Five Bright Spots From '07

The 2007 season has come to a close with the Tigers falling short of the playoffs. But that doesn't mean the season was a failure. Inside, we take a look at the five best stories from the Tigers' 2007 campaign.

#5: Joel Zumaya hits triple digits on the radar gun in September
Sure, this might seem trivial, especially considering Zumaya's 2006 season in which he blew away the competition left and right. On the other hand, Zumaya was coming back from an unconventional injury, and no one had any idea how Zumaya's velocity would be affected.

Zumaya wasn't the same pitcher when he returned, but when Zumaya reached back and was able to add that third digit on the radar gun, a lot of fans took solace in the fact that Zumaya still has it. Now they hope he'll return in '08 sporting the fastball everyone fell in love with in his rookie campaign.

#4: Todd Jones records his 300th save
The rollercoaster has never been a fan favorite, but that doesn't change the fact that over the past two years, Jones has been one of the most effective closers in baseball, including this year when he converted 38 saves in 44 opportunities.

Jones (who finished the year with 301 career saves) became the 21st big league reliever to reach the 300 save plateau. Jones currently sits at 20th all time, but with another season like '07; he could make his way into the top ten among all time saves leaders. The Tigers now can only hope he'll make that run while still sporting the ‘ol English ‘D'.

#3: Curtis Granderson becomes the third ever 20-20-20-20 player
It's a strange record, and it lost a bit of its luster when on the final day of the season, Jimmy Rollins reached the same plateau. But that doesn't change the fact that Curtis Granderson became the first player since Willie Mays to reach 20 in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases.

Despite his incredible season, Granderson was largely over-shadowed for much of the year, garnering minimal consideration for the All Star game, and having his Gold Glove-caliber defense go largely unnoticed. The 20-20-20-20 plateau likely helped Granderson get some much-deserved recognition.

#2: Magglio Ordonez wins the batting title
If one was posed in spring training with the idea that a Tiger would win the batting title, you wouldn't find too many fans that would have picked Ordonez to be that guy. But lo and behold, Ordonez became the first Tiger since Norm Cash in 1961 to win the batting crown. Ordonez held off Ichiro Suzuki for the crown, finishing with a .363 average, the best for a Tiger since Charlie Gehringer hit .371 in 1937.

Of course, Ordonez did far more than just hit for a high average, and if the Tigers had been able to stick in the playoff hunt a bit more, or possibly even be preparing for October, Ordonez could have been looking like a potential MVP winner. But with or without an MVP, Ordonez had a career year, putting up an OPS over 1.000 and helping lead the Tiger offense.

#1: Justin Verlander pitches the first Tiger no-hitter in 23 years
It's tough to make the call between the first batting crown in more than 40 years, and the first no-hitter in 23. Ultimately though, the no-hitter was a night many Tiger fans will remember for many years to come – a night where Justin Verlander was simply unhittable.

Verlander's '07 campaign avoided the dreaded sophomore slump, and the no hitter was likely the shining moment for the Tigers' season. Verlander was one of three pitchers in the majors to toss a no-no in '07, but that won't overshadow Verlander's accomplishment.

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