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Detroit Tigers Vs. Seattle Mariners Series Preview: Brief West Cost Trip Helps Close Out First Half

July 6th, 2015 at 8:51 PM
By Max DeMara

Though consistency has been hard to find for the Detroit Tigers in nearly all forms, the one thing the team has done is manage to find victories on the road with relative ease during the first half of the season.

Somehow, struggling Detroit's collected 19 road victories this season to only 17 losses, and their .528 winning percentage places them fifth in the American League. Knowing this, closing the first half out with seven games away from Comerica Park should be right up the Tigers' ally.

Standing in their way are the Seattle Mariners, who have been more inconsistent than Detroit and have a worse record to their credit. A series victory against the Tigers, though, could get them back into the hunt as it relates to playoff contention before the second half.

Here's the preview of a vital series for both teams.

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Chattin’ Cats Week in Review: Though Detroit Tigers’ Flaws Persist, No Pushing Panic Button Yet

July 6th, 2015 at 11:35 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.

This past week, the travails of the ever hot and cold Detroit Tigers persisted.

Despite a frustrating sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Tigers managed to win two games against the Toronto Blue Jays only to lose Miguel Cabrera and get blasted again on Sunday after allowing a double-digit run total.

Whenever the team takes a step forward, something seems to pull them back in the other direction. But with games every single day for nearly seven months out of the year, baseball provides the greatest chance for such events to happen in all of the professional sports.

So far, the Tigers haven't gotten on any sustained roll, not counting their 11-2 start to the season. When the team is hitting, they aren't pitching. When they're pitching, the hitting falls apart. The bullpen has been either great or terrible depending on the week. Players have both been lost to injury and returned.

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Detroit Tigers Trade Deadline Rumor Chart: Early on, Pitching Becomes Team’s Main Focus

July 6th, 2015 at 1:00 AM
By Max DeMara

From now until July 31, we'll keep tabs of what moves the Detroit Tigers might be looking to make at the non-waiver trade deadline.

As the Detroit Tigers struggle to find a level of consistency on the field, the rumors will begin to fly about the players that might help them achieve that and be available at the trade deadline.

So far, pitching has been the biggest need of the team, and thus, most of the players the Tigers have been linked with have been pitchers. Miguel Cabrera's injury might change that moving forward if the team struggles offensively, but for now, obtaining a thrower seems to be the most likely move.

Here's some names that have been bandied about in recent weeks within the rumor mill in the first edition of the chart.

Target 1: Jeff Samardzija, Chicago White Sox. Was Samardzija's electric start at Comerica Park last Sunday an audition for a future with the Tigers? Interestingly enough, the same day that it happened, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe revealed that Detroit was one of many teams interested in the pitcher. There's been no indication if the White Sox will sell or if they would even entertain the thought of doing a major deal with a divisional rival. Cafardo reiterated this Sunday that the Tigers are in on the pitcher.

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Shaky Justin Verlander Shelled Again as Detroit Tigers Fail to Sweep Toronto Blue Jays

July 5th, 2015 at 5:22 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — Justin Verlander hasn't been himself while trying to work back to health on the fly for the Detroit Tigers.

In his fourth start of the season, the pitcher rolled through the early innings only to hit a major wall in the fifth. When the Toronto Blue Jays touched him up for six earned runs in the inning, Detroit was on their way to a tough loss. A late rally came up short and the Tigers fell 10-5.

Unlike the previous two days, it was the Blue Jays getting off to the quick start on the scoreboard. Jose Reyes provided the fireworks legging out a double, and Josh Donaldson brought him home with a single for the quick lead.

Verlander was done in by bad fortune in that inning, but cruised along after that for a decent amount of time, not allowing anything until the fifth. In that inning, a walk started Detroit's demise, as did a double by former prospect Devon Travis and an RBI single by Donaldson. Home runs by Jose Bautista and Justin Smoak widened the gap further.

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Detroit Tigers Banking on Jeff Ferrell to Shake up Bullpen with Youthful Exuberance

July 5th, 2015 at 11:22 AM
By Max DeMara

Lately, the Detroit Tigers' bullpen isn't exactly getting the job done.

From the solid-looking Bruce Rondon and Joakim Soria on down, the team has been struggling at getting outs in the later innings after far exceeding their expectations earlier this season.

After Joba Chamberlain's recent string of meltdowns and the struggles of Tom Gorzelanny, the team designated both for assignment on Friday. Each departs Detroit with elevated ERA's of 4.40 and 6.38 respectively.

In their place, the Tigers brought along Jeff Ferrell from Toledo as well as Drew VerHagen. Ferrell is the headliner, though. He hadn't pitched for the Mud Hens long, but excelled when acting as the closer for the Erie SeaWolves this season. While in Erie, Ferrell posted a 1.61 ERA with 13 saves in 14 opportunities. Perhaps the most gaudy statistic? 36 strikeouts to only four walks.

It's been a while since the Tigers have had a prospect capable of electrifying in such ways. Arguably, Rondon was the last one with such a pedigree. If Ferrell is able to adjust to the big leagues in a hurry and remain a fast riser, he has a chance to be an important piece to help shake up the bullpen this season.

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