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 Tigers in First Place!!!!! 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Tigers in First Place!!!!!
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Surging Tigers in unfamiliar territory: first place

It's the latest in the season they have been atop division standings since June of 1993.

DETROIT -- The price of gas was $1.16 -- and even that seemed high.

Kenny Rogers was a lad of 28. Pudge Rodriguez was in his second full year with the Texas Rangers. Joel Zumaya was in elementary school.

Yep.

That's how long it's been since the Tigers enjoyed a share of first place in mid-May -- such as the share, with all the appropriate disclaimers of how little it means, that they enjoy today.

To affix a date to it, their last glimpse of first this late was June 25, 1993.

The next day, the Tigers said farewell to their first-place tie and hello to the annual anonymity from which they've climbed with games like their 7-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

Coupled with the White Sox loss to Tampa Bay, the Tigers and Sox are tied atop the American League Central with a 25-13 record.

What does it mean? You might be surprised how little.

To manager Jim Leyland, who knows that 38 games in baseball is like four games in an NFL season, it means, "Not one single thing.

"If we're in first place after the last game of the season," he said, "it would mean a whole heck of lot to me. But not right now."

To Brandon Inge, a share of first means, "Something good, but it's too early to be anything more than that. It's a good change from where we've been in the past -- a pleasant change, something for the fans to be happy about."

But not anything for the Tigers to crow about.

They're not all the way back. It's much too early to say that or, it appears, for even their fans to think that. The Tigers have a better average attendance than only three other teams in the majors, after all.

If the Tigers continue to play this way, however, attendance and attention will take care of themselves. For now, this team continues to focus on one game at a time -- and one five-game winning streak at a time.

This is their fourth five-gamer this season, and it's twice now that the Twins have been in town to bear part of the brunt.

They were outscored, 33-1, while being swept in three straight last month and Torii Hunter, in a pseudo-Rasheed moment, vowed that the Twins would do better this time.

"I know we're not going to be swept again," Hunter told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. "They're a good team, but we're good enough to win at least one game there, maybe more."

Maybe they are, and maybe they will. It bodes well for the Twins, for instance, that their fine starter Johan Santana is pitching tonight.

But it didn't stoke their confidence that they had a 3-0 lead after the top of the third, only to have the Tigers strike for five off Kyle Lohse in the bottom of the third.

Lohse hasn't exactly had the Tigers' number this year. Instead, they've saddled him with one -- an ugly one, to be sure.

It is 13.14 -- Lohse's earned run average in the three starts he's made against the Tigers this season.

The first two innings went OK. But four of the first five Tigers singled in the bottom of the third, and with two outs, Lohse walked Carlos Guillen to load the bases after getting ahead of him with an 0-2 count.

Making sure he didn't walk Chris Shelton in a similar situation, full count after getting ahead 0-2, Lohse threw a strike -- but one that Shelton drilled to right-center for a three-run double.

Just like that, the Tigers had a lead. And just like that, after a couple of rocky innings that Nate Robertson (4-2) worked his way through, it began to look like -- clear those cobwebs, everyone -- a first-place night for the Tigers.

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May 17th, 2006, 8:52 am
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Play by Play Announcer - Al Michaels

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June of 1993...man, that was a long time ago :shock:

Great article, but I really love Leyland's response :

Quote:
"If we're in first place after the last game of the season," he said, "it would mean a whole heck of lot to me. But not right now."


This guy has been the perfect manager for this team so far. My bet is that he keeps it going and we finish above .500 this season. I'm not ready to say we will contend for a playoff spot, but if we keep this up at the 80 game mark, then I may sip that koolaid!

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May 17th, 2006, 10:57 am
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I want to see if they're able to stay there. While I'm impressed with the Tigers' play this season, it's going to be extremely difficult to beat out the White Sox. It's unfortunate that the best two teams in baseball to this point are in the same division.


May 17th, 2006, 7:03 pm
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They will stay in contention as long as the Starting Pitching keeps going strong.


May 17th, 2006, 7:23 pm
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Play by Play Announcer - Al Michaels

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Best record in the league after yesterday's win and Sox loss! By themselves. Rogers first pitcher in the league to 7 wins :shock: .

And BillySims is right. As long as our pitching keeps up the way they have been thru the first 40 games, so shall the winning. Best ERA in the league :shock:

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May 19th, 2006, 9:43 am
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This is crazy, we all must be in bizarro world. I for one am going to enjoy the stay as long as I can.

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May 19th, 2006, 10:21 am
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Not for long - they're getting owned by the Reds 8-0 in the top of the 4th. Bondo gave up 7 in 3 innings.

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May 19th, 2006, 8:10 pm
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Still in 1st. Great pitching Saturday by Maroth and Yesterday by Robertson. How about that GW homerun by Granderson Saturday night!

Next 4 games are against the Royals. Next 3 after that against the Indians at home. I think we will go at least 5-2 in these 7 games.

Then the Yankess come to town....... :shock:

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May 22nd, 2006, 12:53 pm
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If all goes well, I'll be at the game against the Yankees on Memorial Day. GO TIGERS!!!!


May 22nd, 2006, 7:14 pm
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13 W's out of the last 14 games baby! RESTORE THE ROAR!!!

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May 26th, 2006, 8:19 am
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Play by Play Announcer - Al Michaels

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Next up: Indians, Yankees, RedSox. All home games. I guess we will see what we are made of in the next 2 weeks.

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May 26th, 2006, 11:14 am
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It was amazing how the Tigers came back yesterday after Maroth gave up six runs in the first inning. They tied the game with three runs in the 8th, and took the lead for good with 5 more in the 9th. This team simply doesn't give up, unlike Tiger teams of the past.

BTW, Maroth was placed on the DL today because of his elbow.


May 26th, 2006, 7:00 pm
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Chris Spurling was called up from AAA Toledo today as well. He was a great bullpen reliever last year with the Detroit Tigers and I hope he can get back to his form. Anyways, who do you think will start in place of Maroth now??


May 26th, 2006, 7:27 pm
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adpreston1385 wrote:
Anyways, who do you think will start in place of Maroth now??


I'm hoping Zumaya gets at least 1 start.


May 26th, 2006, 8:17 pm
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TADOne wrote:
Next up: Indians, Yankees, RedSox. All home games. I guess we will see what we are made of in the next 2 weeks.


So far, so good against Cleveland!

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May 28th, 2006, 7:56 am
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