Game 120: Tigers at Indians
PREGAME: A depleted Tigers team will take on the Indians tonight. Placido Polanco and Craig Monroe remain out, and it has now spread to Carlos Guillen, Pudge Rodriguez, Todd Jones, and Kenny Rogers. Mike Rabelo will start at catcher, but Carlos Guillen will remain in the lineup and play shortstop. Todd Jones may or may not be available.
A different kind of fever is probably impacting Jair Jurrjens who makes the jump from AA Erie to make his Major League debut tonight. Jurrjens has been lights out in Erie his last 3 starts with 2 earned runs allowed and a 24:1 K/BB ratio.
The Tigers will try to get to Fausto Carmona. Carmona has gone at least 7 innings in his last 6 starts so getting him to throw a lot of pitches early will be a challenge. They did get to him for 10 hits and 5 runs in 6 innings back on June 1st. You remember June 1st don’t you?
POSTGAME: Some losses are easier to take than others. tonight was one of those easier ones. Carmona was pretty darn unhittable as he racked up a career high 10 strikeouts. It wasn’t until the 8th inning that the Tigers picked up their first extra base hit, which was also Curtis Granderson’s 19th triple.
What made it palatable is that the Tigers got a strong start from Jurrjens. He didn’t look rattled, and even after being a little roughed up in the 3rd he came back with strong innings in the 4th and 5th. He lasted 7 innings and held the Tribe to 5 hits which is all you could ask from a 21 making his debut on national TV.
There were some disappointing elements to the game though. With Granderson on 3rd and nobody out, the Tigers had the chance to cut the deficit to one. Instead the 2-3-4 hitters failed to get the bal lout of the infield. And instead of hanging close, Bobby Seay had a rough inning and walked Travis Hafner to force in a run – although he did make a couple nice pitches to Hafner that he couldn’t get calls on. Which was surprising since the strike zone was big for both teams tonight. Still, Seay made his own mess in the first place.
Also, the Indians weren’t exactly sharp tonight. Victor Martinez made a baserunning mistake, and Ryan Garko forgot to stand on first base for a force play. But Carmona was just too much to overcome.
Game Time 7:05