Sweep! Tigers oust Sox, Loaiza.
They were surging, they were charging, they acquired Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett and then, they met the Tigers! Wins of 2-1, 4-2 and 1-0 gave the Tigers their improbable 3 game sweep. Newly appointed closer, Chris Mears saved all three games and rookie pitcher Jeremy Bonderman avoided his 14th loss with 6 1/3 innings of 3-hit ball. The final victory was a pitcher's duel between Esteban Loaiza and Nate Cornejo. Cornejo bested Loaiza with eight strong innings and came away victorious. Loaiza suffered his second loss to the Tigers, 5th overall, giving him a 2-2 record against Detroit in his All-Star season.
The Tiger bats didn't really explode for the series, but they did hit .260 (25-for-96) which is well above their .229 team average. In addition to great starting pitching, the bullpen was stunning in 6 1/3 innings with a 1.42 ERA allowing just 5 hits and one run. Warren Morris was the offensive star hitting .545 (6-for-11) with 2 runs batted in. The Tigers now welcome sweet-swining Boston into two for 3 with the first one tonight at 7:05 Eastern as Mike Maroth (4-12) takes on John Burkett (6-4). The Red Sox has swept the season series thus far, 4-0.
Trade winds swirling in mid-July!
A few trade rumors for the inquiring minds, courtesy of Lee Sinins' newsletter:
According to the LA Times, the Dodgers are trying to get Brian Giles, with the Pirates wanting 2 top pitching prospects in addition to Odalis Perez. While the Dodgers are willing to deal Perez, it's the prospects that would be holding up the deal.
My Thoughts: As a fan of the "under-privileged" teams, I'd hate to see the Pirates lose their best hitter, but adding Perez to Kip Wells, Jeff Suppan, Josh Fogg, and Jeff D'Amico would be quite a potent staff for the perennial NL Central doormats. And if Giles is moved, I'd much rather see him moved to LA over New York.
According to the Bergen Record, "The Mets are on the verge of a blockbuster three-way deal that could send Armando Benitez to the Giants for right-handed reliever Felix Rodriguez and prospects, according to a major league source. The Mets would then send Rodriguez to the Yankees for a second set of prospects.
My Thoughts: An interesting deal that certainly helps all three parties involved. Benitez and F-Rod are good enough players, but I don't think this trade is worthy of the moniker:
According to the Kansas City Star, Carlos Beltran trade rumors are intensifying.
According to Scott Boras, who is the agent for both players, there's no truth to a Johnny Damon for Carlos Beltran rumor, while Boras also says the Dodgers asked the Redsox for Damon for Odalis Perez, but the Redsox turned them down.
My Thoughts: It was rumored that the BoSox were ready to ship Trot Nixon for Perez, so why not Damon? I know they aren't the same player, but I think adding Perez to that rotation would be cause for concern for the Yankees. Pedro, Derek Lowe, Odalis Perez, Tim Wakefield... now you're onto something.
According to the Dayton Daily News, the Reds are interested in Devil Rays P Joe Kennedy, with the Devil Rays could be interested in minor league 3B Brandon Larson.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Cubs are exploring whether they are interested in Pirates 3B Aramis Ramirez.