Monday, October 29, 2012

Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants have no regular-season rematch in 2013

The Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants won't play one another in 2013, unless they stage a repeat match-up in the World Series.
The Giants' interleague opponents next season include Bay Area rival Oakland, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Manager Bruce Bochy's San Francisco club also has interleague dates with the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
The Giants will be at Yankee Stadium in late September.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Detroit Tigers sluggers Cabrera, Fielder quiet in first two games of World Series

Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown, and he and Prince Fielder combined to hit 74 home runs, during the regular season.
But the heart of the Detroit Tigers' batting order has been quiet in the World Series.
Cabrera has one hit in five at-bats, and Fielder is 1-for-6 through Games 1 and 2, both won by the San Francisco Giants.
Neither Cabrera nor Fielder has an extra-base hit in the Fall Classic, which resumes at Comerica Park on Saturday night.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Detroit Tigers fans face interesting conflicts during World Series

Savvy sports fans should start making plans, and contingency plans, for following the 2012 World Series that will feature Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers against the National League champion, either St. Louis or San Francisco.
Some tough choices might have to be made. Start times for the baseball games have yet to be announced by Major League Baseball.
If the World Series stretches past five games, Game 6 will be played at the home of the NL champion on Wednesday, Oct. 31. That's right, on Halloween. The baseball game will likely start in prime time. That could be after trick-or-treating is over, but still in the midst of holiday parties.
Also on Halloween, the Detroit Pistons start their season. The Pistons play Houston at the Palace at 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 of the World Series, the first game to be played at Comerica Park, will take place Saturday, Oct. 27. That day's college football schedule includes the Michigan State Spartans at Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m., and the Michigan Wolverines at Nebraska at 8 p.m. (Expect the baseball game to go head to head with the Wolverines game.)
Game 4, the second game scheduled for Comerica Park, will be Sunday, Oct. 28. The Lions have a home game that day, a 1 p.m. kick against the Seattle Seahawks.
Game 5, if necessary, would be played at Comerica Park. Couch potatoes note: The Monday night football match-up that week features San Francisco at Arizona.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander add names to special list of Detroit Tigers pitchers

Denny McLain is not on the list. Nor is Jack Morris.
The Detroit Tigers have won 10 post-season series, including their sweep of the New York Yankees in the 2012 American League Championship Series.

Ten different men were the winning pitchers of the Tigers' 10 series-clinching victories.
Tommy Bridges was the first.
Bridges was the winning pitcher in Game 6 of the 1935 World Series, when the Tigers won their first world championship by taking out the Chicago Cubs four games to two.
The others: Hal Newhouser, Mickey Lolich, Milt Wilcox, Aurelio Lopez, Jeremy Bonderman, Wil Ledezma, Doug Fister, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
Verlander was the winning pitcher in the Tigers' series-clinching win over Oakland in the division playoffs.
Scherzer was the winner of Game 4 against the Yankees.

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Jim Leyland third manager to win more than one pennant with Detroit Tigers

Jim Leyland became the third Detroit Tigers manager to win more than one American League pennant with the team.
Leyland's team swept the New York Yankees in the best-of-seven ALCS to capture the 2012 pennant. The Tigers also won the 2006 pennant under Leyland.
Hughie Jennings managed the Tigers to pennants in 1907, 1908 and 1909.
Mickey Cochrane was the manager of pennant-winning clubs in 1934 and 1935.
Jennings' teams did not win a World Series.
Cochrane's 1934 club lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic, and his 1935 team beat the Chicago Cubs for Detroit's first World Series title.
Leyland and Jennings are the only managers to take the Tigers to the post-season three times.
Detroit's other pennant-winning managers: Del Baker (1940), Steve O'Neill (1945), Mayo Smith (1968) and Sparky Anderson (1984).

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Detroit Tigers win 11th American League pennant

The American League pennant in hand, the Detroit Tigers turn next to the World Series. They'll try to win one for the first time since 1984.
The AL has lost the last two Fall Classics. St. Louis won in 2011 and San Francisco in 2010, with each team defeating the Texas Rangers.
Coincidentally, it will be either the Cardinals or Giants who provide the Tigers' World Series opposition.
Detroit and St. Louis have met in three World Series. The Cardinals won in 1934 and 2006, the Tigers in 1968.
Detroit and San Francisco have never met in the post-season.
The Tigers swept the New York Yankees in the American League championship series, closing out an 8-1 record with relief pitcher Phil Coke on the mound.
Delmon Young was named the MVP of the ALCS.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter to be sidelined 4-5 months

Derek Jeter might not be ready for the start of 2013 spring training.
But the New York Yankees do not know for sure about their shortstop's recovery from a broken left ankle.
"There is no new information," Brian Cashman, the Yankees general manager, said Wednesday at Comerica Park.
"I believe that Dr. (Robert) Anderson just put in a more conservative time frame on it. So there's no new information. Nothing seen worse than what our team doctor saw."
The Yankees said Jeter will be sidelined four to five months.
Jeter, 38, broke his ankle during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers.
"My understanding," Cashman said, "is that it's possible he will be ready earlier than that time frame, but it is best to at least put out there four, five months as a safer bet."
Jeter is due to have surgery on the ankle Saturday. Anderson will perform the surgery.
Cashman said he expects Jeter to be ready to play at the end of the four-to-five-month time frame.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CC Sabathia confident heading into Game 4 of ALCS

The New York Yankees have had a difficult time scoring runs in the post-season.
That won't compel CC Sabathia to approach Game 4 differently than he normally would.
"No, I always want to go out and try to shut the other team down and give us as many opportunities to score," Sabathia, the Yankees' veteran left-hander, said Tuesday before Game 3 of the ALCS at Comerica Park.
"As cold as we are, we can get just as hot, especially with our lineup and the veterans we have and the great players we have.
"We always had a faith that  if you go out there and do your job, you are going to score runs, and we have all year, really."
Sabathia is scheduled oppose Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer as New York tries to do well enough to get the series back to New York.
"I am definitely looking forward to getting a chance to pitch in this series," Sabathia said.
Sabathia is 2-0 with  a 1.53 ERA in this post-season.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

These Detroit Tigers pitchers came through at 'closing time'

Denny McLain is not on the list. Nor is Jack Morris.
The Detroit Tigers had won eight post-season series as they took the field at Oakland and tried to eliminate the Athletics behind Max Scherzer on Wednesday night.
Eight different men were the winning pitchers of the Tigers' first eight series-clinching victories.
Tommy Bridges was the first.
Bridges was the winning pitcher in Game 6 of the 1935 World Series, when the Tigers won their first world championship by taking out the Chicago Cubs four games to two.
The others: Hal Newhouser, Mickey Lolich, Milt Wilcox, Aurelio Lopez, Jeremy Bonderman, Wil Ledezma and Doug Fister.

TOMMY BRIDGES: Tennessee native Thomas Jefferson Davis Bridges went 2-0 with two complete games and a 2.50 ERA against the Cubs in the 1935 World Series. The right-hander spent his entire 16-year career with Detroit and won 194 games, sixth-most in club history.

HAL NEWHOUSER: The future Hall of Famer was 2-1 with a 6.10 ERA in the 1945 World Series, when the Tigers beat the Cubs in seven games. Newhouser was the winning pitcher in Game 7, a 9-3 Detroit victory in the Windy City. The left-hander and Detroit native, who pitched for 15 seasons for the Tigers, is still in the franchise's top five in wins, starts, complete games and shutouts.

MICKEY LOLICH: Will any Tiger ever top the Mick's performance in the 1968 World Series? The left-hander won a duel with Bob Gibson in Game 7 as the Tigers won at St. Louis to complete a comeback from a three games to one deficit. For the series, Lolich, a long-time Macomb County resident, turned in three complete games and posted a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings against a Cardinals lineup that featured speed and power.

MILT WILCOX: The right-hander went eight innings to earn the victory in a 1-0 win over Kansas City that wrapped up the Tigers' three-game sweep in the 1984 ALCS. Wilcox also won Game 3 of the World Series that year against the San Diego Padres.

AURELIO LOPEZ: Senor Smoke was the winning pitcher in relief in Game 5 of the World Series against San Diego. The game will always be remembered for Kirk Gibson's three-run, series-clinching home run off Goose Gossage in the eighth inning, but it was Lopez who earned the pitching victory that Sunday at Tiger Stadium.

JEREMY BONDERMAN: Was this Bonderman's finest moment as a Tiger? The right-hander pitched 8.1 innings in an 8-3 victory that clinched Detroit's four-game ALDS win over the New York Yankees in 2006. It was the Tigers' first post-season series win in 22 years, and Bonderman put his name on it.

WIL LEDEZMA: Ledezma pitched nine big-league seasons, and won only one post-season game, but what a victory it was. The lefty worked a scoreless top of the ninth inning and then became the winning pitcher when Magglio Ordonez hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the frame to give the Tigers a 6-3 victory and sweep of Oakland in the 2006 ALCS.

DOUG FISTER: The 6-foot-8 right-hander gave the Tigers their second post-season series win over the Yankees in six years when he prevailed in Game 5 of an ALDS in 2011. Fister also won a game in the 2011 ALCS against the Texas Rangers.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer to make 2012 playoff debut

Bob Melvin
The Tigers send right-hander Max Scherzer to the mound in their second attempt to close out the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS. It will be Scherzer's first start of this post-season.
Scherzer, who was 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA during the regular season, opposes rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin as the series continues with Game 4 at Oakland at 9:37 p.m.Wednesday. The game will be televised by TNT.
Scherzer was 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in the 2011 post-season.
The 6-foot-5 Griffin was 7-1 during the regular season for manager Bob Melvin's team. Griffin's only loss came against the Tigers at Comerica Park on Sept. 18 when the California native allowed eight hits and five earned runs in 4.2 innings.
Oakland avoided elimination by defeating the Tigers 2-0 Tuesday night as Detroit was held to four hits.
Game 5, if necessary, would be played at 9:37 p.m.Thursday at Oakland with Game 1 winner Justin Verlander scheduled to pitch for the Tigers.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics can't escape one another

Since major-league baseball went to a division format in 1969, the Detroit Tigers have qualified for post-season play six times, in 1972, 1984, 1987, 2006, 2011 and 2012.
Jim Leyland
The Oakland Athletics are the Tigers' most frequent opponents in those playoff years.
The ongoing best-of-five ALDS, which Detroit leads 2-0 as the scene shifts to the West Coast, is the third time the Tigers and A's have locked horns since 1972.
Oakland won the AL pennant by defeating the Tigers 3-2 in what was a best-of-five series in 1972.
The Tigers won their most recent pennant in 2006 by sweeping the Athletics 4-0 in a best-of-seven ALCS.
The New York Yankees are the only other team Detroit has met more than once in post-season play since '72.
The Tigers beat the Bronx Bombers best-of-five series in 2006 and 2011, both under current manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit's other post-season opponents since 1972: Royals (1984 ALCS), Padres (1984 World Series), Twins (1987 ALCS), Cardinals (2006 World Series) and Rangers (2011 ALCS).

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Detroit Tigers' ALDS with Oakland evokes images of post-seasons past

Gerald Laird tags out Coco Crisp
Tap into the memory bank, Detroit Tigers fans.
A couple of plays from the Tigers' 5-4 ALDS victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday evoked images of post-seasons past.
First, the third-inning tag-out by Tigers catcher Gerald Laird on Coco Crisp, following a strong throw from right fielder Avisail Garcia, looked a lot like a key play during the 1968 World Series.
Then, following the game, the Athletics-Tigers debate over the actions of Detroit reliever Al Alburquerque stirred memories of the 1972 American League Championship Series between the teams.
In 1968, sturdy Tigers catcher Bill Freehan blocked home plate, and Cardinal Lou Brock tried to score standing up, in a famous tag-out in Game 5 of the World Series, when Detroit trailed St. Louis three games to one.
That play is thought to have swung the momentum of Game 5, which the Tigers went on to win before taking Games 6 and 7 in St. Louis.
Pictures of Laird blocking the plate, forcing a wide, hand-first slide by Crisp, are as compelling as photos of the Brock-Freehan collision.
The Athletics and Tigers not getting along?
Nothing has changed much in 42 years.
During Game 2 of the best-of-five '72 ALCS, A's shortstop and sparkplug Bert Campaneris, angered when hit on the ankle by a pitch thrown by reliever Lerrin LaGrow, threw his bat at the right-hander, touching off a dugout-clearing melee.
Oakland won the first two games of the 1972 series at home, but then the Tigers won Games 3 and 4 at Tiger Stadium. The A's won Game 5, also at Tiger Stadium.
Alburquerque angered some Athletics in the ALDS when he kissed the baseball before tossing it to first baseman Prince Fielder to complete a groundout that ended an Oakland threat in the top of the ninth inning and preserved a 4-4 tie.
The Tigers won the game when they scored a run in the bottom of the ninth.

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Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland stands behind reliever Joaquin Benoit

Joaquin Benoit
Jim Leyland believes in Joaquin Benoit.
"No, not at all, I'm not concerned," the Detroit Tigers manager said after reliever Benoit's rough outing in Game 2 of the ALDS against Oakland. "He's our guy. I totally believe in him."
Benoit, 35, pitched an adventuresome eighth inning Sunday, allowing two earned runs on two hits as Detroit fell from a 3-2 lead to a 4-3 deficit.
One of the runs allowed by the right-handed Benoit was a home run by left-handed-swinging Josh Reddick, Oakland's leading home run hitter during the regular season.
Benoit's tendency to give up home runs soured Tigers fans on him during the second half of the regular season.
But Leyland remains in the 6-foot-3 Benoit's corner.
"I totally believe in our entire bullpen," Leyland said as the Tigers, who rallied to win Game 2 5-4, exhaled with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series that resumes Tuesday at Oakland. "And that's not going to change. That's our team. That's what we are, that's who we are. And Benoit was fantastic 14 hours ago (in Game 1).
"So, no, I don't have any questions about that whatsoever."
Benoit allowed one hit, but no runs, in the eighth inning, in relief of Justin Verlander, in Game 1 Saturday.
Benoit allowed four home runs before the 2012 All-Star break, 10 following it as the Tigers won the AL Central Division championship.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Detroit Tigers-Oakland Athletics Game 2 on MLB Network

Jim Leyland
Ladies and gentlemen, your Detroit Tigers are first in the American League Central and, along with the Oakland Athletics, first to appear on MLB Network.
Game 2 of the Detroit-Oakland American League Divisional Series will be telecast by Major League Baseball's in-house television station beginning at noon Sunday, MLB officials said Friday.
Fans should check local cable or satellite TV listings to confirm whether they have MLB Network as part of their viewing choices.
The game will not be available on standard providers like Fox Sports Network, TBS or FOX.
It will be broadcast on the radio by the Tigers' flagship station, WXYT (97.1-FM).
The Athletics-Tigers game will be the first post-season contest shown live by MLB Network.
Right-hander Doug Fister is manager Jim Leyland's scheduled starter for the AL Central-champion Tigers. AL West-champion Oakland will counter with left-hander Tommy Milone.
MLB Network is scheduled to telecast a divisional series game Wednesday, Oct. 10. Four games are scheduled for that day, including Game 4 of the Detroit-Oakland series, if necessary.

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What happens if ALDS becomes Home Run Derby?

If pitching dominates, and runs are hard to come by, will the Detroit Tigers have a home-run-hitting advantage over the Oakland Athletics in their American League Divisional Series?
Oakland's Josh Reddick
Neither team's ballpark is considered a home run paradise.
Oakland finished sixth in the American League in home runs this season with 195.
The Tigers were 10th with 163.
Detroit's power comes primarily from Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and cleanup hitter Prince Fielder.
Cabrera hit 44 home runs, while Fielder banged 30.
The duo's 74 homers represent 45 percent of the Tigers' round-trippers.
Oakland wasn't as dependent on two sluggers.
Josh Reddick led the Athletics with 32 and Yoenis Cespedes had 23. Their 55 homers accounted for 28 percent of Oakland's homers.

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