Another night, another rarity

Curtis Granderson’s ninth-inning home run made him just the second Tiger ever to homer off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Bobby Higginson was the other, hitting him for a game-tying shot in the ninth inning on July 6, 1999 at Tiger Stadium. It was one of just two home runs Rivera allowed all season.

Granderson’s at-bat against Rivera was the 167th for the Tigers against him in his career, and just their 24th hit.

12 Comments

Wow, that is an accomplishment! I feel bad, I stopped watching the game to watch the end of American Idol, I would have kicked myself had we actually come back all the way! Bad Tiger Fan!

It was another bad night for the Tigers. I knew when they left the bases loaded against JOBA it was over. They had him on the hook and after that he got his confidence and made the hitter look pathetic. I figured that Porcello was going to have a hard time and the only way we could previal is if they slammed JOBA and of course they looked weak and pathetic at the plate and the rest is history.
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It is too bad they didn’t start fighting back a litter earlier against Joba and their pen maybe there would of been a chance. But while 5 runs in the 9th is great it was just a little too late.
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The only positive things Zumaya was pretty good, Perry got himself out of his situation and a little comeback in the ninth. What it comes down to is 3, 4 and 5 hitters have been pathetic the last week. Even Laird is starting to cool down a little so the bottom isn’t even getting it done. But that being said still better than the middle.
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I don’t know, just my opinion. Good thing there is a day off it is raining hard here and very gloomy
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GK

Yeah, this has been somewhat frustrating, to be sure. I must admit I was shocked last night when Cab whiffed with the sacks full. We had set up that inning beautifully and the game was there to win right then. You don’t often see the big guy leave three juicy steaks out there without dining on them.
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Leyland’s approach of “they’ll hit” makes sense to a large degree. Most guys don’t just suddenly forget how, even with age. On the other hand, players can and do have bad years. While it’s a wasted effort, other than for discussion’s sake as JL wouldn’t do this, there is a workable lineup on this club. Someone else has already suggested this and if I could remember who, I’d give credit. Feel free to step up, whoever it was.
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Anderson leads off, Polanco second and Granderson third. This puts speed and good baserunners ahead of Cab in the 4-hole. At this point, it becomes tricky. Ordonez could hit 5th. Inge could too, if he really stays this hot. I think, however, I’d stick with Guillen. It gives you continuing L-R alternates, and it appears to me that Carlos is still getting good ABs. He’s hitting in some tough luck so far. After that, back to a RH bat, Ordonez or Inge, although you probably can’t drop Maggs to 7th no matter what. Then you’ve got Laird and Everett/Santiago. Raburn plays very little in this scenario, and when Thames returns they can re-think it.
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I don’t usually play the lineup creation game, but this one is jumping out at me. The alternating L-R hitters are particularly appealing.
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Something for an off day……………..
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–Rich

Hey Tiger Girl,Rich and GK…….I been hoping that management would lead off Anderson, hit Curtis 3rd and drop Maggs to to 5, Carlos to 6…………………Curtis strikes out to much and is not a pure base stealer. 2 ground ball hitters after him.Good DP ingredients………But Curtis at 3 gives us real power combined with speed,making him a natural 3 hitter………His power should equate with more RBI`s and his speed should greatly reduce DP`s and end potential threats……..I think our starting rotation will be better than expected…I believe our defense will keep us in close games and lower our staff E.R.A.`s……………………………….Bruce

First 1/8th of Season Report Card

Well, the first 1/8th of the season is in the books and I guess I felt like issuing report cards. So here’s my assessment:

Curtis – B: great power but inconsistent right now. Taken only 9 walks and K’d 18 times. His K’s had been down to 110 or so last year but right now he’s back on pace for 140 or so. Needs to bring that down. At some point we need to decide if he’s a lead-off guy or should be hitting elsewhere.

Polly – B-: Uncharacteristic 7 K’s for him so far. Hitting well below average. Seems to just not have his stroke right now.

Mags – C: No real power. Had a nice boomer against CWS I think but the one against NYY was weak. Not pulling the ball right now and seems to be going to right alot. Makes me think his bat speed is down. Nice K to W ratio but hitting in DP’s and K’ing too often for a #3.

Miggy – B+: Great start but has cooled. Seems to be pressing also.

Carlos – C: Looks injured. Haven’t been impressed with field play. If I’m a runner I might be tempted to try and force him to throw me out at second on a base hit. Hitting well below average (by about 60 points I think). Zero power.

Brandon – A: The world is his oyster right now. Hitting with power. MOst walks of anyone on the club. Seems like he’s cut his stroke down. THe 4 errors bother me but I tend to remember more of what he stopped than the errors. MVP.

Gerald – B+: Gets the “takes one for the team” award with 4 HBP. Seems like he’s hitting consistently. Not much power but I think that will come. Seems like he calls good games. DD gets credit for signing this guy.

Adam – B-: He is what he is. This generation’s Cesar Gutierrez or Don Wert if you want to go back further. All field no hit. That was me in Little League too so I get that. That said, he’s made 3 errors and had a couple of generous calls of hits vs. errors.

Josh – B: JUry is still out for me. Like the speed and all that but seems undisciplined at the plate. Big looping swings. If he’s going to leadeoff he needs to see Polly for help cutting down the swing.

Razor – B: Hitting ok. Great fielding. I have a soft sport for the guy so that may bias my thinking but I sure like having the dude on the bench. Put him anywhere.

Pitching is a separate post. Anybody disagree with the grades?

Can’t disagree too much, eric. If I were Maggs or Carlos, though, I’d be happy you didn’t see to grade me lower! A C is pretty generous given that we have seen no power from Guillen and only one HR from Maggs when it counted. By the way, I was thinking the same thing about Ordonez’ bat speed. Don’t want to harp on Curtis, but man, he should be blossoming into an All-Star by now. The man has all the tools and has been around long enough to be hitting near .300. I agree with Laird and Inge–don’t know where we’d be right now without them–co-MVPs. I like Everett, and truthfully, he is hitting better than I thought he would.

As far as changing the order, maybe JL should put all the names in a hat and draw them like Billy Martin. Those were the good old days!

–Ed

I think I’d grade Ordonez and Guillen lower too. Carlos has an injury but he’s playing, thus a D along with Maggs. If either of those guys had been providing more punch, we would have won some of those close losses.
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The AL pitchers will get a book on Anderson and the proof will be in how he handles that. The thing is, he’s a bunting threat so that opens up the infield for him to slap some through. Plus I think he’s hit everywhere he’s been, if I remember correctly. Probably has a lot to do with his ability to beat out slow grounders. I’m not entirely sure that Granderson is growing into a good leadoff hitter, here in his 4th full season.
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Briefly, the rotation is good. I don’t foresee many struggles from Verlander, Galarraga and Jackson. Porcello will have good and bad nights, and I look forward to getting Bonderman back. Someday. All bullpens mess up games from time to time, so you want to try and keep that to a minimum. Handling them is tricky work.
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Again, it’s divisional play that will decide it. A month in and everybody’s packed in as expected. This is the kind of division where a team could go from last to first in the final month, as happens occasionally.
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–Rich

I about hate to, but I pretty much agree with the grades. My sentimental side says my favorites shouldn’t be c’s, but the truth is they are right now. I’d be generous and give Cabrera an A if you grade him overall. I’d be a horrible teacher, always wanting to give people more than they probably deserve! Ah, the pitching report card, I’ll await to see!

Side note – I am teaching my 2 year old son to sing “Take me out to the ballgame”. He doesn’t talk much but what fun to see him count 1,2,3 strikes your out. I am also teaching him “root, root, root for the TIGERS”, much to his father’s dismay.

Don’t you just love baseball season! I must get to a game this year and can’t wait for my first opportunity for the Mud Hens. I’ve said it before, if you are ever in the Toledo area, you have to go check them out – terrific venue. And if you time it on the weekends for fireworks, that is also a terrific display.

I’ll wade in on the report card.

Granderson B- ( needs to improve consistency)
Polanco C+ ( not hitting like he can)
Ordonez C- ( #3 hitter has to provide punch)
MCab A- (The numbers don’t lie, but he did lose his A)
Guillen D (He’s hurting-alas he’s hurting the team too)
Laird B+ (Have to factor in his catching too)
Inge A- (Determination paying off)
Anderson B (Been solid and shows still has room for improvement)
Everett C (Average-don’t see much to get excited about)
Santiago C+ (Adds another dimension to the lineup)

On Guillen’s “D” I think it could be revised to “D-with an L” That’s where he should be–on the DL. The problem with that of course is who takes his position? The Teacher’s Pet? (Raburn) Not! this is where I see an opportunity (With Thames out too), to give Wilkin Ramirez a shot. He has speed, power, and options. Can platoon with Anderson.
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Other than that–there isn’t much in the hitting department down on the farm. Clevlen seems like he has missed the boat. Hessman has completely lost his edge. Thomas not doing well and of course is a LHB–seems odd to say but we need a RHB with some pop in it.
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JL is loyal to a fault. He has sown this over the years and while not Carlos’ fault, this just isn’t working and needs to be improved

You’re right, Dan, this is a problem. Last I heard, JL was planning to start Guillen in left tonight. That could have changed by now.
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Nobody is going to like what I have to say next, but here it goes. At the end of spring training, we had one leftfielder who has always been brittle, Guillen, and another who’d just had a core injury, Thames. So what did we do? We released Gary Sheffield. As it turns out, it wasn’t to keep Thames on the team, it was to keep Larish. Well, where is Jeff now? Here we are needing a RH-hitting outfielder, yet we’re paying Sheffield $14 mil to sit on the bench in New York. Surely even the most avid Sheff-hater would rather have Gary over Raburn, for OBP if nothing else. Management seemed to look at the issue with only two answers: release him or play him fulltime as DH. No thought of him playing outfield, no consideration that he could take his turn sitting on the bench like many 40-year olds do. Nope, one or the other. We could have carried 8 position players plus Sheffield, Anderson, Thames, Santiago, and Treanor. Larish got no PT because Cabrera is young and will be in there nearly everyday.
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This may sound like hindsight, but there are people being paid big money to have some foresight. IMO, another mistake has been made.
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You all may now open up on me with all guns blazing! :-)
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–Rich

Rich:

Well, I must admit that the open kimono style does behoove you! :)

But Sheff? Oy and double Oy. I think they just had to part company with Mr. Sheffield. He didn’t really demonstrate much in spring training and that 40 year old body just isn’t equipped to do anything except DH and even then it’s marginal.

As for the RHB, I think that we can suffer through May and June and then come July if we are anywhere near this thing DD will be able to “uncork” (pun intended) a RHB from someone (like Cleveland if they are out of it). A time honored tradition of adding a late season bat to gear up for the stretch run.

If they are desperate for a RHB, I can maybe take a couple weeks off work here and grab a bat from the garage and be in Detroit by Monday. :)

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