PREGAME: Yesterday was pitcher’s duel extraordinaire. I’m not expecting the same today. Chad Durbin was roughed up in his last start, and the Tigers tagged a wild AJ Burnett for 6 runs chasing him in the 3rd inning. Of course Burnett rebounded with 6 2/3 3 hit innings in his next start against the Royals.
Neifi Perez is 9 for 16 lifetime against Burnett, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Carlos Guillen or Placido Polanco get the day off.
UPDATE: Polanco gets the day off, but in favor of Omar Infante who makes his first appearance on the field this year. He bats 9th and Pudge is in the 2-hole.
Game Time 1:07
POSTGAME: Some walks, some misplays, some bloops, and a broken bat got the job done for the Tigers in the end. If you’re a Blue Jay fan stopping by, I can certainly understand your frustration because that one slipped away.
BJ Ryan certainly had control problems, but at the same time there were a couple pitches to Gary Sheffield that I thought could have been (and should have been) called strikes. What appeared to be a very inconsistent strike zone manifested itself in that at-bat and changed the complexion of the inning.
After loading the bases I was thrilled to see Jim Leyland turn to Marcus Thames. After Thames swung through 2 belt high fastballs on the inner half I was just praying it wouldn’t turn into a double play. Instead a shattered bat double was the result.
For those that complain about Todd Jones, he won’t walk the bases loaded setting up rough luck situations. Granted, it wasn’t the norm for Ryan either, but when Jones gets beat it’s because the other team hit the ball.
- Jason Grilli draws a lot of ire in internet circles. It’s largely overblown for a long guy in the bullpen. Today Grilli came up big with 3 scoreless innings and gave the offense a chance to get back into the game. Without Grilli’s performance, the Tigers don’t win today.
- Gary Sheffield seemed to coast a couple times on the base paths. Once with Ordonez’s double and the other time with the bloop hit. I understand that players can’t go all-out all the time, but not scoring either of those runs would have been huge slip-ups.
- For a guy that was staring down the golden sombrero at one point, Craig Monroe had actually put together some impressive at-bats. His first 3 at-bats were K’s, but he saw 5, 7, and 9 pitches with full counts in the latter 2 ABs. His double off the top of the wall also came on a full count, 8 pitch plate appearance. On the day Monroe saw 33 pitches.
- Brandon Inge had 3 more well hit balls. The average is still way down, but it’s climbing
- Props to 2nd base umpire Jeff Kellogg who made a nice call on Brandon Inge’s stolen base. The throw was there, but the tag wasn’t applied in time. It seems obvious, but that call isn’t always made.
I probably need to comment on Chad Durbin as well. Leyland said that he’ll still start as scheduled against the White Sox on Friday, but I’d imagine he’ll really have to show something. He was simply not good today. He doesn’t have to be great, but getting to the 6th inning and giving up fewer than 4 runs would at least be keeping the team in the game. The trouble is Zach Miner has struggled in Toledo, Jordan Tata is on the DL, and Andrew Miller was roughed up in his last start. In other words there isn’t anyone knocking the door down.