Lions, and Tigers, and………Red Wings–Oh Yeah!

It’s hard for me to find a better time than now to be a Detroit Sports fan. The Tigers just eliminated the Yankees in a dramatic, and pressure filled five game series and are headed to the ALCS to face the Texas Rangers; The Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980, on Monday Night Football for the first time since 2001, and are all the buzz in the football world right now; The Red Wings, a model of consistency for the better part of two decades, started another season with a convincing win over the Ottawa Senators. They will almost certainly be in the hunt for their fifth cup in 15 years.

Photo of musician Hank Williams, Jr. in concer...

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Hey Lions fans……are you ready for some…….thing other than the usual MNF intro? Thanks to Hank Williams Jr. comparing the President to Hitler, we will get to see Barry Sanders give the intro instead. Works for me.

Speaking of Monday Night Football, the Bears talk about what their number one concern is going into their game against the Lions (besides keeping Cutler’s head attached to his body).

As if Cutler didn’t have enough to worry about, earlier in the week ESPN wrote a story claiming that “a source close to the situation” confirmed that Nick Faily, the Lions first pick in last year’s draft, will make his debut against the Bears. Shortly thereafter, Fairley told media that the report was “news to him”. Jim Schwartz likes to hold his cards close, and with that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised either way if Fairley plays.

A-Rod in 2007

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While the Yankees and their fans try to put the pieces together after a disappointing first round exit , the Tigers head to Texas for a best of 7 series against the Texas Rangers. Drew Sharp reminds us that the Tigers are still riding the emotional high of Thursday night, but know that they will have their work cut out for them against a very formidable Texas team.

The Tigers played the Rangers in three series this year, winning all three.  Both teams finished the season very hot and this series should be as fun as any to watch. Something to watch: Delmon Young left game 5 of the ALDS with a strained oblique muscle. Young was a big reason why the Tigers upended the Yankees, hitting a franchise record three home runs in the series. As of now, he will see how he feels before the game and if he is not ready to go, Ryan Raburn will most likely take his place in left field.  The Tigers will look to their ace Verlander to get the win tonight and get out of Texas with at least a split—which would bode well for the Tigers as they would have the next three games at home.

The Red Wings had their season opener last night, which worked out great considering the Tigers had the day off. They opened with a tribute to former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon and former defensemen Ruslan Salei, who were killed in a plane crash that took the lives of the entire Russian Locomotiv team.  The Wings won 5-3 with goals from Bertuzzi, Hudler, Lidstrom, Emmerton, and newcomer Ian White, spoiling Paul MacLean’s coaching debut.

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The Curious Case of Respect (or Lack Thereof) for the Tigers Number Two (Doug Fister)

Is it just me or is the Tigers pitching rotation, behind Justin Verlander, a lot like Rodney Dangerfield? No respect I tell you.

I listen to a lot of pundits, talking heads, and bloggers that think the Tigers are not a very intimidating team against the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers in a playoff matchup. I’ve got a newsflash for anyone who number one—is not a Tigers fan, and number two—is just not paying attention.

 

On July 30, Dave Dombrowski made what most would call an “under the radar” move that would put the Tigers head and shoulders above the rest of the AL Central. He traded for a starting pitcher named Doug Fister.

 

Doug Fister was not a well known name (not much has changed) coming from Seattle. He was sporting a record of 3-12 which was the result of him having the lowest run support of any starting pitcher in the American League with just 1.97 runs per game.  His ERA was a respectable 3.33.

Whenever I hear an argument against the Tigers being able to do any damage in the postseason, it is usually that their rotation behind Verlander is not very good—and lets face it, before the Fister trade that argument held water. Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Brad Penny have all been inconsistent this year to say the least.

Since he was acquired by the Tigers, Fister has brought consistency to the rotation behind Verlander, going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA. Comparing him with other probable number two pitchers in the postseason, Fister has the lowest earned runs against, walks and hits per innings pitched, and the lowest pitching average.

  Going into October (that feels good to say), the Tigers have the best starting pitcher in baseball this year in Verlander, and the best (although no one knows it) second starting pitcher in the AL. Something tells me that Fister will not be getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment after this postseason.