PREGAME: Now it gets interesting. The Tigers will be taking on one of the contenders from the AL Central. Not to diminish the Royals, but this is the first divisional series that can really be used as a measuring stick.
The Tigers send out Chad Durbin. Durbin struggled in his first 2 starts and the Tigers had to rely on Wil Ledezma and Jason Grilli to share the load in those games. Leyland has said that Durbin’s job isn’t in danger, but another outing where he doesn’t really give the team a chance to win and I think it will be hard for Leyland to send him out there again. I’m not looking for a quality start, but 6 innings and 4 runs allowed would be fine out of the 5th starter.
The Tigers will face John Danks, who the White Sox acquired from the Rangers. Danks has a pretty solid WHIP of 1.235 and has fanned 10 in 11 1/3 innings. The only knock against him in his first 2 starts is that he’s allowed 3 homers already.
Game time 7:05
POSTGAME: Chad Durbin did his job tonight. He gave the team 5 innings and allowed only 2 runs, and did it relatively easily. Of course, he was charged with 2 more runs in the 6th after he loaded the bases on a tweener and a couple of walks. Leyland then went to Jason Grilli who gave up the 2 run single.
I don’t blame Grilli so much. He is what he is, and chances are runs are going to score in a bases loaded no out situation. I would have felt better with Joel Zumaya pitching, but at the same time I can’t expect to see him in every high leverage situation. Yet the way the pitching has been handled the last 2 games just hasn’t sat well with me.
Bobby Seay and Aquilino Lopes did a nice job in their turns in relief.
I still don’t understand starting Thames and lifting him with a lead in the 5th inning. Both times the Tigers went on to relinquish the lead. I hear Leyland talking about defense and such, but I guess I still just don’t get it.
And Gary Sheffield, I just don’t know.