Game 45: Angels at Tigers

PREGAME: It will be Chad Durbin taking on Bartolo Colon in game 2 of the series.

In his last start, Durbin held the Red Sox offense at bay. In his last 3 starts he has a 2.37 ERA but he also has as many walks (8) as strikeouts over that period.

Colon got a late start on the season, but has been quite effective and able to pitch late into games. Four of his six starts have seen him pitch a full 7 innings. Part of the reason is that he hasn’t been walking people. He’s only allowed 7 free passes in 39 innings.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Things were going so well. Magglio Ordonez continued to campaign for the MVP with a couple solo homers. Pudge Rodriguez was shaking off his slump with a 3 hit night, and his out was to deep right-center. Curtis Granderson broke a string of 4 straight K’s by reaching base in every subsequent at-bat. Chad Durbin turned in another solid 5th starter type performance. And Jason Grilli was perfect for 2 innings, his best outing since a 3 inning effort in Toronto. Everyone reached base, and Brandon Inge the lone Tiger not to get a hit still walked and started a tough double play on a slow roller. A total team effort.

And then Jose Mesa happened. The strikeout of Vladimir Guerrero was encouraging, but then it was straight to the crapper. A single, a walk, and a 3 run homer made this a one run game. Inexplicably Jim Leyland left him in there to allow a deep shot to triples-ville. Finally he was lifted in favor of Tim Byrdak who did what Tim Byrdak does and fanned Chone Figgins to retire the side.

Jonesy was Jonesy.

Stuff I just didn’t understand tonight:

  • Mike Reilly’s strike zone. And this is from a fan of the team that I think benefited from it. But it was all over the place.
  • Mike Reilly missing the swing on the stolen base. It’s one thing to miss the call. It’s another to compound it by not asking for help.
  • Jim Leyland ordering Sean Casey to steal with 1 out and a full count with Craig Monroe up. To try and avoid a double play you send the slowest runner in the game with a guy who is in the top 10 in strikeouts. Really, what’s the more likely DP scenario?
  • Jim Leyland sticking with Mesa after the homer. There was no stall tactic or anything. Leyland was going to leave Mesa in come hell or high water to do the job. It has to be Leyland’s fierce loyalty to washed up National Leaguers. The Mesa signing was odd to begin with, and it only gets worse the more he plays. Forget Mesa’s 12.46 ERA for a minute. He’s now averaging a run per appearance.

Tigers 8 Angels 7