PREGAME: I’ve got a good feeling about tonight. After all, there are 2 Tiger blogger birthdays today and the club just couldn’t let us down now could they. Those birthday bloggers are myself and Samara.
Wil Ledezma is charged with making today a Happy Birthday. He’s been outstanding since his move to the rotation. Leyland didn’t let him throw more than 71 pitches in either start, in part due to a stretching out phase, and in part because he was going on 3 days rest. (Speaking of Ledezma, Kurt did some interesting work extending research done by Nate Silver and found that under Silver’s methodology Ledezma may be the current rotation candidate that would most benefit from a move to the pen)
He’ll be opposed by Matt Garza. Garza has made 5 starts, 2 of them good (against Baltimore and KC), 1 of them okay (against Cleveland), and 2 of them bad (against Toronto and New York). I think it is pretty clear that the quality of competition had a considerable influence in those games.
Carlos Guillen returns to the lineup at short (cross your fingers that he doesn’t blow it out) and Infante retains 2nd base duties.
In other news, Don Kelly cleared waivers and was outrighted to Erie while Chris Spurling was claimed by the Brewers. I’ve updated the Roster and Organizational Tree pages to represent the newly configured 40 man roster.
Game Time 8:10
POSTGAME: Sorry ’bout the much delayed postgame report. The game was, umm, frustrating? Who would have thought that on a night when the Tigers drew 3 walks in first 3 innings and Sean Casey pickedup an infield hit, and Magglio had good at-bat after good at-bat, and Carlos Guillen was back in the lineup along with Omar and Thames, that the Tigers would lose. Then again who would have thought that a nobody on, 2 out situation would turn into 7 runs either.
It was just one of those nights. The Tigers made some mistakes defensively and pitching, and the Twins took advantage of them – especially Mauer and Morneau.
I do think that Jim Leyland has become way too platoon happy. He insisted on lefties facing Morneau and Mauer, but if you look at their splits, they are good hitters no matter who they are facing. And Alexis Gomez over Chris Shelton in the 9th?
Wil Ledezma wasn’t sharp. He was both wild outside the zone and couldn’t find the edges of a very large and erratic strike zone, and even the strikes he through he wasn’t locating them well.
And then there was just the bad luck. Thursday night every ground ball with a runner on was a double play, last night it was a hit.