PREGAME: One NL series down, 2 to go. This time the Tigers head to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals. The Nats are chuck full of former Tigers including Nook Logan, Dmitri Young (who is really doing well, sobriety – who knew?), and Robert Fick. Each made their mark on the Tigers in their own special way with Logan being the only member of the trio not to be a Tiger All Star representative.
The Tigers will send out Mike Maroth who may be auditioning for several teams tonight with Kenny Rogers definitely returning to the rotation on Friday. Maroth wiggled out of jams in his last start and handed a 1 run lead to Fernando Rodney and well, we know how that worked out.
The Tigers will take on Matt Chico. His peripherals are pretty unimpressive with him fanning only 5 per 9 and walking almost 4. But he’s been much better in his last 4 starts with a 2.74 ERA.
Game Time 7:05pm
POSTGAME: Well the bullpen looked good for awhile. Bobby Seay allowed a couple inherited runners to score, but also got a couple outs which were more important at the time. Jason Grilli went an 1 1/3 pretty easily. Eulogio De La Cruz looked very good in his debut, attacking the strike zone and showing a good fastball, a sharp curve and a change that subtracted 12mph. And then Jones happened.
It’s questionable whether Jones should be in the game, and in Leyland’s presser he says that 4 runs is a save situation for them this year. It’s hard to argue with that given the collective struggles and inconsistency this season. So Jones comes in and it’s basically batting practice. It took 5 hits before Leyland bothered to get anybody up in the bullpen, because you don’t want to mess with your closer’s confidence. Funny thing is, is that once Tim Byrdak started warming up, Todd Jones got the next 3 outs. Ugly.
- Maroth was cruising in this game. He’d even racked up 4 K’s in the first 5 innings. And then his defense collapsed behind him. He could have been out of that inning with nothing scoring. Instead after a single Gary Sheffield really misplayed a flyball into a double. Curtis Granderson threw a bullet to third, right on the bag in plenty of time but Brandon Inge misses the ball. Worst case is it should have been one out and none on and one run in. Next Carlos Guillen boots a ball, so instead of none on, 2 out another run scores and an a runner is on first. That’s what shortened Maroth’s outing.
- Curtis Granderson continues to hit the ball well, with a couple more hard hit balls off a lefty. He’s got to see more time in the lineup and less platooning.
- Carlos Guillen saw his batting average dip below .300. He’s now hit in 7 straight and has pushed his average to .317, and he’s crushing the ball.