Monday, November 23, 2015

2007 Detroit Tigers (Final Replay Season Stats)

For my 2007 Detroit Tigers Season Replay, I made what would be MLB history, and in some cases I didn't duplicate the actual historic stats that were set that season.

In real life, Curtis Granderson became the third MLB player ever to record at least 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs & 20 stolen bases in the same season; I fell short of duplicating this mark, Granderson finished with 18 triples.

Granderson did set a different historic mark along with teammate Magglio Ordonez; They became only the second duo from the same team to record 400+ total bases in the same season. The first was, you named it, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in 1927.

Granderson also became the 16th player in MLB history to collect at least 240 hits in a single-season.

2008 Topps Baseball card of Mags, Polly & Grandy.
My team made more history, I ended up becoming the 4th team to have 3 players with 200+ hits in the same season; Granderson (240), Ordonez (239) and Placido Polanco, with 200 hits. The other three teams were the...
  • 1963 St. Louis Cardinals (Dick Groat, Bill White & Curt Flood)
  • 1982 Milwaukee Brewers (Robin Yount, Paul Molitor & Cecil Cooper)
  • 1991 Texas Rangers (Julio Franco, Rafael Palmeiro & Ruben Sierra)
Granderson and Ordonez each led the team with 54 doubles, not sure if there ever was a case in MLB history, in which two teammates in the same season had 50+ doubles. I tried to find some sort of evidence of this on google and came up with nothing.

I tried to play the Detroit Tigers in the replay true to form, but found myself leaning on players like LF/3B - Ryan Raburn and reliever Bobby Seay more. Raburn would start most games after the All-Star Break, my team hit a horrible slump in July, while our closer Todd Jones blown 7 games. Jones is a grade C (not great for a guy that you want to close games), while Seay was a A-XZ.

Safety Net: Ryan Raburn brought balance to lineup in #2 slot.
Ryan Raburn:

  • Actual 2007: .304 AVG, 4 HR & 27 RBI (.847 OPS) in 138 AB/49 games.
  • Replay 2007: .311 AVG, 15 HR & 53 RBI (.899 OPS) in 328 AB/98 games.
Raburn's OBP were right on mark with each other (Actual: .340 / Replay: .341) while he had a higher doubles and HR rate to produce a .899 OPS in the replay, for awhile he hovered around a .930 OPS. I was lucky enough to avoid running into an injury with Raburn, which would have knocked him out for a long duration.

Bobby Seay:
  • Actual 2007: 3-0, 2.33 ERA, 1 SV, 38 K & 15 BB (46.1 IP / 58 games).
  • Replay 2007: 6-6, 1.77 ERA, 20 SV, 81 K & 35 BB (101.2 IP / 72 games).
Seay was the team's set-up man for me, until Jones started blowing games. He used to pitch a couple innings in some of those games, also because he was my only grade A in the bullpen; Zach Miner (B*) and Tim Brydak (B*-XYW) were my next two dependable relievers and would get plenty of work as well. My bullpen well exceeded the innings of actual 2007, and in replays that's simply going to happen; Miner led the team in Game appearances for relievers with 87.

My ace Justin Verlander for the most part was on par, but would reach 200 K's in this replay for the first time in his career (he would not reach the 200 mark until 2009). More innings than the replay definitely helped -- he was a little more prone to the HR ball and walks in the replay compared to actual 2007.
Ace in the Making: Verlander showed what's to come in replay.

Justin Verlander
  • Actual 2007: 18-6, 3.66 ERA, 183 K & 67 BB (1.230 WHIP) in 201.2 IP / 32 GS.
  • Replay 2007: 16-8, 3.61 ERA, 208 K & 93 BB (1.224 WHIP) in 237 IP / 35 GS.
At the tail-end of the season, I switched to a 4-man rotation, to give my only Grade B starter more opportunities to help my team win.

Jeremy Bonderman would out-pitch his actual 2007 self and APBA card (Grade C-YZ) ...
  • Actual 2007: 11-9, 5.01 ERA, 145 K & 48 BB (1.382 WHIP) in 174.1 IP / 28 GS.
  • Replay 2007: 18-7, 3.52 ERA, 161 K & 83 BB (1.279 WHIP) in 217.1 IP / 35 GS.
Bonderman had a good first half in actual 2007, coming off what was a breakthrough year in 2006, but his second half numbers were down which would be an indication of arm troubles to come for Bonderman in 2008; Bonderman was never the same. 

Bonderman's 202 K's in 2006 led all right-handers in the American League.

I tried to keep to real life as much as I possibly can, Kenny Rogers would suffer arm problems and make only 11 starts for 63 innings in actual 2007; I pitched Rogers only 15 starts (plus 3 relief appearances) for 83 innings.

Chad Durbin would be our #4 starter, and he would out-perform his actual 2007 numbers...
  • Actual 2007: 8-7, 4.72 ERA, 66 K & 49 BB (1.426 WHIP) in 127.2 IP / 19 starts (16 relief).
  • Replay 2007: 15-7, 4.69 ERA, 111 K & 86 BB (1.413 WHIP) in 178.1 IP / 32 starts. 
His strikeout and walk rates were slightly higher in the replay by about 20+ what they should have been, while the ERA and WHIP were close to the actual 2007.


A look at the numbers & differences with the lineup regulars...

Curtis Granderson
  • Actual 2007: .302 AVG, 23 HR, 74 RBI & 26 SB (.913 OPS) w/ 122 runs & 185 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .338 AVG, 26 HR, 84 RBI & 46 SB (.968 OPS) w/ 150 runs & 240 hits.
Granderson played every game in my replay, missed only 4 games in real-life. Everyone knows with replays, that sometimes if lineups combined are performing better than actual life, can result in more opportunities, which in Granderson's case meant bigger stats (especially in runs & hits department).

Granderson's batting average was significantly better in replay.
His HR & RBI numbers are similar indeed, while his batting average & OPS were both higher in the replay. Like I said earlier in this article, I tried to duplicate history on Granderson reaching 20+ in the doubles, triples, HR & steals categories -- which he accomplished in the MLB, but fell short in the triples department.

Here are those comparisons:
  • Actual 2007: 38 doubles, 23 triples, 23 HR & 26 stolen bases.
  • Replay 2007: 54 doubles, 18 triples, 26 HR & 46 stolen bases.
The result of him reaching base more often than actual life, may have helped with more steals, and the fact that I probably rolled a few more 15's (result 11) than usual, while hitting more doubles, than triples. Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge both had down years for me in the replay, which may have resulted in more doubles than triples, due to set-up scenarios for Granderson.

Magglio Ordonez:
  • Actual 2007: .363 AVG, 28 HR & 139 RBI (1.029 OPS) w/ 117 runs & 216 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .377 AVG, 39 HR & 127 RBI (1.113 OPS) w/ 116 runs & 239 hits.
I played him every game (he missed 5 games in real-life), this card is too good to just leave out of the lineup, especially when you have a goal to out-perform the actual success of the team in a replay -- so you want to give your team the best shot to win.

This card ALWAYS performs in all kinds of roles, in either a season replay, or in a dream league of sorts, this card always hits its batting average mark of .363 or higher (and in most cases its higher). Ordonez was batting .397 at the All-Star Break, with 23 HR & 71 RBI; Ordonez cooled off slightly and watched average dip to .360 mark until bouncing back up to finish at .377.

He duplicated his real-life 54 doubles in the replay, while Granderson tied him for team lead in the replay in that category.

By the way, always bat this card in the 3rd slot, and all will be gravy.

Gary Sheffield:
  • Actual 2007: .265 AVG, 25 HR, 75 RBI & 22 SB (.839 OPS) w/ 107 runs & 131 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .273 AVG, 34 HR, 128 RBI & 38 SB (.844 OPS) w/ 106 runs & 168 hits.
Sheffield missed almost 30 games in real-life due a shoulder injury in 2007, for my replay it was tough to keep Sheffield out of the lineup, I did give him two days off early in the season due to slumping though. I luckily never suffered an injury.

This card for quite awhile was out-performing real-life by a long shot, than cooled down to reflect similar real-life numbers; At the break, Gary was batting .296 with 20 HR & 79 RBI with 23 steals. Sheffield would still go on to edge Ordonez in RBI's for team lead (128 to 127), while at one point it appeared he may even challenge the 40/40 club at age 38, he ended up making the 30/30 club instead. He was a perfect 38 for 38 in steals.

His RBI numbers are inflated due to the fact that Ordonez & Granderson had bigger years, plus more playing time from Raburn in the #2 slot. Batting 4th, Gary could eat up a lot of ribbies. Plus, in real life, Jim Leyland had Sheffield batting third, while Ordonez batted clean-up.

Placido Polanco of the 2007 Detroit Tigers would duplicate his 200 hits in replay.

While Granderson, Raburn, Ordonez and Sheffield's numbers were up, the rest of the lineup was considerably down.

Carlos Guillen:
  • Actual 2007: .296 AVG, 21 HR, 102 RBI & 13 SB (.859 OPS) w/ 86 runs & 167 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .231 AVG, 22 HR, 68 RBI & 9 SB (.702 OPS) w/ 75 runs & 135 hits.
Guillen was a head-scratcher, could not get him rolling for the life of me; played much-better in the last month of the season & playoffs. Had a great April in which he batted .330, but followed it up with a lousy May (.147)! His 35 doubles duplicated his real-life total, while his HR's, steals & runs numbers were similar as well -- but had a bad .285 on-base percentage (compared to actual .357).

Guillen started to do better once I moved Polanco to 5th slot, and I bumped Guillen down to the 6th slot of the lineup.

Placido Polanco
  • Actual 2007: .341 AVG, 9 HR & 67 RBI (.846 OPS) w/ 105 runs & 200 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .298 AVG, 12 HR & 96 RBI (.775 OPS) w/ 104 runs & 200 hits.
Polanco actually missed 20 games in 2007 and still managed to reach 200 hits, while in my replay he played every game without getting hurt, and reaching 200 hits due to more opportunities. His batting average was down in the replay, but started to hit much better once I moved him from the #2 slot to the #5 slot of the lineup, got his average up to .310, and fell below .300 with a late slump.

His RBI numbers are quite up, even before the lineup move, probably due to Curtis Granderson alone -- he had 55 RBI at the break. Besides the batting average, OPS & RBI numbers, his numbers were quite on par with real life.

Casey, Inge, Monroe & Pudge in Detroit Stars uniforms.
Sean Casey:
  • Actual 2007: .296 AVG, 4 HR & 54 RBI (.746 OPS) w/ 40 runs & 134 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .253 AVG, 6 HR & 78 RBI (.650 OPS) w/ 40 runs & 137 hits.
Casey, in much the same way as Guillen was frustrating. His batting average and on-base percentage were off by quite a bit; In real life he had a .353 OBP compared to his replay OBP of .291! His runs & hits were the same, then again he had more opportunities, he played seven more games in the replay. His 35 doubles in the replay are similar to his 30 in real life, while he had a couple more HR's as well. 

One thing that definitely duplicated the real deal, he sure loved hitting into double plays.

Brandon Inge
  • Actual 2007: .236 AVG, 14 HR & 71 RBI (.688 OPS) w/ 64 runs & 120 hits.
  • Replay 2007: .190 AVG, 5 HR & 35 RBI (.569 OPS) w/ 47 runs & 81 hits.
If you are true Tiger fan, than you simply love Brandon Inge. The guy had serious glove, and should have won a Gold Glove (possibly two) in his career; He was usually graded a 5 at third, he was grade a 4 for 2007 -- He was better known for his defense than his bat.

From 2006-2007 & 2009, he actual put up good power numbers, hitting 27 HR's in both 2006 & 2009, and was named an American League All-Star in 1999. While batting 8th in 2006, he hit 27 HR's -- you don't see that often.

So it really hurt me as a fan of Inge to watch him struggle like he did in my replay. In real life, he played 151 games (508 AB's) -- My replay, I played him for 135 games (427 AB's)... probably more than I should have even. Ryan Raburn would start taking starts away from Inge in the second half.

Even though his .236 AVG & .312 OBP is nothing to write home about, it was definitely better than that of his replay. Slugging was down considerably as well, he managed to hit more singles than usual, while his HR & RBI numbers were noticeably low.

Thames stepped up game in 2nd half of season.

Marcus Thames:

  • Actual 2007: .242 AVG, 18 HR & 54 RBI (.776 OPS) w/ 37 runs (269 AB).
  • Replay 2007: .230 AVG, 10 HR & 26 RBI (.780 OPS) w/ 22 runs (178 AB). 
In real life, Marcus usually split time with Craig Monroe, and I followed this formula a little bit with both of them for the replay; Monroe would eventually get placed on waivers and picked up by the Chicago Cubs in 2007 (in late August). Around the All-Star break, I found myself never putting Monroe in the lineup, and splitting time in left with Ryan Raburn and Thames. Eventually, Thames started playing much more on his level, but at the break, Thames was only batting .173 with an OPS of .646 OPS & 3 HR at the All-Star break.

Then came August, and Thames played much better. That month, I decided to go to four-man rotation to feature Verlander (my only B starter, more often), played Raburn every day in #2 slot of lineup either in LF or at 3B, and Brandon Inge watched his time dwindle a little more with Thames' late-season emergence. Thames would spark his playing time with his 3 HR performance against the Chicago White Sox, all before the 5th inning of that game.

Thames ended season by hitting .272 after the break (28-for-103 with 7 HR & 16 RBI), he raised his slugging percentage from .387 to .494. 

That completes the 2007 Detroit Tigers' regular season marks, as we prepare for the Detroit Tigers to face off against the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.

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