Game 99: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: The Tigers venture into Jacobs Field looking to continue the success they enjoyed on their last trip. You may remember that the Tigers swept the Indians in a mid May weekend series. That series featured Jeremy Bonderman limiting the Indians to 3 hits and no runs over 8 innings. I bring this up because Bonderman will be taking the hill for the Tigers tonight.

He’ll be opposed by Cliff Lee. Lee has faced the Tigers twice this year. The first time he was a hard luck 1-0 loser to Mike Maroth. The second time the Tigers touched him for 5 runs in 7 innings.

Placido Polanco will get the day off after being hit in the jaw and Craig Monroe will bat in the 2-spot despite being 3 for 21 lifetime against Lee.

This series makes me nervous. Yes the Indians have a lousy record, but they aren’t a lousy team. The offense can put runs on the board (2nd in the AL in runs scored) and they have quite a bit of talent. You wouldn’t know it by the standings, but they have actually outscored their opponents for the season.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Phew!! That game was long and ugly – but a win. Quick observations before heading to bed:

  • Glad that the bats continued to stay hot. Dmitri Young hits his first homer, Inge adds a homer, Infante picks up 3 hits, Shelton had mixed results. Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez were the only ones not to really enjoy the hits.
  • The Tigers were the beneficiary of a couple calls. Alexis Gomez was picked off, but called safe and Ordonez dropped a ball along the foul line.
  • Bonderman couldn’t buy a strike the first 2 innings and yet held the Indians scoreless until he settled down.
  • Fernando Rodney just wasn’t right. That was ugly combined with bad luck. Jamie Walker was solid until it looked like he got gassed at the end of his 2nd inning.
  • When they’d show the Tigers dugout, I saw something I hadn’t seen all year – tension. That wasn’t a light and jovial bench the last few innings.