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.