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It's about time the Tigers have hit a speed bump. The Sox went and swept them and charged back to within 5 1/2 games. Meanwhile, it's just about that time of the year when teams freak a bit and start playing tight. The Tigers fit that bill.

Let's start with their skipper, who is shocked that a guy with almost 500 career HRs guessed right or reacted right to a pitch and crushed it. From

Right in the middle of the controversy is Jim Thome, who smashed a Verlander pitch for a two-run homer during a four-run fifth. The pitch was a changeup after Thome had taken four straight fastballs.

"Almost impossible," manager Jim Leyland told Detroit media. "It's pretty suspicious when a guy looks at [four] straight fastballs and then doesn't flinch on a changeup and stays back and hits it out of the ballpark. I love Jim Thome, and he's a hell of a hitter, but that's one of the damnedest things I've ever seen."

Said Thome: "I don't know what pitch is coming. I don't get the pitches. I just hit."

Paul Konerko, who bats behind Thome, said: "No one told me [what was coming]. Jim has almost 500 home runs. No offense to anyone in [Detroit's] dugout, but Jim hits homers off a lot of good pitchers."

Well maybe if he looked at 4 straight fastballs he was waiting for a changeup.

Meanwhile, Detroit has a reason to be tight. They just got swept by the Sox and head to Boston. The Sox are at home against KC. The Tigers also committed 3 errors on Saturday and allowed 4 unearned runs. The Sox finally got a good start from Buehrle, a shutout from Contreras and allowed only 1 walk in the 3 games against Detroit.

After Boston, the Tigers have 4 against Texas and then 4 against the White Sox in Detroit. After KC, the Sox head to Minny for 3.


PB said...

Come on mang! Talk smack when they are in first place (not since Mid-may mang!) Restore the roar! MOTOR CITY KITTIES! Don't look past the Royals mang! George Brett and Freddid Patek are back in the lineup mang!

The Zoner said...


Leyland buys extra carton of smokes for each remaining in the season.

PB said...

A good point from the Detroit Free Press:

The runaway part of the dream is gone for now. The White Sox have moved within 5 1/2 games of the Tigers. Before you say "only 5 1/2 games," consider this: The Tigers also had a 5 1/2-game lead the last time these two teams concluded a series. At that time, it was a season-high 5 1/2-game lead.

That was more than three weeks ago. Since then, the Tigers have taken a whole bunch of games off the schedule without the White Sox gaining any ground on them.

All we need to do is sweep the Red Sox, and the Royals sweep the...yeah...riiiiiiiiight!

The Zoner said...

Mike North compared the Tigers to the 1969 Cubs in that they really only play 8 regulars. I haven't looked into that much, but they will surely go down as the new 1969 Cubs if they do not make the postseason.

Tom said...

I hope the Tigers don't choke. Leave Ron Santo to suffer alone!

And a great comment about Patek. He was my favorite non-Cub growing up.