PREGAME: The Indians roll into town for the first time this season, but we’ll be pretty well acquainted 2 weeks from now. Seven of the Tigers next 10 are against the Indians.
The Indians and Tigers have of course been hanging tight on top of the Central for the last couple weeks.
Tonight the Tigers will take on Paul Byrd. Last year it was Byrd who pitched the game that inspired the Leyland tirade. The Tigers faced him twice more, once scoring 7 runs off of him (and still losing 12-7 when the Indians scored 7 in the first) and beating him 4-3 in the other game.
This year the story on Byrd is control. He’s walked 3 batters…the whole season. His last walk was April 26th against Texas. Because of the low walk rate, and low strike out rate he’s been pitching deep into games. His last 3 starts have all been 7 innings and he hasn’t even needed 100 pitches to do it.
In terms of individual match-ups, Byrd has owned Magglio Ordonez only allowing 4 hits in 29 at-bats. Let’s hope that changes. It’s just fun to see Magglio do well right now.
The Tigers send out Nate Robertson. Robertson has been battling his last couple starts, and racking up big pitch counts. In each of his last 2 starts he’s topped 100 pitches after 5 innings.
Game Time 7:05pm
UPDATE: Beck says Fernando Rodney is still out. Good thing Bondo went deep yesterday.
POSTGAME: Kathy in the comments summed this one up pretty succinctly:
Between Nate’s so-so pitching, Indians great hitters, C-Mo’s robbed HR we got beat. Good game but we came out on the short end. Tomorrow’s game should be a doozie.
I’d just add that the middle relief actually was pretty good. Ledezma was very strong, and even Mesa did his job.
After a nice lengthy stretch of hitting pretty well, Brandon Inge has ended the bulk of his ABs the last 3 games either shaking his head or flipping his bat in disgust. But it looks like he’s currently the only cold player in the lineup with Craig Monroe hitting a couple balls that were homer worthy and Sean Casey at least picking up a bunch of singles.