PREGAME: The Tigers head into today trying to salvage a split in Yankee Stadium. They’ll send out Jeremy Bonderman to try and hold down the Yankees. Bonderman picked up a no decision in his last start, but he pitched a very strong game allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings while fanning 8. Trouble was that was his first quality start since July 19th. Let’s hope it was a sign of him coming out of his funk instead of just a blip.
The Tigers will be opposed by Chien-Ming Wang. Wange doesn’t strike out many, doesn’t walk many, and therefore gets pretty deep into games without crossing the 100 pitch threshold. He also keeps the ball in the park with only 7 homers allowed this season, and only 2 in the Bronx. Left handers have much more success with an 804 OPS as opposed to a 624 for right handers. With the Tigers lefties Curtis Granderson (2 for his last 24) and Sean Casey (5 for his last 24) slumping as of late, this doesn’t bode well – especially with them hitting 1-2 in today’s lineup.
Placido Polanco misses yet another game, and despite previous statements Cameron Maybin will be in left field again. If you’re facing a groundball pitcher, you might as well have your fastest guy playing and trying to beat a few of those out.
POSTGAME: Ugly. For the 2nd day in a row the Tigers played the Yankees even for 5 innings, and then were smoked the rest of the way. Jeremy Bonderman struggled with the strike zone walking 4 in the first 2 innings and leaving with 115 pitches in the 6th inning.
The bullpen combo of Zach Miner and Aquilino Lopez made sure the game wasn’t in doubt and that Mariano Rivera could rest. The worst part of Lopez’s performance is that it pretty much insured that it would be he, and not Jason Grilli on the way out when Joel Zumaya is activated on Tuesday.
Ryan Raburn and Mike Rabelo had nice games, combining for 5 hits, but those rallies were thwarted by 3 Brandon Inge K’s and a pop-up. Coming into today Inge was hitting 237/262/351 over the last month with 7 extra base hits, 2 walks, and 38 strikeouts. Throw in an error today that cost the Tigers a run, and their lead, and it’s safe to say he’s the anti-player of the game.
The Tigers have started this 13 game series 2-4 and now really have put themselves in a tough spot over the next 7 games.