Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tigers lose close game in ninth, 6-5

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

The Tigers didn't begin the third game of the four game series very well. Justin Verlander, going after his 25th win, wasn't very "Verlanderly" to start. During just three innings, JV gave up five runs on seven hits. Even hits outs didn't look great; two balls off the bat of Adam Jones reached the warning track in the two deepest parts of the ballpark.

Verlander warms up
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The fourth inning was the first inning in which Verlander didn't give up a run. The Tigers, however, had something brewing in the fourth. They pushed across two runs, both on sacrifice flies.

The home team scored another run in the sixth and one more in the eighth on an RBI double off the bat of Jhonny Peralta. At this point, the score was knotted up at five apiece.

Verlander pitches to the O's, who had his hand tonight
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

On a wild pitch from Daniel Schlereth, Kyle Hudson went from first to third. This led to the game winning suicide squeeze from Matt Angle.

The Tigers lost 6-5. Verlander pitched seven innings and gave up five runs on eight hits.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tigers win in 11 innings against O's

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

After losing the first game of the four-game series, the Tigers were back at it Friday night. Rick Porcello took the mound for the Tigers, and, barring a no decision, would be getting either his 15th win or 10th loss of the season.

The Orioles, yet again, got off to an early lead against the Tigers. After a single off the bat of J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis flew out to center field. Following that, Vladimir Guerrero doubled down the right field line. Hardy scored but Guerrero was thrown out at third trying to advance after the throw home, ending the inning.

The Tigers countered in the bottom of the inning. Austin Jackson led off and was hit by a pitch. After stealing second and reaching third on a sacrifice fly, Jackson scored

on a mammoth home run off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera made history with his his 418 ft. homer; he became just the fifth player in Tigers history to reach a total of 100-or-more runs scored, RBI, and walks in a season. The others are Hank Greenberg (1937, '38), Charlie Gehringer (1938), Rocky Colavito (1961), and Norm Cash (1961).

Cabrera's picture perfect swing
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The Tigers held their 2-1 lead on the O's until the third inning. Robert Andino and Hardy singled and advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch from Porcello. Markakis hit a sacrifice fly to left field bringing across Andino; Hardy scored on a Matt Wieters single.

Still 3-2 in the fifth, the Tigers scratched back. Leading off with a double was Jhonny Peralta. Two batters later, Ramon Santiago knocked an RBI single to right field.

Porcello was pulled after pitching seven innings; he gave up nine hits, three runs, and struck out four batters. Phil Coke came in for the eighth, shutting down the O's. Joaquin Beniot them down in the top of the ninth.

Porcello threw seven innings, giving up all three Orioles runs
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

In the ninth inning, Cabrera led off with a bloop single to right field. Victor Martinez followed him by grounding out to the second baseman on a 3-2 count. Martinez had four ground outs on the night; three of them were to the second baseman.

Alex Avila was intentionally walked putting Peralta at the plate; the Orioles made the right decision as Peralta struck out, leading to extra innings.

The Tigers brought in closer Jose Valverde in the non-save situation. Coming into the game, Valverde had a 2.36 ERA, two wins and four losses, 47 saves, and almost a strikeout per inning pitched. Though he's not keen on non-save situations, Papa Grande pitched well and got the Tigers to the bottom of the 10th unscathed.

The Tigers play in extra innings (9/23/2011)
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

We would, however, see the 11th inning. Ryan Perry came in to pitch. He gave up a leadoff double to Markakis. Vlad Guerrero walked on four straight pitches. Wieters grounded out into a 3-6-1 double play, leaving it up to Adam Jones. With the runner, Markakis on third, Jones grounded out to Peralta.

Brandon Inge, who came in for Don Kelly as a defensive replacement, led off the inning. He drew a walk. Danny Worth pinch ran for him as Delmon Young walked up to the plate. Young popped the ball straight up to the catcher. Our first baseman, affectionately referred to as Cabby, then stepped up. He singled to right field.

Martinez, and his 0-4 on the day, followed. With one out and two men on, V-Mart got the walk-off hit down the left field line. His teammates mobbed him in between first and second base.

The Tigers tie the series 1-1, winning 4-3 in 11 innings.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Detroit loses first game in four game series against Baltimore

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

The Tigers got off to a shaky start in the first game of a four game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Their starter, Jacob Turner, made his third start of the season tonight. He gave up two quit hits and one run in the first inning, throwing more balls than strikes.

The O's scored another run in the third inning off of a J.J. Hardy home run. A two-run home run and sacrifice fly in the fourth gave Baltimore a 5-0 lead.

The Tigers managed to scrape across a run in the bottom of the fourth; after giving up two consecutive walks to Delmon Young and Miguel Cabrera, pitcher Zach Britton got Victor Martinez to ground out into a 6-4-3 double play. Young, who had moved over to third base on a wild pitch, scored on the double play.

Delmon Young home run (9/3/2011)
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

In the fifth inning, the Tigers did a little more than scrape across runs. Brandon Inge led off with a walk. Omir Santos followed him with a solid single to center field. A sacrifice bunt from Austin Jackson moved up both runners. Inge scored on a Magglio Ordonez single; Maggs has a 15-game hit streak. Young followed him with a 3-run home run to left field. The Orioles four run lead had quickly evaporated.

The O's came back in the sixth with Adam Jones scoring on a ground ball after singling, stealing second, and moving over to third on a grounder.

After a scoreless seventh and eighth, the Tigers led off the ninth inning with Jhonny Peralta weakly knocking the ball in between the pitcher and catcher. Don Kelly pinch hit for Inge; he flew out to the left fielder. Alex Avila pinch hit for Santos. He simply grounded out to first base. Just like that, the AL Central Division Champs lost 6-5.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


In Play on Facebook

Season Opens at Home on April 5 versus Boston Red Sox

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today released their 2012 home schedule, which features 81 games at Comerica Park, including contests against American League Central Division rivals, Interleague games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as a season-opening series against the Boston Red Sox and two visits from the New York Yankees.

A charter member of the American League since 1901, the Tigers will begin their 112th season at home when the club welcomes the Boston Red Sox for a three-game series, April 5-8 at Comerica Park. The club also welcomes the Tampa Bay Rays during the season-opening homestand for a three-game series April 10-12.

The Tigers welcome the New York Yankees for a three-game series June 1-3 and a four-game series August 6-9. The Tigers host the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first series of Interleague play May 18-20 and then host an Interleague homestand against the Colorado Rockies June 15-17 and St. Louis Cardinals June 19-21.

The Tigers will give away a 2012 Detroit Tigers Magnet Schedule to the first 10,000 fans prior to the game on September 24 versus Baltimore, courtesy of Medical Weight Loss Clinic.

Fans may also pick up a 2012 home schedule at remaining 2011 home games, September 22-25 vs. Baltimore, and September 26-28 vs. Cleveland.


Thursday, April 5, Boston, 1:05 p.m.
April 7, Boston, 1:05 p.m.
April 8, Boston, 1:05 p.m.
April 10, Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
April 11, Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
April 12, Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
April 19, Texas, 7:05 p.m.
April 20, Texas, 7:05 p.m.
April 21, Texas, 1:05 p.m.
April 22, Texas, 1:05 p.m.
April 24, Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
April 25, Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
April 26, Seattle, 1:05 p.m.
April 30, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
May 1, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
May 2, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
May 4, Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
May 5, Chicago, 1:05 p.m.
May 6, Chicago, 1:05 p.m.
May 16, Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
May 17, Minnesota, 1:05 p.m.
May 18, Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
May 19, Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
May 20, Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.
June 1, New York, 7:05 p.m.
June 2, New York, 7:05 p.m.
June 3, New York, 1:05 p.m.
June 5, Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.
June 6, Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.
June 7, Cleveland, 1:05 p.m.
June 15, Colorado, 7:05 p.m.
June 16, Colorado, 7:05 p.m.
June 17, Colorado, 1:05 p.m.
June 19, St. Louis, 7:05 p.m.
June 20, St. Louis, 7:05 p.m.
June 21, St. Louis, 1:05 p.m.
July 2, Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
July 3, Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
July 4, Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
July 5, Minnesota, 1:05 p.m.
July 6, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
July 7, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
July 8, Kansas City, 1:05 p.m.
July 16, LA Angels, 7:05 p.m.
July 17, LA Angels, 7:05 p.m.
July 18, LA Angels, 7:05 p.m.
July 19, LA Angels, 1:05 p.m.
July 20, Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
July 21, Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
July 22, Chicago, 1:05 p.m.
August 3, Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.
August 4, Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.
August 5, Cleveland, 1:05 p.m.
August 6, New York, 7:05 p.m.
August 7, New York, 7:05 p.m.
August 8, New York, 7:05 p.m.
August 9, New York, 1:05 p.m.
August 17, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
August 18, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
August 19, Baltimore, 1:05 p.m.
August 21, Toronto, 7:05 p.m.
August 22, Toronto, 7:05 p.m.
August 23, Toronto, 1:05 p.m.
August 24, LA Angels, 7:05 p.m.
August 25, LA Angels, 7:05 p.m.
August 26, LA Angels, 1:05 p.m.
August 31, Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
September 1, Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
September 2, Chicago, 1:05 p.m.
September 3, Cleveland, 1:05 p.m.
September 4, Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.
September 5, Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.
September 18, Oakland, 7:05 p.m.
September 19, Oakland, 7:05 p.m.
September 20, Oakland, 1:05 p.m.
September 21, Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
September 22, Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
September 23, Minnesota, 1:05 p.m.
September 25, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
September 26, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.
September 27, Kansas City, 1:05 p.m.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


In Play on Facebook

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Justin Verlander was named the Detroit Tigers 2011 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Verlander is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

Tomorrow will mark the tenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. It is named for the 12-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.  

This season, Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers teamed up for the very special Verlander’s Victory for Veterans Program, which began in May and has continued through each of his home starts. Verlander has hosted Veterans throughout the season from the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The hosted Veterans sustained injuries or illness in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom or in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Veterans along with their families have continued to cheer on the Tigers from the comfort of Verlander’s personal luxury suite. After serving our country, Verlander’s Victory for Veterans has provided American Veterans with the special opportunity to enjoy a Tigers game with their family. Verlander is scheduled to be recognized for his nomination during a special on-field pregame ceremony at Comerica Park during the last homestand of the season.

"Justin Verlander is quite deserving of his nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award," said Elaine Lewis, Tigers' Vice President of Community Affairs and Strategic Planning. "Justin's dedication to the community exemplifies the character of the Detroit Tigers both on and off the field."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tigers win eighth straight on a walk-off home run

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

Having entered Saturday's game winning 17 of their last 21 games, the Tigers looked to keep up with their winning ways. They had Max Scherzer on the mound facing off against the Twins' Anthony Swarzak.

After a scoreless first inning, the Twins got things moving in the second. Chris Parmelee got on base and went from first to third on a single by Joe Benson; the hit was Benson's first as a big leaguer. Scherzer then picked off Benson while Brian Dinkelman grounded out to third base. The runner on third still did not score. Scherzer finally got out of trouble after Luke Hughes flew out to Delmon Young, who made a great catch on the warning track.

Hitless through two innings, the Tigers started up the bats in the third. Although Jhonny Peralta led off the inning by striking out, Wilson Betemit crushed a home run to right field right after him.

Wilson Betemit gave the Tigers an early 1-0 lead
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

That 1-0 lead didn't hold up for too long. Joe Mauer cranked an opposite field home run, tying the game at one apiece. The Tigers threatened in the fourth; Andy Dirks led off with a ground

rule double to deep center field. He was moved over to third on a Miguel Cabrera ground ball. Dirks scored on a Victor Martinez single. Score: 2-1 Tigers.

Minnesota would tie it up in the sixth with a couple of hits and a sacrifice fly. By the bottom of the inning, with the Tigers at the plate, the shadows crept in between the batter's box and the pitcher's mound. Young struck out swinging and Cabrera grounded out to the second baseman. Martinez didn't seem to be affected by the shadows and drew a walk. Avila flew out to left.

Martinez went 1 for 3 with a walk
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The seventh inning began with a double off the bat of Benson. After getting his first MLB hit in the second inning, this would be his first extra base hit. However, nothing would come of it as Scherzer struck out two batters.

The Tigers got something cooking in the bottom of the inning as Ramon Santiago doubled and Austin Jackson walked (his second of the game). Dirks couldn't come through, however, and flew out to center field.

Heading into the eighth, the Tigers had two runs on five hits and so did the Twins. Scherzer was taken out of the game for reliever Phil Coke. Scherzer pitched seven strong innings and was responsible for the five hits and two runs; he also walked three and struck out six Minnesota batters.

Peralta did plenty of swinging and missing with his three strikeouts
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Coke came into the game throwing strikes and got three quick outs. As for the Tigers, they came into the eighth with their 3-4-5 hitters. Young grounded out weakly to the second baseman. Cabrera flew out to right field; Martinez hit a ball to deep center field that was caught.

Al Alburquerque came in during the top of the ninth and shut down the Twins offense. Still tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers looked to stay away from extra innings and get the walk off base hit. Could Avila do it? How about Peralta, who had accrued a hat-trick's worth of strikeout? Or could it be the sub-.200 hitter Brandon Inge, who had replaced Wilson Betemit defensively the previous inning?

It wasn't Avila; he grounded out to the shortstop. Nor was it Peralta, although, he didn't strike out for the fourth time.

That sub-.200 hitter I just mentioned... it was HIM! Inge hit a no-doubter to the left field stands, giving the Tigers their eighth straight victory.

After tomorrow's series finale, the club begins a nine-game road trip to Chicago, Oakland, and Kansas City. Stay tuned for photos from after the game tomorrow. And, as always, Go Tigers!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tigers win first game in Twins series, 8-4

By Matt Harding

The first game of the weekend series against the Minnesota Twins began with a 51 minute rain delay. The first inning seemed to go by almost as slowly. Brad Penny threw 44 pitches, gave up four runs on four hits. That took only about 20 minutes.

After going 1-2-3 in the first, the Tigers came back with a vengeance in the second. After singles from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, Alex Avila blasted a 358 ft. home run to the opposite field. To this point, the Tigers were still down 4-3.

Alex Avila in the batter's box
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

In the fourth, still down by a run, the Tigs started clawing at the deficit. Avila, who led off, was hit by a pitch. Following a flyout off the bat of Jhonny Peralta, Wilson Betemit tripled down the line in right, scoring Avila. The next batter, Ramon Santiago, hit a home run into the second row in right field. The Tigers now held the lead by a score of 6-4. A lead-off home run in the fifth off the bat of Delmon Young made the score 7-4.

After scoreless six and seventh innings, the Tigers scored yet again in the eighth. After doubling and going to third on a passed ball, Avila scored his 100th run of the season, making it 8-4.

The Tigers brought in closer Jose Valverde in the ninth, even though it wasn't a save situation. He, however, did his job nonetheless.

FINAL SCORE at Comerica Park: 8-4.

Brad Penny went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits; he also walked three and struck out one.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tigers sweep White Sox convincingly, winning 18-2 on Sunday

By Matt Harding

Coming into the final game of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers held a commanding series lead. Justin Verlander won his 21st game of the season on Friday in what was the first game of the series. They won with a score of 8-1.

Saturday afternoon's ballgame was an "on the edge of your seat" game; the Tigers were losing 8-1, the same score they won by on the previous day. Things started to turn around in the fifth inning, and, before the rain delay, they were only down by three. And obviously, if you're an adamant fan, you know of the late inning heroics by Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera after his walk-off home run on Saturday
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Sunday's match-up saw Max Scherzer facing off against longtime White Sock Mark Buehrle. The home team got off to an early lead after an Austin Jackson double to lead off of the game. Victor Martinez knocked him in with a single. And with that, the Tigs were off to a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second inning, the Tigers came pouncing back in the third. With two men on and a 3-2 count on Martinez, Jim Leyland made the gutsy call to send the runners (there was only one out). The call paid off as V-Mart knocked a liner to left field, scoring Magglio Ordonez. A single by Alex Avila scored Delmon Young. After a botched double play, Martinez would score.

Martinez has had a great series against the White Sox
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Ahead to the fourth inning, Brandon Inge started off with an opposite field single. After an Austin Jackson walk and an Ordonez sacrifice fly, Young singled and Cabrera doubled. With Cabby on second base, Mark Buehrle was removed from the game after giving up seven earned runs on ten hits. He gave way to Addison Reed, who was making his Major League debut. Reed faced Martinez, who popped up to the second baseman. The second batter he faced, Avila, fared better; he drove in Cabrera. That run would be attributed to Buehrle.

The next run, however, was attributed to Reed. He gave up an RBI single to Peralta. Raburn then singled, giving way to Inge; he struck out swinging. The score: 9-0.

In the sixth, the Tigers piled it on, scoring seven more runs. The last two of those runs came on a Cabrera home run; the score remained at 16-0 until the eighth where Andy Dirks, who was a pinch hitter for Delmon Young during a prior at-bat, hit a two-run home run.

With 18 runs on 24 hits, a season best for both, the Tigers routed the White Sox in the final game of the series. Of course, the White Sox didn't lay down entirely. They scored two runs on reliever Duane Below. Still, 18-2?! Holy cow! The Tigers have an afternoon game on Monday against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.