Monday, August 24, 2015


Thames (here with his kids, wife & Leyland) more relaxed at the plate of late.
My Detroit Tigers for my 2007 Detroit Tigers Season Replay have suddenly found the ways of winning, at just the right time. We just finished sweeping the Texas Rangers at home, with the finale of the series coming off a walk-off sac fly by Ryan Raburn in the 13th, scoring in Curtis Granderson.

When we left off, the Tigers won 7 straight, they took that streak to 11 consecutive victories (a season best) -- breaking its 7 consecutive mark set in June. They also have won 15 of their last 17 games, their best stretch since early June, when they went 15-3.

Marcus Thames and Carlos Guillen, two players who have struggled all year, have been excellent during this stretch. Thames' peak performance was hitting 3 HR & 5 RBI in his first 3 at-bats by the 5th inning against the Chicago White Sox. Guillen has been rolling in his new #6 spot, with Placido Polanco batting 5th; Guillen's highlight during this stretch was against the Texas Rangers, going 4-for-5, with 2 HR's & 5 RBI.

Guillen has become more focused in his new #6 spot of the lineup.
As I mentioned above, the Tigers had to pull off some heroics in the finale against the Rangers, the Tigers were getting the hits, but failing to score -- while Brad Wilkerson was single-handily causes the Tigers problems; He would finish up 4-for-5, with 2 HR's, a double, single & batted in all 3 of the Rangers' runs.

Justin Verlander (entered at 15-8, 3.68 ERA) got the no-decision, allowing 6 hits & 2 HR's to Wilkerson, with only 3 K's -- he allowed 4 walks! Robinson Tejeda (a APBA Grade D-W) held his own for 5 innings, 7 hits, 2 ER & 2 walks allowed, with 3 K's -- it could have certainly been worse.

The Tigers the last few innings, kept leaving the winning runs in scoring position, and the game started to play out in the Rangers' favor -- until Curtis Granderson's one-out triple in the top of the 13th. Granderson had 4 K's for the night, until his big hit; Raburn would hit the walk-off sac fly to pull off the victory. Tigers had 15 hits, while the Rangers only had 8 -- Tigers were certainly playing with fire in that game.

Thames (left) and "Mags" has had plenty to be happy about; Team is playing loose.
The Detroit Tigers whooped the Texas Rangers overall for my replay, winning 8 of 9 from them -- in real-life, the Tigers edged Texas, 5-4 in the season series.

The Tigers now sit at 83-64, while the New York Yankees, who we are chasing, is at 83-62 -- one game ahead in the wildcard race. The Tigers & Yankees split 4-4, and both teams in real-life split the season series as well, which means there is no differential to help us, and we must beat the Yankees' final season record of 94-68.

My Tigers have to go at least 11-4 to force a one-game playoff, and go 12-3 to win the wildcard spot outright. We have gone 15-2 in this stretch, so it is possible, but it will get tougher...

Since, I have recently gone with a four-man rotation, I will have Justin Verlander (Grade B-X) on the mound for Game #151 (for the series opener) against the Cleveland Indians, Game #155 at home against the Kansas City Royals & another home against the Minnesota Twins (Game #159).

Here's to hoping for an amazing finish for the season.

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