PREGAME: The Tigers once again welcome in a team coming in from Fenway Park. But while the Rangers had just been swept, the Angels took 2 of 3 from the Red Sox.
The Tigers send out no-luck Nate Robertson. Robertson has been the one guy in the rotation who hasn’t been plagued by walks. He’s fanned 21 while only walking 6. But the trouble is guys are hitting line drives (27.9%) nearly as often as they are hitting grounders (30.9%). Plus Robertson is only stranding 58% of runners so the result is a 7.48 ERA.
The Tigers will be taking on Ervin Santana. Santana has been tough this year and has a 2.67 ERA through his first 4 starts. He’s been killing right handed hitters to the tune of a .128 BAA with only 2 extra base hits.
One thing to watch in this series are the starter’s pitch counts for Detroit. The Angels actually see fewer pitchers per plate appearance than anyone else in the AL and are near the bottom in walks. They just hit the snot out of the ball instead.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: Sometimes you play a pretty good game, but still come up short. The Tigers got a solid start, some good bullpen work, played some nice defense, generated some scoring chances, worked long at-bats, but they still fell to the Angels 4-3.
Robertson breezed through the first 3 innings. He doubled his pitch count with a 4 run fourth inning. Then retired the next 9 batters on 25 pitches with only one ball leaving the infield. I was actually surprised to see him lifted at only 89 pitches. He was sharp, continually getting first pitch strikes and throwing 65% of his pitches in the zone.
The offense tried to grind out at-bats. Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge each had 10 pitch at-bats. But they just couldn’t get the big hit. Gary Sheffield took one to the wall with the bases loaded. Pudge Rodriguez ripped a line drive that was right at Casey Kotchman with 2 men on. The only really bad plate appearance of the night came when Ordonez popped to first on the first pitch with the bases loaded in the 6th. The Tigers only picked up 1 run from the loaded-no out scenario and that proved to be the difference.