PREGAME: Whatever you did last night, do the same thing tonight. The Tigers aren’t nearly as superstitious and have juggled the lineup. Guillen is back at shortstop, Craig Monroe is back in left field, and Pudge Rodriguez returns behind the plate. But fear not Ryan Raburn fans, he’s playing 2nd tonight so Placido Polanco can DH.
Also different will be the starting pitcher. The Tigers go with Nate Robertson. Robertson turned in a quality start last time out against Oakland, but took the loss as the offense did not much.
He’ll be opposed by Jason Hammel making just his 4th start of the season after toiling in the bullpen. Hammell has been tough on lefties allowing just a 212/349/346 line. He has 24 K’s in 30 innings which is solid, but 19 walks to go along with it.
Game Time 7:05pm
POSTGAME: On to the good stuff in a minute. But first, Dave Dombrowski needs to cut Jason Grilli right now. No discussions with Jim Leyland who has a huge blind spot towards the ineptitude of Jason Grilli. Grilli is what he is, a mop-up guy at best. A really nice guy, great with the kids, but that doesn’t qualify him to pitch in tight games.
Removing Nate Robertson was a questionable decision at best and it was Leyland out thinking himself. And what I don’t understand, is if Leyland didn’t think Nate Robertson could get out of a 2 out, runner on first jam on a night when he had 9 K’s and 0 BB’s, why did he think that Jason Grilli would be able to get out of a bases loaded jam? Much like the Jones-Cleveland-debacle Leyland made several mistakes. It was a mistake taking Robertson out. It was a mistake brining Grilli in. And it was a mistake leaving him in to tie the game.
Part of this is the culmination of the Rogers and Miller injuries because Chad Durbin wasn’t available in that situation due to starting tomorrow. And that left Zach Miner and Todd Jones as the only other available right handers. Which is why a move needs to be made.
Now for the good stuff:
- The offense was drilling the ball all over the place, and pretty much everyone took place at some point except for Craig Monroe.
- Great baserunning tonight with Ryan Raburn getting home on a contact play and Curtis Granderson going first to third on a blooper, and even Sean Casey beating out a double.
- But Curtis Granderson was caught stealing for the first time this year. Kind of a bummer and it looked like he didn’t get a solid first step.
- Nate Robertson was awesome. He spared the bullpen which could be helpful with Chad Durbin taking the mound tomorrow. Not that Durbin isn’t up to the task, but he’s probably going to be limited at around 75-85 pitches.
- Curtis Granderson made a rare mistake in centerfield when he completely lost a fly ball and it led to a run. It happens, and it rarely happens to Granderson. But he made up for it with an excellent diving catch in the 9th.
- Another nice effort for Todd Jones allowing only a ground ball single.
- The Tigers took advantage of the pitching match-ups that clearly tilted in their favor in these first 2 games. Facing James Shields and Scott Kazimir will definitely be a challenge the next 2 games.