The Daily Breakfast: July 18, 2011

BreakfastGood Monday morning. Is Brad Penny still pitching?

Leading Off: I’m trying to find a way to write about the White Sox series without using the word “salvaged” but how else can I … ? Aggressiveness, timely hitting and sturdy pitching helped the Tigers fight back and beat the Chicago, 4-3.

Around the Central: The Indians blew an early lead and lost to the Orioles 8-3, splitting that four-game series. Jim Thome inched closer to 600 home runs as the Twins downed the Royals 4-3 … Today the Indians are home for a four-game series against the Twins, starting with a doubleheader, while the White Sox head to Kansas City for the start of a three-game set.

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The Tigers are off today but find themselves ties for first place with the Indians. Tomorrow the A’s come to town for the always-thrilling two-game series.

On Tuesday Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.78 ERA) faces RHP Guillermo Moscoso (3-4, 2.16 ERA)

There are 13 days left until the trade deadline.

The Tigers have nine more games – three, three-game series – left against the White Sox, once more at Comerica Park. Twins: 13; Indians: 12; Royals: 9.

Happy 57th Birthday to Harry Spilman, who played in 24 games for the 1986 Tigers. He hit .245 with three home runs.

On this date in 1927, Ty Cobb got his 4,000 hit — but he did it with the Philadelphia Athletics. Seventy years later the Tigers acquired RHPs Scott Sanders and Dean Crow and infielder Carlos Villalobos from the Mariners for RHPs Omar Olivares and Felipe Lira. And in 2000, the Tigers made a move that fueled a 79-83 finish: they purchased the contract of first baseman Hal Morris from the Reds.

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Ubaldo Ji-Madness: Ben Shpigel in the New York Times‘ Bats blog takes a closer look at why Ubaldo Jimenez might be available and in what ballparks he’s pitched well so far this season:

In a market lacking in first-rate starting pitchers, Jimenez stands alone, and one could argue that he belongs a tier below the pitchers mentioned above. Suitors might be wary of his inconsistency and, as Sweeny Murti of WFAN Radio noted to me over dinner Sunday night, Jimenez’s good fortune is pitching in a division loaded with big ballparks and modest offenses.

The discrepancy is quite stark: in four starts pitching at AT&T Park (San Francisco), PETCO Park (San Diego), Nationals Park and Dodger Stadium, spacious homes of the four lowest-scoring teams in the N.L., Jimenez is 2-1 with a 1.20 earned run average. In 14 starts pitching everywhere else, including at hitter-friendly Coors Field, Jimenez is 3-7 with a 5.15 E.R.A.

Hmm. He pitches well in big ballparks. No one the Tigers are reportedly/hypothetically interested.

What a Shame: Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Tigers’ rally from a 3-0 deficit on Sunday was the eighth time this season that White Sox lost a game after leading by at least three runs, the most such defeats for any American League team.

Milestone Watch: Brandon Inge is 14 games away from tying Tom Brookens for third place in Tigers history with 979 games played at third. And, Magglio Ordonez is eight homers away from 300.

Finally, Happy 90th Birthday to astronaut and former U.S. senator from Ohio, John Glenn.

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