On April 30th I wrote the following paragraph about Nate Robertson:
I was legitimately concerned about Nate Robertson after that start, and that concern didn’t really go away for the next 6 weeks either. He wasn’t striking batters out, and he was walking quite a few. The one thing he had going for him was that he was keeping the ball in the park and not allowing homers. But somehow, he managed to keep his ERA low. Courtesy of the Day by Day database, here are his numbers through June 7th, and after June 7th.
GS K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 IP ERA
Thru 6/7 11 4.2 4.5 .94 .42 64.7 3.48
Post 6/7 7 6.9 1.8 3.80 1.08 49.3 3.10
Suddenly Robertson started striking guys out, and not giving up free passes. He also has allowed more homers, but his rate is still reasonable. His ERA is more in line with what one would expect since June. While Robertson was getting decent results earlier, it wasn’t because he was necessarily pitching well.
Robertson has also been more efficient over that span. In his first 11 starts he pitched 7 innings only twice, maxing out at 7 2/3. In his subsequent 7 starts (there have actually been 8, but I’m not counting his one pitch outing against Tampa Bay), he has gone at least 7 innings five times – including 2 complete games.
I know that Robertson was battling a sinus infection early in the season, and he may have just taken a long time to recover. Perhaps, his arm was hurting or weaker early in the season and he’s feeling stronger now. In any case, Nate Robertson turned the corner in June and is now pitching the way Tiger fans hoped he would. So Nate – sorry for doubting you this spring.
While I got to attend the Tigers game Friday night with my 4 year old, that was the last Tiger game action I’ve seen. I was up north this weekend so all I had was radio access. Now, with the team headed to the west coast and limited TV coverage, I won’t see much of the team this week either.
As for listening to the game on the radio, I’ve got two comments. First, at times this weekend I was listening continuously, while other times I was tuning in sporadically. For those times tuning in sporadically I have to give both Dan and Jim credit for mentioning the score. I never had to wait more than a minute or two to find out where the Tigers stood. Both seemed to make a effort to update the score regularly. I know that was an area of criticism with Tiger broadcasts and it seems they are working to improve it.
Second, I really enjoy listening to Dan Dickerson call a game. I’ve always thought he did a decent job, but he seems to have really come into his own this season. When he’s doing an inning, the game seems to have a natural rhythm. He’s very descriptive and strives to paint a picture of what is happening on the field. He has a very good understanding of visiting teams and player strengths and weaknesses and he’s uses relevant statistics to bolster those points. I’d like to see Dickerson stick around a long time to become the next great Detroit broadcaster.