Game 68: Tigers at Cubs

PREGAME: The Tigers travel to Wrigley Field to take on the Cubs. It’s the occasional match-up like this that makes me actually like interleague play.

On a personal note, I made the trip to Chicago in 2000 to see the Tigers take on the Cubs. My wife and I took in two games. What made it even more memorable is that the morning we left we found out we were pregnant with my son.

But on to the game itself…Nate Robertson will be taking on Glendon Rusch. Rusch has been pretty awful and has allowed 14 homers in his 31 innings as a starter this season. He’s been particularly ineffective at Wrigley allowing a .387 BAA and 10 homers in 13 1/3 innings. Rusch is also the 4th lefty starter the Tigers have faced in the last 5 games.

POSTGAME: That game ended up a lot closer than it felt like it would be early on. I happened to be at home today, so I was able to see the game. While the Tigers only posted 5 runs, they hit the ball hard up and down the order (well except for Guillen). Pudge and Thames both had balls caught at the wall and Shelton and Granderson both had line drives that Jacque Jones made nice plays on. Even Nate Robertson had a hit taken away on a nice diving play by Juan Pierre.

Robertson was dominant, I think he only had one 1-2-3 inning, but he also was never really in trouble.

Marcus Thames homer was to the opposite field, which is a rarity. I mentioned his flyout to the wall which was also to right-center.

Todd Jones pitched an uneventful 1-2-3 inning. And it may be hard to believe, but that was the 3rd 1-2-3 inning he’s pitched this week. It’s just that one of them was followed by a disastorous 4 run inning.

And finally, the most encouraging item may have been Chris Shelton. Yesterday he doubled and walked twice. Today he doubled down the right field line and sent another line drive to the warning track. He also drew another walk today. And even when he struck out his last time up, he didn’t take the monster swing, he looked like he was trying to flilp it to right again. I’m not saying his slump is over, or that he’s even breaking out. But Chris Shelton today looked a lot more like the Chris Shelton of last year.

21 Comments

  1. Dave

    June 16, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    Just had to turn down tix b/c of a late afternoon project in the office . . . goshdarnit. Should be a good number of Tigers fans in the crowd, though. The northside is home to a lot of Michigan (and particularly Detroit-area) émigrés like myself. I caught the lone win for us at Comiskey last week and was surprised by the number of old English ‘D’s at the stadium and on the Red Line on the way home.

    Sounds like Wrigley holds a pretty nice memory or two for you!

  2. Anne

    June 16, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    Listening to the game right now…there seems to be almost as much cheering for the Tigs as the Cubs. I don’t care much for inter-league play myself, but it is kind of cool to see the Tigs take on the Cubs and the Cardinals. We’ve already played the Reds, so now we just need a series each against the Pirates and the Padres, and our Fall Classic re-matches will be taken care of.

  3. Jeff

    June 16, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    I had tickets for the entire series as my parents were coming into town. Long story short, we’re only going on Sunday and that’s the day it is supposed to rain!

    I’m listening right now on XM186

  4. Dennis

    June 16, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Roller Coaster Time…

  5. Joey C.

    June 16, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Wish we got another run in the top of the 9th in order to give Jones more of a cushion.

    Time to take a ride on the rollercoaster.

  6. Joey C.

    June 16, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    YAY!!!! HE DID IT!!!

  7. Dennis

    June 16, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    1-2-3???

    who was wearing jones’ uniform today?

  8. Kyle J

    June 16, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    WGN focused a lot on the Tigers fans at the game today. Great day to be there. I’ve only been once–last year for a game against the Padres–but it was early in the season and the ivy wasn’t green yet. Need to go again.

  9. Pat

    June 16, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    Just like he’s done it 17 times already this season. The Tigers need real fans. Jones haters need not apply.

  10. Kyle J

    June 16, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    Jones looked very good today. Here’s hoping Leyland’s right and we’re wrong. But it’ll take a few more outings like today’s to make me a believer.

    If there’s an optimistic view about Jones’ performance to date it’s that it hasn’t cost us as much as it could have. WGN showed the stat today that the Tigers have only lost two games when they lead after the 8th. Jones has cost us any shot at all at winning a few extra inning games, but I guess that’s better than all those runs being spread out over a bunch of games when we had one-run leads.

  11. Kyle J

    June 16, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    . . . it’s not about hate. Jones seems like a heckuva guy. It’s about who can get the job done most often.

  12. Joey C.

    June 16, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Pat give me a break. Coming here and posting a comment that questions the loyalty of others who read this blog is absolutely riduclous.

    And since when is supporting Todd Jones a prerequisite for fandom? Are you related to the guy or something?

  13. Lou

    June 16, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    He’s a troll. Let it go.

  14. billfer

    June 16, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    Pat – we just complain because we are fans. I don’t think any of us want to see Todd Jones – or any Tiger – fail.

  15. Joey C.

    June 16, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Lou I had to dig into wikipedia for a definition–I feel so out of touch.

    Given your assesment of the situation, I wish I hadn’t taken the bait.

  16. KS

    June 16, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    I’d like to see alot of things happen to Todd Jones, he’s beyond failure in my book. It’s idiocy to roll him out there time and again with a team that’s ready to win.
    KS

  17. Pat

    June 17, 2006 at 9:14 am

    Haha, yeah he is my uncle. Seriously, I know you guys are all loyal fans, but after 2 days of 1270 and 1130 callers bashing the hell out of him and questioning Leyland for not making a move to Zumaya, I’d had about enough. The guy does make mistakes (hitting Baldelli on an 0-2 pitch Wednesday night) and he might let a few (haha) guys on, but most of the time he converts. He’s certainly hit a rough stretch, but that is bound to happen. If he isn’t given the opportunity to work through it, just like Shelton, then we’re probably going to be missing it later in the year. It’s baseball. 162 games. Losing a close one to the Devil Rays because we couldn’t hit, or losing a close one to Boston, NY, or Toronto who have some nasty bats (Toronto and NY lead AL in runs) really shouldn’t turn people against him like they have. This guy WANTS to be a Tiger and seems to be on par with our team this season (Young Guns not included). Anyway, that’s my beef.

  18. Scott

    June 17, 2006 at 9:27 am

    hmmm, I want to be a Tiger too……but I’m 50 years old, have a potbelly, and my knees hurt when I walk up stairs. So, can I play anyway? Basically, it doesn’t matter who wants to be a Tiger; can he get the job done? And in his case, the answer is: MOSTLY NO. The Cubs look like a very bad team; I could probably be a closer v them. You don’t see these kinds of problems with Rivera or Papelbon; they actually get the job done. All I care about is the Tigers winning; if getting rid of Jones helps them win more, I’m all for it.

  19. Chris

    June 17, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    In regards to Jones, sure he converts saves sometimes, but that is not really the point. If you had a draft among all 30 teams closers, I’m sure Jones would be drafted near the end. Since the Tigers have the best record in baseball, I think they should have one of the ten best closers, not one of the ten worst.

  20. Jared

    June 17, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    There is only one Papelbon, and only one Rivera, every other team in the Majors has to deal with blown saves just like us, lets not kill a guy just because going through a tough time, its the last thing Jones needs.

  21. KS

    June 17, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    This isn’t a “tough” time for Todd Jones. He’s been brutal for the past 5 years with one decent year mixed in. I could care less who “wants” to be part of the team. In sports it only matter what you do between the lines, nice guys are great, but they’re pretty useless professional sports.