Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thames, Verlander Lead Tigers by Royals

Justin Verlander and the Tigers bench defeated the Royals 7-2 today at Comerica Park. A line-up which included Cameron Maybin, Ryan Raburn, Marcus Thames, Mike Hessman and Mike Rabelo scored 7 runs on 7 hits versus 3 Royals pitchers. Thames led the way with his 16th and 17th home runs, both of them line drives to left field. Raburn had a homer and a double and Placido Polanco added 2 singles to help pace the attack.

Verlander allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings and won his 18th game in his second to last start of the year. Bobby Seay and Joel Zumaya then combined for 3 scoreless innings to finish it off.

The win gave the Tigers 85 wins and left them with 6 games to go - 3 at home versus the Twins and 3 on the road versus the White Sox. Some things to look forward down the stretch are:
  • Jeremy Bonderman's start on Tuesday. This doesn't sound like a great idea on the surface but he is supposedly healthy again and they are hoping a strong start will relieve some worry about his future for his sake and for the organization's sake (Edit: His start has been scratched and he has been shot down for the season).
  • Can the Tigers reach 90 wins? It probably doesn't make a big difference whether they win 86 or 88 or 90 wins but I think of 90 wins as a benchmark for a very good season. It's an arbitrary figure but I believe an organization that consistently wins 90 games is a successful organization. Besides, it gives us something to aim for in the final week.
  • The batting title watch. Magglio Ordonez did not play today and is currently batting .358. Ichiro Suzuki is 1 for 3 so far in today's game and is hitting .351.
  • Other individual stats. Ordonez is second to David Ortiz in OBP: .435 to .429. Curtis Granderson is tied for first with Alex Rodriguez with 82 extra base hits. Carlos Guillen has 97 RBI and is trying to reach 100. Placido Polanco has 193 hits which leaves him 7 short of 200.

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