PREGAME: The Tigers are in position to sweep the Red Sox and head into the All Star Break on a real high note. Both teams will probably start some bench guys today with last night’s game lasting 13 innings. Plus, the temperature is supposed to push 100 with some humidty.
If you’re going to the game the Tigers do let you bring water into the game, so take advantage of that. Just make sure it is sealed when you go through the gates. Otherwise load up on Lemon Chills or take a break from the heat in the AC of the Beer Hall and watch an inning or two on TV.
The Tigers will have their work cut out for them with Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound. He’s been freakishly good in his last 4 starts allowing just 2 runs in 29 innings while fanning 34 and walking 10. That’s good enough for a 0.62 ERA and opponents have a .425 OPS over that span. Plus it’s been over a month since the last homer he allowed (June 5th at Oakland).
Meanwhile, Nate Robertson will be looking for his first win since May 19th. Of course there was some DL time in there as well but it is a 5 game losing skid nonetheless. With the bullpen heavily used last night (lots of pitchers were used, but probably only Jones is unavailble) it would be nice if Nate could get through at least the 6th inning – something he hasn’t done since May 2nd. He is coming off an 8 K appearance though, and he has looked better in his last 2 starts since coming off the DL.
Game Time 1:05pm
BOS @ DET, Sunday, July 8, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com
POSTGAME: Now that’s a way to head into the All Star Break. Yeah there were 5 errors and a baserunning mistake, and the Tigers nearly let a 4 run lead slip away, but it’s still a sweep. Plus it was with a lineup without 3 starters.
First the good stuff. The Tigers thumped Matsuzaka. Three homers off of a pitcher that hadn’t allowed one in a month was impressive, and Marcus Thames banging one off the camera well was jaw dropping to say the least. That’s twice on this 5 game winning streak that the Tigers have pounded a front line pitcher. It makes yesterday’s struggles against Kason Gabbard all the more baffling.
Curtis Granderson’s theft of a Willy Mo Pena homer will be seen countless times, and deservedly so. On Baseball Tonight they ran down the top 5 centerfield web gems from the first half and it was number one beating out Grady Sizemore’s catch on a Curtis Granderson blast.
- Craig Monroe gets a big double last night and adds two singles today. And yet still has a rough game. His bat has finally produced and now he picks up 2 errors and a baserunning mistake. The first error, a one hop throw right to the plate that Mike Rabelo couldn’t handle was certainly a tough error. The one in the 9th that allowed the tying run to move from 2nd to 3rd was inexcusable though.
- Last night when Mike Timlin came in I was sure the Tigers would hit a walk off homer off of him. Instead, they did nothing. And then today I thought they would pad their lead, and instead did nothing. Huh.
- Nate Robertson looked real good at times, and then real bad at times. Particularly frustrating was the inning with 4 walks and a HBP that resulted in 2 runs without the benefit of a hit. I’d guess that on the latter homers in the 7th, Nate was a little gassed. I don’t know that he has all his strength back, plus it was really freakin’ hot.
- The bullpen wasn’t quite as good today as last night, yet they seemed to still get the big outs when they needed them. Jose Capellan made his own mess with a walk and an error, but also got out of a 2 on, one out jam in the 7th. And then Zach Miner got a big K to end the 8th with the tying run on 2nd.
- And the closer Todd Jones closed again, the day game after a night game, a night game in which he pitched 2 innings. This one wasn’t quite as easy, but he still protected the one run lead.