Sunday, July 14, 2013

2013 trade package #23 and Tigers game report: Jeff W. and JV take on the Rangers

Today's tiny trade package hails from one of my favorite non-blogging traders:  reader Jeff Wiltse, who's also probably my favorite South Dakotan.  Jeff was holding onto a pair of cards for me for quite a while, and I finally sent him my address as I should soon be able to respond in kind with a nice pair of Alan Trammells (because my COMC package from July should arrive by Tuesday!).

What did Jeff send me?  Feast your eyes on these:
Justin Verlander 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones Black #64-9 (#22/29)
Justin Verlander 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones Black #64-121 (#19/29)
The cards have the same back

Moments and Milestones was one of Topps' more ambitious sets, along the lines of an Upper Deck 40-man or the infamous Topps Tek.  The set takes a major achievement of a player and breaks it up into a series of cards, one for each of the key number.  The base set is #d to 150 while this Black parallel goes to 29.  In this case, Verlander is lauded for his 2006 AL Rookie of the Year season in which he went 17-9 and struck out 124 hitters, hence the 124 different cards.  I got strikeouts #s 9 and 121.  These beauts will fit right in with my growing JV collection, which I promise I'll work on scanning as soon as I finish some other projects.

Thanks again for the trade, Jeff, and you should be getting a Tram double play very soon!

So why was I saying yesterday that this was such a timely trade package?  Well, here's what I did today:
This was my first Tigers game in who knows how long, though my second MLB game this Summer.  Oddly enough, it was another bobblehead game in honor of the day's starter, Justin Verlander (hence the relevance of the trade), though I proved to be much to old to fit into the 14-and-under group that got them.  Oh well!

Here's a few shots I took at the game, all of which were on my phone from way, way up (second row from the top of the upper deck behind home plate along the first base side, in the shade!), hence the lack of quality compared to the Milwaukee game:
View from the left field seats of Detroit's retired numbers.
JV crossing his "T"s while warming up near the bullpen
Verlander warming up before the first pitch
Somebody batting in the first inning; I think this is Torii Hunter at some point before his home run
The center field fountain after Jhonny Peralta's home run, which he hit back-to-back with V-Mart
Prince Fielder waits to hit as a new Rangers pitcher warms up
I snapped this real quick to show Verlander's stats after exiting with two outs in the 7th (bottom scoreboard)
The Tigers celebrate a first half-ending win finished up by Benoit

I was also able to pretty much complete my scorecard, which was a bit messy, not to mention in my partially illegible handwriting.  I added a few game notes below:
1.  Moreland broke up Verlander's no-hit bid in the 7th with a 2-out double, a rope to left-center that thankfully wasn't a cheapie.  JV left after facing Moreland due to quad tightness.
2.  Profar is quite the heralded prospect right now.  I didn't get to see much of that on display today, but I bet it won't be long before he's hitting the crap out of the ball.  His defense was solid today, at least.
3.  Kinsler was still showing why he's one of the better second basemen in the game.  He made a beautiful diving grab on a grounder to his left followed by a nice throw to rob a Tiger of a single.
4.  Tigers close Joaquin Benoit entered the top of the 9th after Smyly struck out Leonis Martin.  Benoit proceeded to strike out Nelson Cruz, then got to a 3-2 count with Engle Beltre, pinch-running for namesake Adrian.  With the crowd on its feet making noise, Benoit hit Beltre by a pitch.  Fortunately he thrilled the crowd by striking out Moreland to end it.
5.  I was wondering if Hunter's first-inning HR would be all JV needed today.  Two innings later it didn't matter as Victor Martinez and Hunter's fellow All-Star teammate Jhonny Peralta went back to back with homers to left and right field, respectively.  The Tigers' first three hits were home runs today.
6.  Up until the bottom of the 6th the pace of the game was moving quite nicely; then the Tigers almost batted around.  The inning started with walks by Hunter and Cabrera before two outfield flyouts.  A Peralta single chased Texas starter Martin Perez from the game, and Matt Tuiososopo chipped in a second single for another RBI, leading to...
7.  Jim Leyland logic:  IF(Tuiososopo==doessomethinggood) {replace_Tui(don_kelly)}.  Goddammit, Leyland, stop being a jackass and punishing Tui for being better than "Don't" Kelly.  Can we seriously fire this moron now?
8.  Only three strikeouts and an above-average three walks, but Verlander was still very much in-control today.  Considering his pitch count at the time he finally gave up his first hit, plus the quad soreness I didn't know about at the time, I'm glad he came out when he did.  It was sure nice seeing him success on his own Bobblehead day, not to mention end the first half with 10 wins!

Thus ends a very exciting and productive day of watching baseball and collecting cards!  Good luck to my six Tigers All-Stars (though JV will be resting having pitched today) and to the team for what will hopefully be a good second half!


  1. Nothing better than catching a live MLB game, even if it is the Tigers.

    BTW, how did JV do his last start? Sorry, I don't get to brag too much now a days. Have to do it where I can. I do like JV though, he's a gamer.

    I also share your sentiment about the All-Star game, go AL!

    1. Very true, and now that I've finally been back to a Tigers game I'm gonna try to make it to more.

      And BTW, how are the White Sox doing this season? Too soon?

      And the A.L. went!