Game 65: Devil Rays at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers look to extend their winning streak to 4 tonight against the Devil Rays. The Tigers are back at the top of the rotation with Kenny Rogers who goes for win 199. He’ll be opposed by Seth McClung.

McClung has given up 4 or more runs in each of his last 4 starts and has walked 13 and only fanned 4 over that span.

Pudge will be in the lineup tonight despite last night’s overtime duty. Carlos Guillen will man first for the slumping Shelton. I guess the good news is that Shelton’s slump corresponds with Carlos Guillen’s various aches so that both get a break.

POSTGAME: We (the fans) really needed a game like that. The Tigers jump on top early, and then blow it open. After weeks of nail biters and coming from behind it was nice to have an “easy one.”

It’s stating the obvious, but Kenny Rogers was brilliant. Some 0’s turned into 1’s in the 8th inning, but 9 K’s and 8 innings of work on a night when the bullpen was depleted are spectacular. Oh yeah, and he made the defensive play of the night laying out and flipping a ball with his glove after deflecting it in the first place.

Offensively everyone chipped in. Curtis Granderson continued to set the table by reaching base 3 times and adding a sacrifice fly and a diving catch in the outfield.

And on bark-in-the-park night the Tigers drew almost 21,000. I’ll be doing my part tomorrow and taking in the game.

11 Comments

  1. Dave T.

    June 13, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    Tonight is a huge game for the bullpen to prove how deep it is. Rogers needs to prove he is the #1 starter and eat some innings. Seay, Grilli, and Walker need to show they can pitch. Does anyone else think Leyland is trying to stockpile wins early b/c he worries about post all star break fade?

  2. Walewander

    June 13, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    Looking nice so far….

    I think Jamie Walker has shown that he can pitch over the last four years. Nice to get this lead so the pen can pitch some low-leverage innings.

  3. Anne

    June 13, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    …Does anyone else think Leyland is trying to stockpile wins early b/c he worries about post all star break fade?…

    If that’s the case Dave, he’s not the only one. That seems to be the line on the Tigs these days, especially Rogers. But anyway, don’t you want to win as many as you can no matter what? And nice job by Rogers pitching through the 7th. Our bullpen needed it!

    Hey Walewander, you aren’t Jim Walewander, are you?

  4. Alan

    June 13, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    What do you mean stockpile wins. Wins in June count as much as wins in September. Do you mean he is overworking his team so they can win a few more games now why they are hot? I have heard he likes to rest his players so they can perform for the long 160 game season.

    I think Kenny Rogers is going to get a complete game tonight. It’s as good as a day off for the bullpen.

  5. Dave

    June 13, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    Nope… Jason Grilli is pitching. Not a bad move; get him some work with a good lead.

  6. Rob

    June 13, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    don’t look now, but Humberto Sanchez was wheeling and dealing for Toledo tonight tossing 7 shutout innings and lowering his AAA ERA to 0.71 to go with his 2-0 record.

    What exactly would he need to do this year to earn a spot in the rotation next year? He had a 1.76 ERA at Erie with something like 10 or 11 Ks per 9 IP. Now he’s 2-0 in 12.2 innings at Toledo with 9 hits, 3 walks, and 12 Ks and a 0.71 ERA. I’ll assume Bonderman, Rogers, and Verlander are locks for the rotation next year. Does Sanchez have any hope at all of unseating Maroth or Robertson?

  7. Scott

    June 13, 2006 at 8:50 pm

    nice to see Grilli throw some strikes after his last horrid outing. And Rogers’ defensive play was superb! He could’ve had a complete game, if it meant anything. Obviously, to Leyland, it doesn’t. Rogers has 9 wins now; tied for the league lead. Bonderman tomorrow. If we get decent pitching, we can sweep these guys; their staff is horrible. Then we start interleague play, which totally disgusts me; I’m a real traditionalist when it comes to baseball.

  8. Lou

    June 13, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    If I’m DD at the end of the year, I take a long hard look at trading one or two of Maroth, Robertson, or, dare I say it, Bonderman. Their value will probably be at its absolute peak and with Zumaya Sanchez, Tata, Grili, Colon and Ledezema, I like my chances to find two decent starters for the rest of the rotation.

    Room for improvement in my mind is at 3b (although Inge’s defensive contributions should not be forgotten) or LF. If the right 2B came along, I might also consider that and slide Polanco over to 3rd. Also, we can’t forget Pudge isn’t here forever. If a stud catcher prospect was available, that might be worth a trade too.

  9. Jeff M

    June 14, 2006 at 12:17 am

    I take a long hard look at trading one or two of Maroth, Robertson, or, dare I say it, Bonderman. Their value will probably be at its absolute peak and with Zumaya Sanchez, Tata, Grili, Colon and Ledezema, I like my chances to find two decent starters for the rest of the rotation.

    No one is untouchable, but I would be very, very careful. Verlander is lightning in a bottle. Very few pitchers can step up and contribute immediately like he has. Hell, he can regress a good deal and still be a lock for ROY. It remains to be seen what Z and Sanchez can do, but Tata, Grili, Colon and Ledezma would are #5 guys at best. We should be in “win now (and the next few years)” mode, so it would have to be a very sweet deal for me to favor a losing a 3 or 4 guy, hoping a second tier prospect could fill out the rotation respectably.

    If a deal like that is made, it should only be made if our scouts are sure that a starter is overachieving. If they know something the opposing teams don’t, it makes sense to sell high. But if the pitcher is for real, it would be ludicrous to trade him, just because his value is high. We’ve gained a lot of depth over the past few years, but enough to trade away a legitimate starter in his prime. They’re just too expensive to replace.

    If a stud catcher prospect was available

    Be careful with the word “prospect”. We’ve arrived. Any trades that are made should be made for immediate impact.

  10. Walewander

    June 14, 2006 at 10:25 am

    No, I’m not Jim – its just a tribute.

  11. Scott

    June 14, 2006 at 10:47 am

    old saying in baseball: “a team NEVER has enough left-handed pitching.” Do not trade any LHP’s any time soon, unless he’s “damaged goods” and we can get another in exchange. And, do we really have enough depth on the mound to start trading some away? I don’t think I would, yet. Inge’s fine defensively at 3B, but a .217 BA is a bummer. Shelton K’s way too much; he needs to learn the strike zone and lay off the “high ones.” Pitchers are finding him “easy meat” for the letter-high fastball. Both Monroe + Thames have power, but K too much, too. Granderson’s turning into the team “spark plug.” Barring injury, he’s got CF locked up for years. I think Vance Wilson will do a fine job if he’s ever needed if Pudge’s injured.