PREGAME: It’s a battle of struggling left handed all star starters today with Mark Buerhle taking on Kenny Rogers.
Since the All Star Break Buerhle has an 8.68 ERA with only 13 strikeouts to go along with 8 walks and 8 homers. Buster Olney talked to a scout (Insider) who had this to say about Buerhle’s struggles
“His pure stuff is the same to me — velocity is the same, 84-90 mph. But he’s getting the ball up in the strike zone, and he’s paying for it. It’s got to be a mechanical thing. And to me, he needs to throw more changeups to right-handed hitters, too.” The scout disagrees with the view that Buehrle’s fastball is down from last year.
Rogers numbers are eerily similar with an 8.34 ERA, 14 K’s, 13 walks, and 6 homers allowed.
On another note, did you notice that the Tigers were using signs like when a runner is on second, but they did it the whole game? I noticed it in the first inning. Rod Allen picked up on it a couple innings later, but didn’t have any idea why. I’m guessing it’s because Jim Leyland trusts what his buddy Tony Larussa experienced back in June to be true.
Game Time 1:25pm
POSTGAME: So the Tigers have their first 4 game losing streak of the second half. Let the hand wringing begin. Actually, if you want to get upset about today’s loss, I can’t blame you. The Tigers seemed to crumble defensively despite an excellent outing by Kenny Rogers. The offense again looked stagnant with 7 of the first 10 batters striking out (to their credit they didn’t strike out after that until MacDougal came in so some adjustments were made).
The pressure is on tomorrow to avoid the sweep and keep the lead from shrinking to 5.5 games. That’s right, all the way down to 5.5 games. The Tigers are still in good shape despite their recent slide. That said, 7.5 would look a lot nicer.