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 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeWed Sep 22, 2010 11:05 am

KC's big fifth inning leads to Tigers' downfall
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/22/10 1:00 AM ET

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DETROIT -- The last time Armando Galarraga started at Comerica Park, he looked at his win-loss record in amazement: Four wins all year, just two victories since his would-be perfect game on June 2, and a half-dozen no-decisions in quality starts.

He has had his share of games in which he pitched well and couldn't buy run support. Tuesday was not one of those, as the 9-6 loss to the Royals would indicate.

For the second time in as many nights, the Tigers lost a sizeable early lead against the Royals with a big fifth inning. This time, however, the Royals kept on rallying until it was too big for a Tigers' ninth inning to answer.

The Royals' big fifth inning on Tuesday came entirely with two outs. Galarraga had retired six straight batters and was seemingly on his way toward a well-deserved win when the top of the Royals order came around. The next seven Royals reached base safely, all on singles and walks.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland summarized it in just four words: "He didn't pitch good."

When asked to summarize Galarraga's season, Leyland needed only one word: "OK."

The frustration with Galarraga's summer might not rest only with Galarraga.

Catcher Gerald Laird senses the frustration from his pitcher.

"He's had so many good outings and bad outings," Laird said. "He's had ups and downs, and it's more just trying to find some more consistency. He's looked so good at times against teams, and then looked rough. So it's one of those things where you just have to kind of find a medium in there and just be a little more consistent."

Galarraga had a slow pace early as he searched for the strike zone, enough that Leyland visited the mound with head athletic trainer Kevin Rand at one point in the second inning, wondering if Galarraga's elbow was hurting. But Galarraga picked it up as he began to roll along.

Five of Galarraga's first 13 outs came via strikeout, including the final out in three of the first four innings. He sent Jai Miller swinging and missing wildly enough on a slider to lead off the fifth that the bat went flying toward third base as Miller went walking back to the dugout.

Once Lucas May grounded out, Galarraga was nearly through another smooth inning. But once Jarrod Dyson extended the inning with a ground-ball single through the right side, Galarraga wouldn't get that elusive third out until Miller came up again.

Dyson stole second base and took third on a passed ball as Galarraga went to a full count on Mike Aviles, whose liner back through the middle put the Royals on the scoreboard. Billy Butler's liner to right on the next pitch put runners at the corners for the heart of Kansas City's order.

Galarraga's next eight pitches missed the strike zone, walking Wilson Betemit to load the bases and Kila Ka'aihue to plate a run. When Galarraga regrouped and found the strike zone, Yuniesky Betancourt chopped it for a dribbler to the third-base side of the mound.

In what might have been the best demonstration of Galarraga's frustration, he dashed off the mound to field it, spun and fired in one motion, sending the ball sailing over Miguel Cabrera's head at first base and into foul territory in right field. Ka'aihue easily followed Betemit home to put the Royals in front.

"You could see that getting ready to happen," Leyland said. "You have to get set, try to make a good, firm throw. [Alfredo] Figaro threw one away [later]. All those plays, you can't make those mistakes."

Galarraga (4-7) threw 39 pitches that inning, 17 of them for strikes, though four of those balls were for an intentional walk to Alex Gordon that brought up Miller again. Galarraga left in the sixth after Dyson's double and Aviles' single plated an insurance run.

Galarraga gave up five runs on nine hits and five walks over 5 1/3 innings, stretching his winless streak to six starts. The first four of those were strong outings in low-scoring games, but Galarraga has allowed 12 earned runs on 17 hits over nine innings in his last two starts.

The Tigers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, making a pair of add-on runs from the Royals in the top of that inning loom large. But as Leyland pointed out, closer Joakim Soria would've started the inning had the game been closer, rather than entering after the Tigers put up four consecutive singles off Greg Holland.

The one topic on which Leyland was expansive was the fielding miscues from the mound. Beyond Galarraga's wild whirl was Figaro's double-error in the ninth on Dyson's sacrifice bunt attempt. He struggled to pick up the ball cleanly, then fired wide enough of first base that Will Rhymes could only watch it sail by.

"It almost looks like panic sets in," Leyland said. "You can't do those things and win at the Major League level, and that's why you harp to the pitchers. The more little things you can do, the longer you can stay in games, and the more chance you have to win games. You talk about it and talk about it.

"It's happened several times this year where we've thrown bunts away, opened up big innings, and it's something that will be addressed by me personally next spring. I will be there when it's going on, I can assure you that."

What their pitching staff looks like by then remains to be seen. Galarraga's stinginess for good stretches of the summer works strongly in his favor for a spot behind the big three of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. But the Tigers will also have to decide what to make of the wins and losses.

Clearly, he's flustered, as shown by his remarks and through his argument with Alex Avila and Laird in the visiting dugout in Chicago last month. Tuesday likely didn't help.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeWed Sep 22, 2010 11:05 pm

Scherzer helps Tigers throttle Royals
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/22/10 11:30 PM ET

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DETROIT -- The bright side to come out of the Royals' evening with Max Scherzer on Wednesday: At least they won't have to follow it up with a matchup against Justin Verlander.

Barring a change in the Tigers' rotation, the Indians won't be so lucky next week. A lot of teams will have to deal with that one-two punch next year.

Scherzer's development, the latest chapter coming over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Wednesday's 4-2 win, will go down as one of the best stories of the Tigers' season.

For a team with a lot of young talent and a good deal of money it could spend this year, that pitching combination might be the biggest strength the Tigers have going for them into 2011. Detroit knew what it had in Verlander going into the year.

"Scherzer's really good," manager Jim Leyland said, "You know, Verlander and Scherzer back-to-back, or vice versa, however it works out, that's pretty good."

It doesn't make a rotation, but it's quite a start.

It's what the Tigers had in mind when they acquired Scherzer from Arizona last winter in the Edwin Jackson trade. Though Jackson and Verlander were quite a combination for much of last season, the Tigers knew it would most likely be a short-term duo given service time and salary arbitration.

Scherzer was the unknown in the Tigers' rotation, the talented former first-round pick with a big strikeout arm and a funky delivery, but he had the potential. The way he has pitched the last couple months is more and more like a finished product.

He doesn't out think; he thinks outs. And he reacts to hitters as the game goes along.

"I think that's the key with him," Leyland said. "He's got to remember that two and two is four. Don't try to figure out a way for it to be five. And I think he's doing a good job of that. I think that happens to some guys."

It has not happened with Scherzer, certainly since he rejoined the Tigers' rotation in May. On Wednesday, the story of his gem was his ability to mix in the changeup to his usual nasty fastball-slider combination and get swings and misses up and down the Royals' lineup.

"I didn't have a game plan of trying to add extra offspeed [pitches]," Scherzer said. "There were just times tonight when [catcher] Alex [Avila] and I were on the same page on when we wanted to throw it. I had a good idea when I wanted to throw my changeup and when I wanted to throw my slider. I thought at times I was able to do that, and what really helped me out was to be able to finish with the fastball in."

After a pair of White Sox solo homers accounted for all the damage in eight innings against Scherzer last Friday in Chicago, Gregor Blanco's first-inning double and seventh-inning infield single were the only hits he allowed. The rest of the Royals' lineup went 0-for-21 with eight strikeouts and two walks off Scherzer, who beat them for the first time in four starts this season.

Blanco was the only one of Kansas City's first six batters to put the ball in play. Scherzer struck out the other five. Jarrod Dyson and Wilson Betemit took fastballs in for strike three to start the first two innings. Mike Aviles and Billy Butler struck out swinging at sliders to end the first inning. Kila Ka'aihue went down swinging at a changeup.

The Royals struck out just three other times against Scherzer (12-10), but he allowed just three more balls out of the infield.

"He was lights-out tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We hadn't seen him in awhile. He used to be a guy that really just reared back and threw with all his effort at 98-99 mph, and he's developed some feel and touch. He's a pitcher now. That's about as good of three pitches with a good hard sinker that he was really spotting really well and a really nice changeup and a really nice slider. He was tough as nails."

Only an eighth-inning walk to Yuniesky Betancourt and a pitch count kept Scherzer from finishing the eighth. He struck out Michigan native Mitch Maier on his 116th pitch of the night, then gave way to Ryan Perry, who caught Lucas May watching a third strike.

For four innings, Scherzer had to do what he could to keep pace with Kyle Davies, who retired Detroit's first 12 batters before the Tigers' offense awakened with the middle of their order in the fifth. Singles from Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Raburn set up Brennan Boesch for a two-run double into the gap in right-center field.

A wild pitch moved Boesch into position to score on Brandon Inge's ground-ball single through a drawn-in infield.

Davies (8-11) settled down from there before Johnny Damon added an insurance run with an RBI double in the eighth.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 25, 2010 12:11 am

Vivacious Verlander tops Twins for 18th win
In second-to-last start, Tigers ace goes the distance
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/24/10 10:06 PM ET

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DETROIT -- Just because the Tigers had to concede the American League Central to the Twins doesn't mean they had to concede this final divisional showdown this weekend. The way Justin Verlander is pitching down the stretch, he isn't conceding anything.

Verlander's career September stats show a history of strong finishes. But this, well, is a little stronger than normal. It took a pair of infield errors to get the Twins on the scoreboard against him Friday night, and that wasn't until Verlander was one out shy of a shutout.

He had to settle for a complete-game four-hitter in a 10-1 Tigers victory, the second consecutive start he has gone the distance against a division contender. Similarly, he'll have to take an 18- or 19-win season out of this year. But at this point, those numbers are almost irrelevant. More than anything, he wants to take the way he's pitching now and bottle it for next year. He wants to hold onto this curveball for next April, when the standings reset and the Tigers can be contenders again.

"Four or five starts ago, there was something that clicked around the third or fourth inning," Verlander said. "I threw a really good breaking ball, and I was able to maintain that feeling for the rest of the game. I said I hope I can maintain that for the rest of the year. So far, so good.

"Now, it's just a matter of trying to figure out exactly what it is that's getting that curveball to where I really want it to be, and working on that in Spring Training and getting it there early, as opposed to finding it the last month of the season."

The Twins just wish he hadn't found it now. It wasn't a pleasant night for Minnesota in any respect, from Francisco Liriano's fourth-inning exit with an illness to manager Ron Gardenhire's ejection for something one of his coaches was yelling from the dugout. But to Gardenhire, it started with Verlander.

"Verlander was the story," Gardenhire said. "He ate us up. We've been watching him on TV. I've watched a couple games he's thrown against other teams and he's been eating people up. His stuff right now is probably as good as anybody's in the league. He showed it again tonight. He ate us up pretty good."

That biting breaking ball did most of the chewing. Verlander went to it time and again early with two strikes, and they couldn't track it until late. He struck out four of Minnesota's first seven batters, including the side in order in the second, and three of the strikeouts came swinging at the curve. Jason Kubel and Delmon Young, two of the offensive keys for the Twins' survival without Justin Morneau, swung and missed at it in their first two at-bats.

Manager Jim Leyland has been known to point out parts of Verlander's game he can improve, even in the great outings. The way he was throwing early, especially that particular pitch, Leyland just enjoyed it.

"There's not many really good curveballs anymore," Leyland said. "So many guys have gone to sliders. So many guys have made their changeup a more dominant pitch. There's more guys throwing a split-finger. So the curveball, there are some [good ones], but I don't know of any better than that one when he's got it going."

Verlander throws a slider and a changeup, though he characterized the changeup as mainly a show pitch on this night and threw only one slider. It was mainly a fastball-curveball performance, and it helped him tie his season high with 11 strikeouts, making him the first Tiger with back-to-back 200-strikeout seasons since Jack Morris in 1986-87.

What made this high-strikeout game unique for him was the efficiency. Even with all those swings and misses, he didn't cross the 100-pitch mark until the eighth inning, by which point he enjoyed a double-digit lead. His return for the ninth was such an afterthought that the Tigers didn't bother warming up anyone in the eighth, and didn't stall to get a pitcher ready once the errors and Michael Cuddyer's RBI single extended the game.

That, to Leyland, is his ace's next step, getting deeper with fewer pitches. He talked about it much of the summer, and he's seeing it now.

"I think he's in the process of learning not to make it so hard on himself," Leyland said.

Verlander (18-8) became the first Tiger to throw complete games in back-to-back starts since Mark Redman in May 2002. In the process, he sealed his third 18-win season in four years, something only CC Sabathia has done in the same span. Verlander's three 18-win campaigns in his first five big league seasons continues a standard last matched by Dwight Gooden in the mid-1980s.

With one more scheduled start Wednesday in Cleveland, he'll have a chance at back-to-back 19-win seasons. His first 20-win season will have to wait. If he can take this form into next season, he might give himself a shot.

"Do I feel like I could've gotten there this year? Yeah," Verlander said. "I felt like up until my last four or five starts, when I look at myself in the mirror, I could've pitched a lot better. Am I happy to be where I'm at? Absolutely. I was able to scratch across some wins. My teammates picked me up a bunch of times, were able to get me some wins. And here we are. Obviously, not going to get there, but whenever you can get your team as many wins as you can, it's always good."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeSun Sep 26, 2010 12:44 am

Inge ends long night; Tigers walk off in 13
Third baseman plates winner after setting team record for K's
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/26/10 1:10 AM ET

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DETROIT -- The last time the Tigers and Twins played this late into extra innings in the season's final days, they had a division title on the line last year. This time, they had nothing. It was hard to tell from either side.

"They got it clinched and we can't win it, so you would think maybe they just didn't go at it hard," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "That's unbelievable. Both teams went at it like that was a playoff game, I thought."

What began as a slugfest with 20 runs and six homers over the first seven innings became a pitching duel that saw both teams looking for just one more run from the eighth inning on. It took until the 13th to decide it, and it took the Tigers' new career strikeout leader to put one ball in play for an 11-10 victory Saturday night.

After all those home runs, Brandon Inge's game-winning single was an easy line drive in front of right fielder Ben Revere with the bases loaded. It was the 37th hit of the night, but it was his first in a three-strikeout game that pushed Inge past Lou Whitaker on the club's all-time list.

"I would take this win for three strikeouts," Inge said. "That's about on [my] pace."

It was a four-hour, 19-minute marathon that felt like two completely different games. It turned at last on two Tigers producing in situations that aren't supposed to be their specialty: lefty specialist Daniel Schlereth striking out a lefty-killing slugger, and Inge swinging for contact.

Those are the situations that turn teams into winners. It can't do anything for the Tigers' fortunes this season, but it didn't seem to matter Saturday.

"That was a game, the whole time," said Phil Coke, one of five Tigers relievers to combine for eight scoreless innings. "Credit to them. They're the Central champs. But it speaks loudly as to the way we are. We're still pushing, still fighting, still clawing and scratching for whatever we can get.

"It makes it fun, man. You can tell that everybody cares. You can see it. It comes out, especially in games like this, from both sides. Each bullpen pitched incredibly well. It finally seemed to go our way."

A five-run opening inning off Jeremy Bonderman in what could be his last start at Comerica Park in a Tigers uniform created what should've been a comfortable Twins lead for Carl Pavano, whose dominance against Detroit last year helped fuel the Twins' late-season comeback. His lead was gone by the end of a three-run fourth that included a 415-foot blast from Miguel Cabrera for his 37th home run of the year.

"My job as a starting pitcher is to set the tone and go out there and get outs, especially with a five-run lead," Pavano said. "I basically pitched poorly. They hit good pitches, they hit bad pitches. I looked at the tape and a lot of my pitches were up over the plate."

That inning was Pavano's last. Bonderman, like the Tigers' lead, lasted two batters into the fifth thanks to back-to-back home runs, including Danny Valencia's second homer of the night. The Tigers crept back and left the tying run on third in the bottom of the inning before finally tying it on Ryan Raburn's single in the seventh off Jon Rauch.

From there, the bullpens took over, and the outs piled up.

"It seemed like both teams got 10 runs at the snap of a finger, and then nobody could get anything," Leyland marveled.

Ryan Perry retired all seven Twins he faced after Brad Thomas retired the final four of his outing. Coke overcame a Denard Span 10th-inning single to erase him on a double play. But it was Schlereth who escaped the two toughest jams by striking out right-handed hitters.

Schlereth entered in the 12th to retire Revere after J.J. Hardy's one-out single, and Brennan Boesch's error gave Minnesota its first runner in scoring position since the sixth. After Revere grounded out, the Twins turned to switch-hitting Jose Morales.

The Tigers wanted to get a late-season look at how Schlereth handles left-handed hitters. Right-handed bats entered the day 10-for-33 off him. But a steady diet of breaking balls finally got Morales swinging at a pitch in the dirt.

"I guess that was kind of my go-to, getting that breaking ball down and making it look like a fastball," Schlereth said.

His tougher challenge came an inning later with the bases loaded and one out. Again, Schlereth struck out the left-hander, catching Jason Kubel.

Up came Valencia, batting .407 (37-for-91) off lefties since joining the Twins this summer.

"We all said we need to back him off the plate a little, because he's getting extended pretty well," Schlereth said. "I mean, he hit two home runs. So I tried to move him off the plate with a fastball and work off the breaking ball from there. I wasn't really trying to strike him out, but just get him out.

"I saw he had some problems with the breaking ball early in the game, so I decided to go with that with two strikes. Luckily, he swung and missed at it."

Minutes later, Valencia had a critical bobble at third, loading the bases with nobody out after back-to-back singles from Johnny Damon and Cabrera. Hudson's throw on Brennan Boesch's ground ball beat Damon to the plate to keep the game going for another batter, pitting Inge against lefty Randy Flores.

"That was a good piece of hitting," Leyland said. "He didn't try to do too much. Sometimes you worry about it with a lefty like that, try to pull him. We were yelling at him, 'Don't try to pull him. Stay on it. Go with it.' And he did. That's a perfect piece of hitting."

It didn't have a playoff spot riding on it, but the Tigers didn't seem to care.

"I'm proud of these guys for the way they battled back and didn't give it away," Inge said. "We very easily could've given it away."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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Cabrera, Porcello help Tigers go out with bang
Slugger hits 38th homer to back sharp righty in home finale
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/26/10 5:47 PM ET

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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera couldn't quite hit the makeshift "Cabrera for MVP" banner that was hanging along the left-field concourse at Comerica Park. He still gave the last home crowd of the season one more memory in his dominant season.

The Tigers already seemed on their way to victory over the Twins on Sunday, but his two-run homer in the seventh inning punctuated the 5-1 win and the three-game series sweep. What seemed like a line drive headed for the left-field fence instead hit the old left-field wall at the back of the bullpen. It had enough force that neither Tigers relievers nor fans had much interest in trying to catch it.

On distance, Cabrera's career-best 38th home run of the season won't look like much. On impact, it was mammoth. On crowd reaction, it was a shot.

The chant grew louder: "M-V-P! M-V-P!"


Twenty-eight voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will decide that. The managers working with and against him had their own opinions, regardless of the standings.

"I'd say he's probably as good of a hitter as there are in this league," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He ranks right at the top of guys you don't want to have beat you. And he still beats you. You are trying to pitch around him and he still does it.

"You can argue all kinds of different ways. But if you look at numbers, what he's done, if it's not about winning teams, then there you go. There's your MVP."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't want to get involved, but he couldn't help it.

"I'm not going to get into all that political stuff," Leyland said. "But if he's not the MVP ... I'd be surprised. But there are some teams that won that have candidates, so I guess that always plays into the picture. But to me, he's the best player in the league."

Even if he doesn't win it, it's going to be difficult for Cabrera to forget a moment like that crowd reaction. For someone who was far less popular in this town at the end of last year, it was a very good moment.

"That's something special, the way they support you," Cabrera said. "I'm thankful for all that. I'm thankful for being here in Detroit and being around great fans. They love this sport. I feel like this is my second home. When you feel like that, you want to do your best every time you go out there."

He's had better stretches this year, but it's been a while. Cabrera homered in all three games of this series, going 6-for-14 with six RBIs to complete a 9-for-23 homestand. He extended his league lead in runs scored and RBIs, and he turned around a month in which he had been batting under .200.

"He's good. He's really good," said Twins left-hander Brian Duensing (10-3), who gave up five runs on two homers en route to his first loss since Aug. 25. "All you can do is tip your hat to him. He hit a good pitch off Frankie [Liriano] the other night, and he hit another one out tonight.

"He's strong. He's not scared to go to the other way with it, too. It makes him a really big threat. Then you have to be careful with him. He got me."

The Tigers were already in command by then thanks to the other homer, a three-run shot from Ramon Santiago, to go with a strong performance from Rick Porcello.

Minnesota briefly led thanks to Delmon Young's 19th home run of the year, a solo shot with one out in the fourth. But Porcello (10-11), who retired nine consecutive batters before the homer, sent down eight of Minnesota's next nine batters afterward. He scattered four hits, two of them to Young, over eight innings for his fifth win in his last six starts. After midseason struggles sent him to Triple-A Toledo in June, Porcello hasn't lost since an Aug. 19 visit to Yankee Stadium.

"I wish either the season was shifted so that I'm still playing and throwing the ball real well," Porcello, "or that those mishaps had happened in Spring Training so I could've fixed them then. But that's the way it is. It's a learning experience for me. I think it was more valuable to go through that now than to get deeper into my career and then hit rock bottom and not know what to do."

Minutes after Young's home run, Santiago's first home run since June 11 -- and his first all season batting right-handed -- put Detroit on top for good. After Scott Sizemore's two-out single brought Santiago to the plate, he lofted the first pitch he saw from Duensing just over the left-field fence.

"It was a slider, middle-in," Santiago said. "I really put a good swing on it. I was trying to be aggressive, and I hit it pretty good."

The win was the Tigers' 52nd at home this season, topping last year's mark for their most ever at Comerica Park. Seven of those victories came against the Twins, allowing them to battle to a draw in the season series. It means nothing in terms of the standings, though the Tigers continue to keep pace with the second-place White Sox. It means more about how the Tigers feel about their team heading into a critical offseason.

It meant plenty to how Cabrera felt about here.

"It means a lot," he said. "It means I have to work harder to be ready next year."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeMon Sep 27, 2010 11:40 pm

Galarraga hits speed bump in loss to Tribe
Right-hander roughed up after taking no-no into fifth
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/28/10 12:08 AM ET

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DETROIT -- Armando Galarraga wasn't thinking about déjà-vu as he worked through the Indians' lineup for four innings Monday night. For everyone else, though, it looked oddly familiar.

Not only had Galarraga not allowed a base hit Monday when he took the mound for the fifth inning, he hadn't allowed a run to the Indians in 20 innings all season.
By the time he stepped back into the dugout, he had allowed five runs on four hits, three of them home runs, and retired just two batters.

"Everything happened so fast, I was in shock," Galarraga said after the Tigers' 6-3 loss. "That's a fast five runs."

It did not seem particularly quick to his manager.

"So much time between pitches, so deliberate, it was almost like every pitch they were preparing for a test," Jim Leyland said. "That was not a good pace to the game."

If it was a test, Galarraga has some more studying to do. As we went through the play-by-play damage aloud, he sounded like somebody who would've done a cram session right there if he thought it would help.

"They just kept hitting and hitting," Galarraga said. "Home run, another home run, double, walk, another home run. Boom, five runs, out of the game. And I sit down in the chair and I'm like, 'What the ...' I think about it: How did I give up those runs so easy?'"

To Leyland and the Indians, it wasn't necessarily the story of a brilliant performance suddenly gone awry, but a case of hitters finally catching up with what he had been doing for four innings.

"Galarraga just made some pitches eventually that they just couldn't miss," Leyland said. "The ball didn't really have much action on it. The velocity was OK, but there wasn't much action on the ball. And they just took advantage of it and hit them over the fence. At one point, they had three or four hits and a bunch of runs, and we had 10 or 11 hits and one run."

Galarraga became famous for his perfect-game bid against this team June 2, when he retired the first 26 Indians to the plate and would've finished off the effort if not for a blown call by first-base umpire Jim Joyce. Galarraga took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning the next time he met the Indians on Aug. 20, and settled for seven scoreless innings on three hits.

In both of those outings, Galarraga was able to get Indians batters to swing at his pitch, often a biting slider that they pounded into the ground for quick, easy outs. He racked up 15 ground-ball outs in his would-be perfect game, not counting the Jason Donald ground-ball single that should've been the final out, then struck out eight Indians in August.

Monday was different. The outs sometimes came fast, but very few of them were particularly easy. Tigers center fielder and Gold Glove candidate Austin Jackson caught six of the first 12 outs, and ran down all three outs in the fourth inning. The Indians didn't swing and miss at any of his pitches, including a slider that was more diving than biting as Cleveland's hitters watched it fall into the dirt.

"He wasn't as good today as the last two times we faced him," Indians manager Manny Acta. "We were hitting some balls hard early in the game right at people, so guys were a little more confident. They continued to pump each other up, saying, 'Keep swinging. It'll happen.'"

It took a while, but it happened fast.

After a first-pitch ball to Matt LaPorta to start off the inning, Galarraga left a slider over the plate for strike one, then threw another one in the zone. LaPorta didn't miss, sending it 412 feet to straightaway center field to break up the no-hitter and the shutout in one swing.

Two batters later, Galarraga couldn't get backup catcher Carlin to offer at back-to-back pitches off the outside corner. He tried to challenge Carlin on a 2-0 pitch and paid for it, watching Carlin send it deep to right for his first American League homer and a tie game.

Michael Brantley barely missed another homer three pitches later, settling for a double off the right-field fence. Galarraga regrouped with a fly ball to right field from Asdrubal Cabrera, but lost Shin-Soo Choo for a two-out walk.

"That," Leyland said, "was a killer."

Leyland called the deliberate pace scientific. In some ways, that might be true. Galarraga, for his part, was trying to figure out what to do.

"It's frustrating," Galarraga said, "because I need to keep a better rhythm. That's what I had before."

After a first-pitch ball, Travis Hafner made Galarraga pay for a hanging changeup, driving it 429 feet to right field for his 12th home run of the year.

Choo was 8-for-25 off Galarraga entering the night. Hafner, by contrast, was just 2-for-17.

"I threw the first changeup down," Galarraga said. "I wanted to throw a good changeup outside, and the ball was middle-in. He went up and got it. With runners, he's an aggressive guy."

That was it for Galarraga (4-8), who gave up five runs on four hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. To him, it was a continuation of the struggles over his previous two starts against the Rangers and Royals. The three starts combined have inflicted 17 runs of damage on 21 hits over 13 2/3 innings.

He has one more start Saturday at Baltimore to try to find that rhythm again. After all that has happened, he desperately wants to end this season on a good note.

"I want to have the feeling of throwing the last game OK," Galarraga said. "The last three starts have been horrible for me."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeWed Sep 29, 2010 9:59 am

Tuesday's Tigers vs. Tribe contest postponed
Clubs to play doubleheader beginning at 4:05 ET on Wednesday
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/28/10 9:14 PM ET

CLEVELAND -- A full day and night of showers at Progressive Field washed out Tuesday night's scheduled game between the Tigers and Indians, setting up a straight doubleheader Wednesday before the Tigers head out of town.

The first game, scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET, will feature Tuesday's scheduled starters, Max Scherzer and Mitch Talbot. The second game will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1, with Justin Verlander facing Josh Tomlin.

Both games will be telecast on FSN Detroit.

This was originally scheduled to be Scherzer's next-to-last start, with his finale coming Sunday at Baltimore. Now that Scherzer is pitching Wednesday instead of Tuesday, the Tigers will wait to announce who will start Sunday. It could end up a spot start or a bullpen start, depending on the shape of the pitching staff this weekend.

Tuesday's forecast originally called for showers to become more scattered as the evening unfolded. Instead, while the rains slowed at times, they stopped only briefly around an hour before game time. Once they resumed, they didn't let up thanks to a storm system seemingly parked over Lake Erie. The game was called shortly before 9 p.m.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeWed Sep 29, 2010 11:06 pm

Scherzer done in by homers as Tigers fall
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/29/10 6:35 PM ET

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CLEVELAND -- What was expected to be the start of a solid day of Tigers starting pitching got off to a rough start. The Indians roughed up Max Scherzer with two-run home runs from Travis Hafner and Shin-Soo Choo, supporting Cleveland starter Mitch Talbot's seven scoreless innings for a 4-0 Detroit defeat Wednesday afternoon in the opener of a doubleheader at Progressive Field.

The Tigers will try to avoid a doubleheader and series sweep Wednesday night behind Justin Verlander. They also need a win to clinch the season series.

Scherzer (12-11) had allowed just two runs on four hits over 15 2/3 innings in his last two starts, but he was clearly out of sync after his Tuesday night start was rained out. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the opening inning and overcame a leadoff single in the second, but fell behind once Choo's one-out bunt single in the third provided a runner for Hafner.

"This was Scherzer's eighth day [since his last start]," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "His control wasn't sharp. This was just so unlike him today. He just couldn't throw the ball over the plate to get ahead. Then, of course, we didn't do anything offensively."

Hafner got a full-count changeup and sent it out on a line into the right-field seats, an estimated 389-foot shot that powered Cleveland ahead. Hafner improved to 6-for-10 lifetime against Scherzer.

Choo, meanwhile, had base hits in all three at-bats against Scherzer, capping the effort with a 395-foot drive to right after Asdrubal Cabrera walked to lead off the fifth.

The Tigers offense showed little life without Miguel Cabrera, who was sent home Wednesday after he was diagnosed with a season-ending high ankle sprain.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 01, 2010 11:18 pm

Verlander denied win No. 19 as Tribe rallies
Hurler's 10 K's not enough as Tigers are swept in Cleveland
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/29/10 11:58 PM ET

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CLEVELAND -- This was Justin Verlander going out his way. It just wasn't the result he or the Tigers wanted.

Verlander's 3,745th and final pitch of the season, and his 121st of the night, was a 101 mph fastball that he blew past Shin-Soo Choo to strand the bases loaded in the seventh inning. His final seven pitches all hit 100 mph or better on the Progressive Field radar gun -- some of them in the upper 90s on the SportsTime Ohio gun -- leading to his 218th and 219th strikeouts of the season.

Still, no matter how hard Verlander threw, he couldn't pitch the Tigers back in front. It's the result, not the velocities, that stuck with him after a 4-3 loss to the Indians completed the Tigers' second doubleheader sweep in Cleveland this year and their eighth straight loss here.

"It's not what we wanted, not what we needed," Verlander said. "My team gave me a three-run lead, and I wasn't able to hold it."

It wasn't anywhere near what the Tigers expected. Thanks to Tuesday's rainout, they sent their top two starters, Max Scherzer and Verlander, to the mound on the same day against a young lineup that Tigers pitchers have largely commanded this year. They had every right to look for two wins that would clinch their fourth winning season in five years.

Instead, they left town two games over .500 heading into a deceptively difficult, season-ending four-game series at Baltimore, and wondering how they could've been swept here again.

"We found ways not to win," manager Jim Leyland said, "and they found ways to win."

Hours earlier, Leyland said his team played in the 4-0 loss in Game 1 "like it was a Spring Training B-game." He meant the offense, though he said Scherzer looked very much out of sync after seven days of rest.

The nightcap was different. Detroit had a 3-0 lead in the middle of the second inning thanks to Ryan Raburn's two-run homer and a rare infield bloop single from Johnny Damon. Verlander was trying for a second straight 19-win season and perhaps a chance to earn his 20th with a start Sunday on short rest. Leyland entertained the possibility.

At the very least, Leyland badly wanted to get Verlander this win, which is why he stuck with his ace during the seventh-inning jam. Verlander wanted it for his team, which explains in part why he could reach back for that kind of velocity at the end.

"In all likelihood, it is my last start of the year," Verlander said, "and there's no reason to keep anything left in the tank. Just let it all go. Obviously, the situation warranted it."

His downfall wasn't those pitches, but a few key ones several innings earlier. A two-out breaking ball in the dirt to Luis Valbuena skipped past catcher Gerald Laird for a wild pitch that allowed Jordan Brown to score without a throw in the bottom of the second.

Verlander struck out three of Cleveland's next five batters before Shelley Duncan connected on an 0-2 curveball for a one-out double off the left-field wall in the fourth. Verlander retired Brown, then put Jayson Nix in an 0-2 hole.

Nix fouled off a 97 mph fastball, then got an 89 mph changeup over the plate that he centered back through the middle for a single and a 3-2 game.

"I felt like I made some not-so-smart pitches, in particular the changeups that I threw, knowing that's not one of my better pitches right now," Verlander said. "Sometimes it comes and goes. Right now, it's not there."

But the fatal blow came in the fifth, once Verlander lost ninth batter Lou Marson to a one-out walk after an 0-2 count. Michael Brantley hit his next pitch to the right-field fence for a triple, tying the game and setting up Trevor Crowe.

"We had to do what we had to do just to score to get ahead in the game," Indians manager Manny Acta said, "because you just can't sit back and challenge that guy."

Leyland and Verlander suspected they might try the squeeze bunt, but they did not call the pitchout on that pitch. It was actually a reaction on both Verlander and Laird.

"I was prepared for it," Verlander said. "I felt like he took off a little bit early from third, which gave me the opportunity to elevate it. I just did what I could. Gerald saw it, too. He was coming out like it was a pitchout, so I probably could've thrown it a little farther out."

Maybe, it was still high enough that he shouldn't have been able to get it down.

"With runners in scoring position and less than two outs, he tends to work up with his fastball," Crowe said. "So I just kind of anticipated that it was going to be up. I didn't know it was going to be that up. I just tried to get on top of it."

Somehow, he did. Once he did, Brantley's jump and his speed gave third baseman Brandon Inge no play.

"I was really surprised," Laird said. "That pitch was like 97 mph up. He just did a good job. That's a tough pitch to get on top of, but you have to tip your cap."

It was a combination of a big night's adrenaline and an offseason's worth of conditioning that allowed Verlander to reach for triple-digit velocity and keep them in it from there. But the damage was complete on both sides. Those three early runs comprised the entire Tigers scoring in 18 innings Wednesday, perhaps reflecting how valuable Miguel Cabrera is among MVP candidates.

Verlander (18-8) was at the top of the dugout in the eighth inning to see if his team could turn Ramon Santiago's two-out single into a tying run. When they didn't, he went back into the clubhouse, nothing left to do.

He was impressive, overpowering, but not victorious.

"That's a game we should've won and didn't," Leyland said, "because we didn't execute."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 01, 2010 11:22 pm

Unhittable early, Bonderman roughed up in loss
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/01/10 8:36 PM ET

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BALTIMORE -- This wasn't the way Jeremy Bonderman wanted to go out, not in his comeback season, and not potentially in a Tigers uniform. As he walked off the field at Camden Yards in the fifth inning, the Orioles having roughed him up for a 10-6 Tigers loss Friday in Game 1 of a doubleheader, he looked into the stands, then straight down as he headed into the dugout and the clubhouse.

Bonderman has had plenty to be happy about in a healthy season after missing the better part of two years with shoulder problems, but he won't be happy about the finish. After Bonderman used double plays to erase leadoff walks in the second and third innings, the Orioles sent 10 batters up in the fourth inning and added three more runs in the fifth to build a 9-1 lead. The Tigers rallied with a four-run eighth, but couldn't erase that big of a deficit.

"Just walking guys and making bad pitches, falling behind in counts," Bonderman said. "I did it last start, too. Just got beat pretty bad. It's embarrassing. I don't know what else I can say.

Combine that with Chris Tillman's seven innings of one-run ball, and it was a long afternoon for the Tigers to start this doubleheader. Detroit needs a win in the nightcap to avoid a five-game losing streak. Detroit needs two wins in its final three games here to clinch its fourth winning season in five years, or one win to, at least, avoid a losing season.

Though Bonderman (8-10) gave up nine runs on six hits over his 4 1/3 innings, the bulk of the damage came from three extra-base hits in the fourth and fifth. After Felix Pie's bases-loaded liner off the right-field wall only advanced runners a base, Adam Jones cleared them with a double down the left-field line.

"I threw a breaking ball and left it right over the middle," Bonderman said. "He did what he should do with it. Not a lot I can really say. Just not a good game and not the way I wanted to go out and finish the year."

Bonderman hit his second batter of the inning, putting Robert Andino on base for Craig Tatum to score with his double off the fence in left-center field. Bonderman recovered for back-to-back outs to escape the threat with the Tigers bullpen warming, but left once Pie got his revenge with a two-run triple in the sixth.

Bonderman gave up nine runs in each of his final two outings this season, though two of them were unearned last weekend against the Twins. He did not pitch past the sixth inning in his final four starts after his last win, eight innings of one-run ball against the White Sox on Sept. 8.

"I had some good starts and I had some bad ones," said Bonderman, who is a free agent at season's end. "The final numbers don't look too pretty, but I'm healthy and I made it through. Hopefully next year I'll get an opportunity to pitch somewhere and find a little bit better numbers."

Don Kelly's second-inning homer comprised all of Detroit's offense off Tillman (2-5), who held Detroit to three hits over his seven innings, with three strikeouts. Once Tillman left, Max St. Pierre's leadoff double set off the Tigers' rally off Mark Hendrickson, including RBI singles from Kelly off Hendrickson and Brennan Boesch off Matt Albers.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 01, 2010 11:25 pm

Tigers swept in doubleheader at hands of O's
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/01/10 11:49 PM ET

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BALTIMORE -- Jeremy Bonderman and Rick Porcello are two Tigers pitchers in completely different stages of their careers, but in the same situation Friday. Bonderman took the mound against the Orioles during the day not knowing where his next Major League start would take place, facing free agency this winter. Porcello took the mound at night with a role seemingly set in Detroit, but hoping to continue to mature into it.

Their outings were about as different as their futures, but met the same fate. Like Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander two days ago, they both took Tigers losses on the same day in the final starts of their regular season. And the Tigers faced their second doubleheader sweep in three days in two different cities.

"Nobody wants to lose one game, let alone four in two days," Porcello said after the 2-1 Tigers loss to the O's in the nightcap.

Suddenly, the effect could have a big impact on the Tigers' final record. They went to Progressive Field in Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon needing two wins in their final six games to clinch their fourth winning season in five years under manager Jim Leyland. They left Camden Yards Friday night needing to win each of their final two games to do that, having lost five straight this week.

"It's not good when you lose them two at a time, like we did in Cleveland and here," Leyland said. "But you have to keep battling and scratching and clawing."

They've largely done that in these final weeks, despite being long since out of the postseason chase. With so many young players in the lineup, they've had their focus squarely turned toward 2011 for a while. Only one of Friday's two Tigers starting pitchers could realistically say the same.

Bonderman has to find a job for next season, likely not with Detroit. Porcello is in the heart of the Tigers' plans when they head to Spring Training next February, slotting in nicely behind Verlander and Scherzer, but has to carry over what he has learned in his sophomore season.

It's been quite often, and it continued Friday, when he somehow found his way into a pitching duel despite giving up a dozen hits over six-plus innings.

"It was kind of weird," Porcello said. "I felt like I had a pretty good sinker all day. They did a good job putting the bat on the ball. They had countless leadoff singles. They really put pressure on us almost every inning."

They led off each of Porcello's final three innings with singles, and they bunched together back-to-back singles in each of the first two. Nick Markakis' third-inning homer was Baltimore's only hit for extra bases, and for a good while, it was the game's lone run.

Porcello kept it that way with an impressive amount of damage control, fueled by a sinker-slider combination that was better than advertised. More than half of the singles Porcello allowed were on the ground, and he induced just two of his 19 outs on fly balls. He induced ground-ball double plays in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

"That's the good fortune of a sinkerballer," Leyland said.

He got out of innings, but Jeremy Guthrie's eight scoreless innings never gave Porcello a chance to get ahead in the game. Guthrie (11-14) continued his second-half surge by taking advantage of an aggressive Detroit lineup lacking Miguel Cabrera in the middle. Singles from Ryan Raburn and Will Rhymes, plus a pair of Orioles infield errors and a hit-by-pitch to Ramon Santiago, comprised the entirety of Detroit's offense through the first seven innings.

Guthrie retired 10 straight batters after Rhymes' two-out single in the fifth. Once Guthrie left, Don Kelly's ninth-inning solo homer -- his second over the doubleheader -- put Detroit on the scoreboard.

"The offense right now is sputtering quite a bit," said Leyland, who hasn't had MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera since Monday.

Porcello was hoping for a similar result when Julio Lugo stepped to the plate with runners at the corners and one out in the seventh, but Lugo jumped on a first-pitch fastball and sent it into left field for an RBI single. Another Markakis hit loaded the bases with a chance to put the game away before Ryan Perry escaped with another double play, the third for the middle-infield duo of Will Rhymes and Santiago.

"He threw a lot of sinkers -- good pitches -- and got a lot of ground balls in big situations there," Rhymes said. "That's how he needs to pitch."

Porcello (10-12) knows that. He also knows that he needs to work on his secondary pitches to have long-term success with the sinker. He missed out on his chance at a .500 record, but in a season that saw Porcello sent to Triple-A Toledo, the lessons he has learned could mean more.

"I definitely feel like I've learned a lot. I've gained some confidence through some struggles that I had this year and been able to patch up some tough stretches I've had," Porcello said. "So [I'll] just take that, take the knowledge and the experience that I've gotten from this year and just try to use it and make myself better from it."

For Bonderman, Friday's afternoon tilt was an example in needing those outs. After Bonderman used double plays to erase leadoff walks in the second and third innings, the Orioles sent 10 batters in the fourth inning and added three more runs in the fifth on their way to a 10-6 win. Though Bonderman (8-10) gave up nine runs on six hits over his 4 1/3 innings, the bulk of the damage came from three extra-base hits in the fourth and fifth.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeSat Oct 02, 2010 11:08 pm

Hard-luck Galarraga takes undeserved loss
Tigers batters strike out 13 times against Orioles
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/02/10 11:20 PM ET

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BALTIMORE -- History will look at Armando Galarraga as a pitcher robbed of a perfect game. Most likely, it'll ignore the 20 starts that followed. They didn't treat him much better, even on nights when he didn't pitch much worse.

His season finale on Saturday night was one tough defeat, a 2-1 decision to the O's for the Tigers' sixth straight loss, but it was a snapshot of his entire season. It wasn't just that he couldn't catch a break from umpire Jim Joyce on that June evening, he couldn't catch a break from his own team on some nights.

It tormented him at times this summer. After tossing seven innings of three-run ball against the Orioles on Sept. 10 at Comerica Park and taking a no-decision for it, he was almost flabbergasted that he had just four wins all season. He didn't win in his four starts since, though he probably deserved to win Saturday.

Galarraga went 2-8 after his brush with perfection, including seven quality starts that went for no-decisions or losses. He might've felt a little sorry for himself before, but on Saturday, he finally seemed at peace with how it unfolded. He was beaten again, outpitched in a duel with Brian Matusz, but he didn't sound defeated.

"I know I didn't have a good season," Galarraga said, "but I'm keeping positive. It was better than last season. I still did better than last year, so hopefully next year, I will do better than this year. I believe I'm a young pitcher. I believe I can learn a lot.

"I was watching tape the other day, and I can see, when I throw strikes and attack the zone, how good I can be. What happened today showed that I can be a really good pitcher when I throw a lot of strikes."

That was the Galarraga on display Saturday. He needed just 91 pitches, 63 of them for strikes, to hold the Orioles to three hits over eight innings. He needed just 28 pitches to get through his final three innings. He used a darting slider to induce 11 swings and misses on his way to seven strikeouts, and he faced only one three-ball count aside from his eighth-inning walk to Robert Andino. He worked efficiently, and he worked quickly, as opposed to his labored tempo over his last couple of starts.

Some of it probably had to do with a young team swinging aggressively on the next-to-last day of the season. But given the struggles Galarraga took into this start, having given up 17 earned runs over 13 2/3 innings in his previous three outings, Galarraga was a big part of the equation.

"He seemed a lot fresher to me tonight, for some reason," manager Jim Leyland said. "The ball had some life on it downstairs, a pretty good slider, good changeup. He pitched well, but he stayed down most of the time. I thought he did an excellent job. I mean, you can't pitch much better than that. You hold a team to a few runs in this ballpark, and you've pitched a heckuva ballgame."

On this night, though, those few runs meant he got outpitched. Galarraga retired his first 10 batters before Nick Markakis pounced on what looked like a fastball for a fourth-inning homer, his 12th home run of the season.

"The at-bat was crazy, because I wanted to throw over a sinker," Galarraga said. "The ball cut. It was a bad pitch, but for some reason the ball started to cut to him, and he got a good swing."

That erased an early lead that the Tigers built on Brandon Inge's second-inning homer. Felix Pie doubled and scored in the next inning to put the O's ahead for good.

The Tigers stacked the lineup with right-handed hitters against the left-handed Matusz (10-12), but it made little difference. The youngster fanned nine batters over his six innings, and allowed only one hit after Inge's homer. Baltimore's bullpen took it from there.

"He's got good stuff," Ramon Santiago said of Matusz. "He's got a funky delivery. He mixed it up, curveball, slider, good changeup, everything. It was tough. We got his pitch count high early on, but we only scored one. He's been pitching well."

Galarraga, in turn, took another loss. He has deserved some of those, no doubt, but not all. There wasn't much left he could do about it.

"I learned a lot from this season. I really did," Galarraga said. "I'm talking about something inside, something that every player has inside. When you throw your uniform in the laundry on the last day, you say, 'Did I have a good year? Not too good.' I had a bad year. But you know what makes you feel better? Right here, in your heart, you're doing everything you can, no matter what happens, no matter the results, if you're doing good or doing bad.

"I know, the last 24 starts, I'm doing the best I can. Maybe the result was not that great. But when I take off my uniform, I can say I'm doing everything I can."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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PostSubject: Re: 2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   2010 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Page 8 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 03, 2010 6:09 pm

Tigers snap skid, finish season at .500
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/03/10 8:00 PM ET

Box >

BALTIMORE -- Jim Leyland isn't big on pregame meetings, but he took a few minutes with the Tigers and gave them one request: Play like it's your last game.

Sunday probably wasn't Brandon Inge's last game with the Tigers, let alone his last game, period. But as he dove into the air for Luke Scott's line drive in the hole to finish off the 4-2 win over the Orioles, he didn't have to leave the field with any regrets.

"I'll tell you what, I was like a golden retriever going after a tennis ball," Inge said. "I was like, 'No way is that ball landing. I'm going to catch this thing.'"

The win closes out the Tigers season at 81-81, their fourth mark of .500 or better in five seasons under Leyland. It also closed out the Tigers tenures of quite a few players on a high note.

Johnny Damon received an ovation from the Tigers fans in attendance on his way back into the dugout, having been lifted for a pinch-runner after his go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning. Jeremy Bonderman and Gerald Laird were likely wearing a Detroit uniform for the last time, though team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said there's a small chance they could bring back Bonderman later in the offseason.

But of all the potential Tigers free agents, the biggest impact on Sunday's game came from the one who appears most likely to be back. Inge did it with the kind of game fans have come to appreciate from him over the years.

"We had a very short team meeting before the game," Inge said. "It was one of those where Skip [Leyland] just kind of held it and gave us some thanks for everything this year, sorry it didn't work out the way we wanted to. But he also mentioned something about if we win today, we'll be at .500, and there's something to be said for that. And I think there is, and I think that everyone that went out there kind of had it on their mind: It's the last day, but could it kill you to play as hard as you can?

"Try to get a win on the last day, get what you can out of the season, make it respectable. The concentration level, I think, was up on everyone today."

That's saying a lot for a team that lost Miguel Cabrera on Monday, the first game of this season-ending road trip, and ended up losing six straight. They went from a chance at 85 wins or more to the verge of their second losing season in three years, a sad fate for a team that was leading the AL Central as recently as early July.

"I just wanted to thank them for their efforts," Leyland said of his pregame speech. "I told them that we had to play the game. We couldn't get out of here any earlier. We're going to have to play this game, so let's play it like it's your last game."

Normally, the season's final game is when that feeling of inevitability takes over, and hitters go up hacking early and often in a quick game that gets them to the airport -- and headed for home. After the Orioles put up two runs on five hits against Phil Coke in the setup man's first Major League start, it was seemingly headed in that direction.

O's starter Brad Bergesen didn't allow a hit until Jhonny Peralta hit a ground ball through the left side for a one-out single in the fifth. Two batters later, Bergesen went at Inge with back-to-back fastballs and paid for it with a game-tying two-run homer.

"He had a big day, obviously," Leyland said.

Will Rhymes' one-out double in the next inning set up Damon, who hit a bouncer through the middle that allowed Rhymes to score easily. It wasn't a big ovation from the mostly Baltimore fans as Damon left the field, but it was a significant ovation from the dugout.

"It's a respect thing," Leyland said.

Meanwhile, the Tigers bullpen picked up their fellow reliever Coke, soon to become a member of Detroit's rotation if all goes according to plan. Daniel Schlereth (2-0), who could succeed Coke as a key lefty reliever, took advantage of the Orioles' aggressive young hitters to strike out four over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Robbie Weinhardt and Brad Thomas tossed a scoreless inning apiece to set up Jose Valverde for his 26th save of the year, and his first since Sept. 4.

Inge, meanwhile, finished the season with home runs in his last two games, even if he isn't finished in Detroit. The Tigers made him a multi-year contract offer earlier in the week, a vote of confidence that seemed to stick with him.

He wants to stick around, but he also knows the business end. The Tigers know what to expect from him, which is part of the reason why they want him around.

"They know what they're going to get," Inge said. "I'm going to go out there and play as hard as I can, rain or shine, whether I'm injured or not."

They got it Sunday.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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