After Sunday’s miracle comeback against ESPN’s newest dreamboat, Aroldis Chapman, the hobbled Tigers of Detroit have now won TWO games in a row. A victory on Tuesday would qualify for an honest to goodness winning streak. Someone hold me, I’m frightened.
And next on the schedule are the Chicago Cubs, who are competing with the Padres to be the worst team in baseball right now. The Tigers NEED to win two of three against the hapless Cubbies, and a sweep would be even better. This is a fantastic opportunity to close the gap in the Central before we get into the heavy rotation of Central foes coming up late in the year.
Here’s a look at the franchise that last won a World Series in 1908, the longest championship drought in American professional sports.
FACE OF THE FRANCHISE
If you believe recent reports, the rebuilding Cubs have let it be known that any player on the roster is available via trade with the exception starting pitcher Samardzija, the former standout Notre Dame wide receiver. Theo Epstein must really like the guy.
-Selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft. Seven picks earlier, the Tigers spent their pick on a second baseman named Scott Sizemore. We all know how that turned out. Also, here’s a fun fact. Eight picks after Samardzija was drafted, the Phillies took a speedy outfielder named Quintin Berry.
-Notre Dame’s all-time leader in receiving yards, who also set Irish single-season records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
-Made MLB debut on July 25, 2008 against the Marlins in relief by striking out the first man he faced. Two days later, he recorded his first MLB save.
-Throws a four-seamer, two-seamer, cutter, slider, and splitter. This five pitch selection is down from the seven he used to feature.
-Looks like an ugly woman that owns a Boesch shirsey.
Three-fifths of the rotation is outstanding with Samardzija, Matt Garza, and Ryan Dempster. But they’ve gotten next to nothing from the other two spots. The bullpen is a mess. They have little power outside of Alfonso Soriano and surprise first baseman Bryan LaHair. They just don’t stand out in any particular way.
So for a strength, I’m going to go with beer sales. The Cubbies never let anyone down in that department.
-In 107 career games against Detroit, the longtime Royal DeJesus has hit .318/.393/.476 with 7 homers and 52 RBI. That RBI total is a personal high versus any MLB team.
-14 for 46 (.304) with 0 HR and 6 RBI against Justin Verlander in his career. Of his 7 career homers against Detroit, his only one against someone on the current roster was off Max Scherzer.
-A rare guy that couldn’t hit The Patron Saint! DeJesus was only 2 for 18 against Nate Robertson.
-Drafted in the fourth round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Royals. The very next pick was Cliff Lee by the Expos. The Tigers’ fourth round pick that year was pitcher Mark Woodyard, who went on to a grand total of six innings pitched in the Majors with Detroit in 2005. In fact, of the 43 selections Detroit made in 2000, only one other guy ever made the bigs. His name was Nook Logan, taken in the third round as a shortstop. What I’m saying is, we are the worst drafting franchise in professional sports. Matt Millen laughs at the Tigers.
-DeJesus is a career .283 hitter and qualifies to be on the active MLB roster of Tiger killers.
-Severly depressed individuals
-82.6% of the fanbase is severely obese (SCIENCE!)
As I said earlier, the Tigers need to continue the little momentum they started building in Cincinnati. The Cubs are awful and this is the type of team that GOOD teams beat up on. Detroit has a long way to go before they can start calling themselves “good”, but this week in Chicago would be a great place to start heading in that direction.
Stop back by tomorrow evening. I have something fun planned that will probably get some folks angry. It's been way too long...