PREGAME: The Tigers will try and shake off last night’s loss and rebound against Jarrod Washburn.
Washburn has been excellent in his last 3 starts going 22 innings and only allowing 3 runs. He walks about one batter every 3 innings, and only fans a batter every other inning. But he’s only allowed 7 homers in 106 1/3 innings this season. Against the Tigers it’s kind of a mixed bag. Gary Sheffield, Pudge Rodriguez and Craig Monroe have all had success while Magglio Ordonez, Brandon Inge, and Placido Polanco have struggled.
That’s not particularly good news for Ordonez who looked to really struggle last night with 3 K’s and 2 weak grounders. I went back and looked at a couple of his at-bats from the end of May, and compared them to his last few games. It appears that his stance is more closed now. At the end of may you couldn’t see his name/number on his back. Now you can. Plus it looks like he might be standing farther away from the plate – at least with his back foot. But I’m not a scout or a hitting instructor so I may be full of it as well.
The Tigers will send out Jeremy Bonderman who went 8 innings in each of his last 2 starts and allowed a combined 2 runs. In both of those efforts he was pitching without really any run support to speak of.
It’s an all right handed lineup tonight with Ryan Raburn leading off and playing centerfield. Polanco is still out so Thames will bat 2nd and Infante will play 2nd.
Game Time 10:05pm
POSTGAME: Sure it might not have looked good with Jarrod Washburn racking up 4 strike outs his first time through the order, but he also went to full counts on 5 of the first 10 he faced. But then the Tigers loaded the bases ahead of a Gary Sheffield grand slam. The sixth for the team, each by a different player. They were fortunate though that the Sheffield was still in the batters box to hit it though because he took a very good looking pitch with 2 strikes. But after Thursday night I’m not going to look a gift umpire in the mouth.
As for Bonderman, he was quite good again. He fanned 5 and walked none, but did allow 2 homers. It looked like he had set himself up with a shot at a complete game by inducing a lot of early contact. However in the 7th inning he started falling behind batters and there was some solid contact. So Leyland ended his night despite being at only 87 pitches.
The pen did their job with 2 scoreless innings though Todd Jones did put runners on 2nd and 3rd and ran the count full to Ben Broussard before getting him to chase a high fastball.
Ryan Raburn looked pretty good at the plate. He was willing to work the count and drew 2 walks. Sean Casey came in as a defensive replacement and homered, his 2nd of the year. He also made a real nice pick at first to make both ends of a slow roller to third look sweet. Interesting, though not surprising, that when Casey entered the game he took Thames spot leaving Monroe in left field. Monroe is still lost, and Thames continues to be locked in. Ordonez is also slumping and he hasn’t had a ball leave the infield in the first 2 games of the series.