A look back at what went down when these teams met up for a 3 game set in Comerica Park this season…
Game 1: Tigers 10, Cardinals 6
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead on homers by Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge before the Cardinals tied the game in the 5th inning. Detroit responded with a 4 run rally to knock out Chris Carpenter and put the game out of reach.
Justin Verlander made it through 6 innings on 108 pitches before giving way to Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones who each allowed a run.
Game 2: Tigers 7, Cardinals 6 (10 innings)
Kenny Rogers wasn’t especially sharp in this one. He couldn’t hit the strikes on the corners, and if he’s not hitting the corners he’s getting hit. Rogers left in the 6th inning and the Tigers bullpen of Roman Colon, Jamie Walker, Jason Grilli, and Joel Zumaya held the Cards scoreless the rest of the way.
Meanwhile the Tigers chipped away at the lead and Marcus Thames tied it up with a 2 run homer off of Jason Isringhausen in the 9th. They had a chance to put it away after a double by Magglio Ordonez, an intentional walk to Carlos Guillen, and a lineout by Alexis Gomez put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Craig Monroe ended the inning with a strikeout.
The extended inning in the 9th brought Granderson to the plate with 2 outs in the 10th inning. He drew a walk and Placido Polanco had the game winning double to the gap in right-center.
Game 3: Tigers 4, Cardinals 1
Sidney Ponson and Jeremy Bonderman hooked up in a pitcher’s duel that saw the game tied 1-1 in the 8th inning. Curtis Granderson, who was part of the scoring in both the 9th and 10th innings the night before, knocked in the go ahead run as part of a 3 run rally in the 8th.
Powered by the Baseball Musings Day by Day Database:
Tiger starters logged 18 1/3 of the 28 innings pitched against the Cardinals. The most impressive of the group was Jeremy Bonderman who allowed a single run over 7 innings while fanning 8. Kenny Rogers had a shaky start on a night when the umpire wasn’t giving either pitcher the corners. Justin Verlander fell somewhere in between.
The bullpen was pretty solid allowing only 2 runs, one of which was a meaningless Albert Pujols homer off of Todd Jones.
In the season series the pitcher with the most success against the Tigers was Sidney Ponson who is no longer with the team. Chris Carpenter was battered for 7 runs over 7 innings despite 9 K’s. Jeff Suppan had the same issues with a small strike zone that Kenny Rogers did, but with a little more success.
Each of the Card’s bullpen arms who saw action in the series allowed a run (or more) including Adam Wainwright.
While Ponson is out, Jeff Weaver is in. Weaver shutdown the Tigers earlier this year while he was with the Angels.
Most of the Tigers hitters had a good series against the Cardinals. Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez both hit over .500 with a couple walks each. Craig Monroe was the only Tiger to post sub-standard numbers with a double in 8 at-bats.
Albert Pujols was just coming back from injury, but you wouldn’t know it as he hit .500. Yadier Molina, the current hero, was 4 for 9. Scott Rolen, who’s currently hurting went 5 for 11.
Scott Spezio managed only 2 hits while fanning 5 times in 13 at-bats.