Game 6: Tigers at Orioles

PREGAME: It’s Opening Day in Baltimore, a day of renewed hope and optimism for O’s fans. The last time the Tigers were in Baltimore (don’t worry, I’ll stop these “last time the Tigers” things soon), Orioles fans staged a walk out protesting Peter Angelos ownership. It was a game I happened to be at.

Today Chad Durbin makes his first start of the season, and 57th of his career. His overall numbers are nothing to get excited about, but he’s up here because of what he did in AAA last year. For Toledo he struck out 3.24 batters for every one he walked and posted a 3.11 ERA in 185 innings.

He’ll be opposed by Daniel Cabrera who has filthy stuff, but no control. He struck out more than a batter an inning last year, but walked more than 6 per nine innings. The Tigers will put out there regular lineup against right handers of Granderson/Polanco/Sheffield/Ordonez/Guillen/Rodriguez/Casey/Monroe/Inge.

Game time 3:05

POSTGAME: So much for yesterday’s late inning heroics jump-starting the offense. The Tigers once again struggled to generate any offense. Even when they managed to get into hitters counts, they still struggled to make solid contact.

After the first 2 innings things were looking pretty good. The Tigers made Cabrera throw 21 pitches to only 3 batters in the first inning. In the second they saw 17 pitches, had a couple of hard hit balls and plated their first run. After that he only threw 66 pitches over the next 4 innings. The Tigers made a lot of routine outs, and when they did reach base the innings were cut short with double plays.

Meanwhile Chad Durbin mowed through the first 2 innings on 21 pitches. Everything was great until the 3rd inning when the wheels came off. A couple solid hits, a couple weak hits, and the Tigers were down 4 runs. He looked to gather himself well in 4th inning before surrendering a couple runs in the 5th.

Durbin gave way to Wil Ledezma in the 5th, and while he’ll get another chance or two, he may run the risk of giving way to Ledezma in the rotation as well. Ledezma looked great again today with 2 2/3 innings allowing only a run producing bloop single.

While Durbin struggled, he wasn’t awful and there’s a good chance they lose that game the way Cabrera was pitching anyways. Removing Durbin from the rotation is probably premature at this point.

Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view), Jose Mesa managed a strong inning.

Tigers 2, Orioles 6

25 thoughts on “Game 6: Tigers at Orioles”

  1. From the Detroit News: Funny thing about batting averages and the perception of swinging well, however. Inge, who’s 0-for-17 so far, thinks he’s swinging well, too. In fact, he was sure of it.

    “I’m taking perfect swings,” he said, “but I can’t control where it goes. It’s like they have 20 infielders and outfielders out there. But I’m on every pitch.”-

    With a backward ‘k’ so far today for Brandon the Orioles only required 2 players. 0-18. 8k’s. 16 LOB.

    Just kidding, he only has 12 LOB and 7k’s, we don’t want to make Brandon look silly.

  2. I guess we couldn’t expect another Miner-like performance from Durbin, but sheesh, it seems like every single game has been a struggle. Except for game 2 where they almost blew a 9-run lead, they’ve played from behind in every game. Nothing seems to be coming easily.

  3. Wow, Sheff now has two games with a dp and a K. This team needs to collectively pick it up several notches at the plate. That being said Cabrera is just filthy today.

  4. Durbin seemed to cruise until the homer and the bunt single got him off track. 5Ks, 1BB in five innings wasn’t a bad showing statistically. But a few hard hit balls, a few bloops, and he got whammo’d.

  5. It wasn’t as bad as it looked, but it wasn’t as good as you think either. The ump has a generous strike zone and some of those hits were lasers.

  6. Inge is now 0 for 20 with 8 strikeouts (40%!!). I like the guy, but for the love of God, Leyland, sit him down for a day…

    I would also like to echo those who said nothing is coming easily. Man, the offense just looks terrible, it seems like everything is grounded to short. Bilfer, how many 6-3 putouts in the first 6 games? (I’m kidding, but it really seems that way….)

  7. Billfer – Cabrera has no control and then we get no walks off of him? Your pregame jinxes are freaking me out. Please stop.

  8. Durbin was mediocre, but Ledezma was very good. The RBI hit he gave up to Gibbons was a complete dink that just landed in the wrong spot on a ball out of the strike zone. The Tigers seem committed to keeping Wil in the pen, but if it goes like this for a few more of Durbin’s starts, they might have to reevaluate. I hope they do.

  9. EZ – I actually had the same thoughts (re: Inge), and hopefully will have more on this tonight.

    Anne – yes

    Chris Y -yes

    Ben – yes

    Cecil – yes

    Mar – I’ll see what I can do, but probably not tonight

  10. I say let the pitcher hit and DH for Inge the next couple of games. That way were no worse off at the plate and we remain solid at the corner.

  11. I don’t mind giving Ledezma another crack at it, but don’t forget that he’s had several chances already and he has yet to demonstrate that he can consistently get through a lineup two and three times. I don’t have to remind Detroiters that the backup quarterback is always the most popular guy on a struggling team.

    As for Inge, I don’t understand the “day off” mentality here. It’s April 9th; he’s not tired. I haven’t seen many of the games, so I don’t know if he’s actually taking “good swings”, but he always struck me as a straight-shooter, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. A six game slump really isn’t that uncommon for a guy with a mediocre average.

    If he isn’t taking good swings and he’s taking a day off to take a serious BP session or to work on mechanics, I can understand that. If, however, you’re giving him a day off just for the sake of having a day off, I don’t see how it could do anything more than give him another day to dwell on his 0-fer.

  12. Agree with Jeff M on Ledezma/Durbin and Inge. I don’t think Durbin pitched poorly enough to start making changes. Inge probably just needs to fight through it. A day off would just by a lot of time for him to think about the fact that he’s hitless.

  13. Actually, I thought Craig had a good idea. Plus, I bet at least some of our pitchers know how to lay down a bunt.

    Just for the record, Inge is my Tiger, but at this point I’m in favoring of benching him for a game too. If I remember rightly, Leyland sat him out a couple of games last season and he came back strong.

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