I don’t normally do reports on individual games, but there was enough interesting stuff going on last night to warrant it.
First, the Tigers had no business winning that game last night. Tigers’ pitchers gave up 11 walks and they hit a batter. In the irony of ironies, Franklyn German didn’t allow any of the walks as he picked up the save with the easiest inning of the night. Between 1970 and 2003 there were 596 times that a team amassed 11 or more walks in a game (I love Retrosheet). However, only 48 of those times did the team fail to win the game. Only six times did those teams fail to score more than 2 runs. The White Sox had the leadoff hitter on in 9 different innings and only mustered one run. That game was the White Sox for the taking, but they failed to do so. That being said, I don’t want to take anything away from the Tigers. They picked up the win and they deserve it. They got the hits when they needed them. This was just one of those games that they happened to “steal.”
Second, something is wrong with Nate Robertson. He only hit 90mph a couple times that I can remember last night. I know it was cold so his 87mph velocity in the first couple innings didn’t concern me because he was probably still getting warm. However, he never really moved above that throughout the game. With his 7:1 walk to strikeout ratio last night, his numbers for the season are 15 walks, and 9 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. Don’t let the one run and 4 hits fool you, last night was not a good performance. He benefitted from two balls being caught at the wall, and two double plays. His BABIP for the season is .260, against a league average of .297. That is probably going to catch up with him sooner rather than later. I’m concerned that Robertson is injured. Often times a loss in velocity is a sign of shoulder troubles, while a loss of control is indicative of elbow problems. Nate seems to have lost both. Hopefully there is just a problem with his mechanics, but it is safe to say that Robertson is the pitcher that should have Tiger fans most concerned.
Third, I haven’t written much about Nook Logan, simply because I didn’t expect him to be in the lineup this much. I knew he was fast, I knew he could play defense. I didn’t know he’d hit as well as he has for as long as he has. When his hit in the 11th inning made it to the wall last night, you knew it would be an easy triple. I’m still doubtful that he can hit enough to warrant a spot in the lineup, but I’d be more than happy to have him prove me wrong.
So in the end, the Tigers got the win. They survived shaky pitching, due in large part to Chicago’s shaky hitting. In any case, they’ve won five in a row against division rivals (and the real kind of rivals, not the Royals). They’ve also guaranteed themselves a .500 record in April. All in all, not a bad month.