PREGAME: Every once in a while I’ll pull up a stats site called Dougs Stats. I like it because he has leaderboards for the last 20 games, and it can be interesting to look at. I bring this up because tonight’s starter, Chad Durbin, has posted the 10th best ERA over the last 20 team games in the American League. (equally surprising is that Jeremy Bonderman is 8th worst). Not a bad stretch for a replacement 5th starter.
He’ll need to be that good again tonight as the Red Sox send out Curt Schilling who is having a typical Schilling season with a 3.63 ERA.
The Tigers will keep most of their starters in for the second game with only Marcus Thames spelling Craig Monroe and Mike Rabelo catching for Pudge.
Game Time 7:05pm
POSTGAME: Now this one hurts. So much to like and not like about this game. Certainly the final score falls into not-like.
- Do you get pissed at an offense with 8 extra base hits, and 4 walks against Curt Schilling? An offense that kept putting runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs? An offense that kept driving the ball hard and probably could have had a few more hits is one to get mad at?
- I guess maybe you do when only 2 runs are plated. Gary Sheffield and Marcus Thames in particular missed some choice oppotunities.
- Do you cheer or jeer Brandon Inge who homered and drove in half the runs, but also fanned 3 times and made an error that resulted in the tying run?
- I certainly won’t get mad at Chad Durbin who turned in another fine effort, even if he walked a few too many for my liking.
- Okay, I can just be mad at Ledezma. Even though he induced weak contact for the tying run, he put the tying run on 3rd with a walk. And then it became moot in the 7th with the home run
- And when the team struggles, Jim Leyland seems to over-manage. Taking out Curtis Granderson who had doubled twice, walked, and made a diving catch in favor of Omar Infante was simply bizarre. Yes a sidearm lefty is a tough match up for Curtis, but Leyland did exactly what Francona wanted him to do.
Frustrating day to say the least. You’d like to say a 3-4 road trip to the Metrodome and Boston is acceptable, especially since the Tigers had to patch rotation together. And on the surface it’s not so bad. But given that the starting pitching was pretty good (save for Vasquez), and that the offense generally hit the ball pretty well, it seems there should have been more. And that’s what makes it hurt. Today’s game was there for the taking, and the Tigers just couldn’t put it away.