, Alex Avilla will be the starting catcher for the American League at the 2011 All Star Game. Detroit will be represented at the game, with four Tigers chosen to play for the Americans.
Greg Bowman Where would the Tigers be this season without Justin Verlander? Certainly not competing for first place in the American League Central. He’s 7 and 0 in his last nine games, and has thrown […]
How long has it been since the Tigers had a share of First Place in the American League Central Division? A long time. July of last season, to be exact. It’s been a long, steady climb, with the Tigers winning 10 out of their last 14, while the Indians have been fading fast, dropping ten out of their last 14.
Don’t look now, but the Tigers are only two and a half games behind first place Cleveland, as the Indians have been fading after their torrid start. With the Twins apparently dead and buried, and the White Sox looking very vulnerable, the Tigers have a decent chance of winning the Central Division Race.