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Buck Farmer Returns to Detroit Tigers’ Rotation as Shane Greene Sent to Bullpen

July 27th, 2015 at 8:21 PM
By Max DeMara

Between Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene, it's been clear that another shoe was set to drop as it related to the Detroit Tigers' rotation.

Monday afternoon, it finally dropped, helped likely by Greene's rough start on Sunday night at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers called up Buck Farmer to replace Greene in the rotation, and moved Greene down to the bullpen while sending Kyle Ryan back to Triple-A Toledo.

Since coming back from Toledo, Greene didn't pitch as well as hoped, allowing 17 earned runs in three starts. Considering where he was before, arguably, Greene picked up exactly where he left off in early June when he was demoted.

Greene's struggles have left a significant void in Detroit's rotation. With the troubles that Simon has also endured and the inconsistency of Justin Verlander, the Tigers have only two stable starters at this point in David Price and Anibal Sanchez. Considering the problems of their staff, it has shown on the scoreboard and in the standings.

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Detroit Tigers Vs. Tampa Bay Rays Series Preview: Do or Die for Both Wild Card Hopefuls

July 27th, 2015 at 1:58 PM
By Max DeMara

Realistically, the Detroit Tigers' matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays comes at a perfect time this week.

Both teams are on the outside looking in of the wild card chase, and both are trying to decide whether or not they're truly buyers before this week's trade deadline arrives. For weeks, contests with the Tigers have taken on the feel of elimination series, but this one might qualify truly given the play and similarity of each side.

The Tigers and Rays desperately wish to stay in the playoff hunt, and both wish to show they're to be taken seriously. A series against themselves should provide a key proving ground in this as time goes by.

Here's what to watch as a week of critical games kicks off.

Players To Watch: J.D. Martinez and Evan Longoria. Martinez, by his standards, has cooled down considerably lately. Though he's riding a three game hitting streak, Martinez has not contributed an RBI, and has only two runs produced in that span. Similarly, Longoria is riding a four game hitting streak, and included have been four extra base hits. In his career, the third baseman has always torched Detroit, and he will look to do so again this week. It will be an interesting race to see who can come up with the most impact hits between these two players.

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Chattin’ Cats Week in Review: Detroit Tigers Need More than a Few Good Days to Contend

July 27th, 2015 at 10:25 AM
By Max DeMara

Welcome to Chattin' Cats, a weekly piece recapping the most important talking point from the week before about the Detroit Tigers while taking a look ahead.

Up again, down again. The Detroit Tigers just can't seem to get out of their own way, even in critical weeks.

With the trade deadline just around the corner and rumors of selling off players coming into the mind of the team, the Tigers played two teams that were significantly below .500, and proceeded to go an uninspiring 3-4 against the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox.

Consider this factoid courtesy of Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi: since June, the Tigers have only won more than two games in a row twice. Getting hot and staying on an extended run is a key to not just remaining in a hunt but overtaking it. Considering Detroit's four back in the wild card, they could be leading it by now had they just maintained a few winning streaks.

The fact that Detroit can't string together good performances any given weeks should remove them from true contender status. Sure, they will likely continue to hang on the periphery of a jam-packed wild card race in the American League, but when will they make their move to overtake it?

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With Detroit Tigers’ Influences, Hall-of-Fame Weekend a Bright Moment for Michigan

July 26th, 2015 at 7:30 PM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Tigers didn't get a player into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, but considering all the Michigan influences hanging around Cooperstown over the weekend and enjoying special moments, good luck convincing folks otherwise.

First on Saturday, there was Michigan native Tom Gage, a former Tigers' beatwriter from the Detroit News and Fox Sports Detroit being honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink award. Then, moments later, Dick Enberg, another Michigan native (Ada) and Central Michigan University graduate stepped to the podium, accepting the Ford Frick Award given his broadcast career for the San Diego Padres.

Sunday, Lansing native John Smoltz, a pitcher who was once property of the Tigers before a late-season trade sent him to the Atlanta Braves in 1987, accepted his call to the hall in grand fashion, putting the cap on quite possibly the most exciting induction weekend ever for the Great Lakes state.

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Alfredo Simon Might not Save Detroit Tigers’ Season Alone, but He Can Make It More Interesting

July 26th, 2015 at 10:18 AM
By Max DeMara

The grim reaper has been hanging around the Detroit Tigers lately, but Saturday afternoon, he gave them another stay of execution.

With a loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Tigers would have sustained three defeats in a row at a key time. They would have fallen three games below the .500 mark, and made the statement they were more prepared to sell off assets than make a push to stay in contention before the trade deadline frenzy kicks into warp speed.

Instead, Alfredo Simon did something that he hadn't in six starts. Simon hung in, giving the Tigers a competent six innings of five hit ball. He only allowed one run, walked two and struck out four. Meanwhile, Detroit's offense backed him all the way as the team cruised to a 5-1 victory at Fenway Park.

Such starts had been a rarity, considering Simon had allowed a total of 32 earned runs in six starts before Saturday.

It was a nice response after another crushing extra inning loss on Friday night. Instead of not making up ground, the Tigers gained a game, and are six games back of the wild card, allowing those thoughts of contention to hang around for another day. It happened because pitching and offense finally converged, something which has been a rarity.

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