Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Talk

In the previous post, I brashly claimed that the Tigers would sweep the Twins in the upcoming series. Well, so far I don't have to eat my words. Tigers take the first game 5-4. What's better: Jones did not make a relief (sic) appearance. Zumaya pitched in the eighth and ninth innings. That saved me a couple antacid tablets.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

When You're Not Playing Very Well . . .

. . . maybe what you need is a good fifteen-game swing through the National League.

The Tigers have gone 7-2 against the NL and now have the Twins in their sights. (Twins are are 1.5 games back of the White Sox; Tigers are 5 games back.)

There's still six more (!) games to go against the NL: Three against St. Louis and three against Colorado, all in Detroit.

Who knows whether the Tigers can keep the same level of play against AL teams. Maybe their current play is like beating up on the practice team and then getting clobbered in the real game.

UPDATE: The Tigers just polished off the Rockies to make their record on this interleague swing 12-3. Next up: A three game sweep of the Twins.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Maybe It's Time to Switch Verbs

From the ESPNSoccernet report on the Euro 2008 game between Turkey and Croatia:

Victory came at a cost as Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan and Emre Asik will be banned for the semi-final after picking up yellow cards. Nihat Kahveci also appeared to pick up a groin strain.

"Picking up" yellow cards. Maybe that works. But really, Kahveci picked up a groin strain? "Hey, what's this here? Should I pick it up? [Picks it up.] Oh, that wasn't such a good idea."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tigers Update

In general, I don't like interleague play. One reason is that the Tigers do not have a natural National League rival. I can understand the draw of Yankees-Mets, Dodgers-Angels, or even Marlins-(Devil) Rays. But the closest NL rival the Tigers have is the Reds. Not too awe inspiring.

But this time around the Tigers are playing teams from the NL West. They've been manhandling the Dodgers at Comerica (the benefit of this matchup is that I can catch the games on local radio and television), and then they come out west for games against the Giants and Padres. I'm trying to finagle a way to San Diego to watch one of the games. I've heard great things about Petco Park, but I wouldn't usually be interested in driving down there to see a random game. But the Tigers' series there changes the formula. We'll see what happens.

Before the season opened, I said the Tigers would either win it all or end up somewhere around third place. They've been playing really good baseball of late -- the kind that everyone expected them to play at the beginning of the season -- but will it be too little, too late? Currently, they are eight games back of the White Sox. Having seen the Tigers' play of late, I think they'll make up some ground and end the season over .500. But whether they catch the White Sox is mostly up to the White Sox. If the White Sox crash and burn, and if the Tigers' pitching holds up (which is a medium- to big-sized "if"), and if the Tigers' bats stay moderately hot (i.e., score an average of five runs a game), then they have a shot at least at the wild card (we also need the (Devil) Rays to peter out for the wild-card race).

In short, the hole the Tigers dug for themselves up to this point is too big for them to climb out of without help from other teams. Their destiny is not in their own hands.

P.S. Happy Father's Day, dad!