PREGAME: Afternoon tilt today as Chad Durbin takes on Mark Buehrle. The pitching match-up certainly favors the White Sox, but I just have no idea what to expect from this team anymore. For every “the Tigers make a struggling pitcher look like Cy Young” game there seems to be a “this is the shortest outing” or “this is the most runs allowed” against a good pitcher.
Plus Gary Sheffield is back, so 3-hole roulette should be done for the time being.
Game Time 1:05
POSTGAME: As it’s been said time and time again on this site, if you need offense turn to Timo, Casey, and Inge. Yeah, yeah, we know Polanco is great with runners in scoring position, and he got the walk off, but it was really Sean Casey with the bacon saver yet again. And it was Timo Perez’s ghost runner that plated the tying run.
Now granted, the Tigers didn’t exactly rip the ball in that 9th inning, and once again the offense struggled to plate runners, but it’s still a win and I’m not going to complain. For all the times in the last week or so that the team need a duck or a bleeder only to strand 2 runners, I’ll gladly take a couple of weak ground balls hit exactly in the right spot. After all, aside from the Konerko hit the Sox didn’t really kill the ball in the 8th inning anyways.
And even if the Tigers did barely squeak out 2 wins against a last place team, they still count the same in the standings. So let’s go take care of the Mariners so we can just focus our scoreboard watching on one team.
- Very nice effort by Chad Durbin as there was little solid contact all day off of him. He didn’t go longer because of the multiple roles this season, and he’s not fully stretched out.
- But realted to that we see the dangers of having Kenny and Chad back to back in the rotation. It will tax the bullpen because it’s going to be rare that either goes more than 5 or 6 innings.
- Maybe Brandon Inge has regained some confidence after picking up that walk against Bobby Jenks on Tuesday. He had 3 solid hits today, one of which was that nice homer. Brandon doesn’t have to get really hot to help the team, but at least hitting something close to the line he’s posted over the past 3 years for the next 3 weeks will be a boost to the offense.
- Jason Grilli has now made 7 straight appearances without allowing a run, and in the last 4 those were outings of 2 innings or more. In that time he’s shaved a full point off of his ERA. This isn’t about Grilli love, just recognizing him for a real nice stretch.
- Jim Leyland was managing pretty aggressive in this one. You didn’t see Zumaya because he pitched 2 innings last night. But look at all the pinch hitters and pinch runners used today. In all he used 14 position players.