PREGAME: The Tigers continue the 13 game stretch of schedule that is titled So you think you’re a playoff team. Episode 4 takes place tonight with the Tigers taking on the Yankees in a battle of lefties.
For the Tigers it will be Nate Robertson. Nate has pitched better over his last 3 games with 2 quality starts. His last game he limited the damage to 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings despite allowing 5 walks. The walks were uncharacteristic as Robertson had allowed only 6 walks combined over his last 5 starts.
Andy Pettitte takes the mound for the Yankees and he hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since July 6th. Over that span of 7 starts he’s fanned 41 in 45 2/3 innings and only allowed 1 homer. Curtis Granderson and Sean Casey remain in the lineup and I’m not sure if it is because the team is still sick, or because lefties have a 871 OPS against Pettitte this season.
And if you were wondering about Cameron Maybin, he’ll bat 2nd and play left field tonight. He’ll be sporting the number 4.
POSTGAME: With so much excitement throughout the day, I think it’s safe to say that the game was nothing more than an eh.
Cameron Maybin didn’t look particularly good with 2 K’s, an out on a bouncer that he hit when he was leaving the box. He also didn’t look very comfortable in left nearly overrunning one ball. A second ball looked like it could have been catch-able, but with the only angle they showed it was hard to tell. Maybin has played much left, and with the rains couldn’t get on the field prior to the game. I don’t know how much of a difference either made, but it is something to consider.
But I didn’t think the debut was all bad. I thought that each at-bat seemed to get better. He showed some plate discipline laying off borderline pitches, and in his last at-bat he drove a ball on the outer half of the plate well to right field. Leyland has already said he’ll play tomorrow, so we’ll see if things get better with one game under his belt.
As for the rest of the game, the story was Andy Pettitte. He was good, and the Tigers couldn’t really muster anything off of him. That pretty much was the game.
Nate Robertson pitched better than his final numbers show. He would have been out of the 3rd inning with the lead and in good shape on his pitch count if not for a high hop over Guillen’s glove. He allowed 10 hits, 2 of which were the infield variety, one was the high bounce over Guillen, and one was the ball past Maybin in left. Those incidents accounted for the bulk of the runs Nate allowed.
Brandon Inge knocked in the only Tigers run on a double so that was good. But Inge had another check swing strikeout. It’s not so much the strikeouts themselves that bother me, it’s the indecisiveness that is so frustrating.
Ryan Raburn was the only Tigers hitter to figure out Pettitte and he picked up a double and a single.