PREGAME: The Tigers look to get an early grip on the series in New York.
Jeremy Bonderman will look to not walk everyone. He’s allowed 13 in his last 2 starts and 21 in 27.1 innings this season. Somehow he has a 4.28 ERA but it won’t stay that low if he can’t find the strike zone with any kind of consistency.
Andy Pettitte has been up and down this season with 3 quality starts and a couple un-quality ones. His last time out Cleveland got to him for 5 runs in 5 innings on the strength of 11 baserunners and two homers.
The Tigers lineup is:
- Rodriguez, C
- Polanco, 2B
- Sheffield, DH
- Ordonez, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Guillen, 3B
- Renteria, SS
- Thames, LF
- Inge, CF
POSTGAME: Did the Tigers just make it through a game with only 2 pitchers? Did a starter get 23 outs? Did Placido Polanco hit 2 homers? Yes, it all really did happen.
This game started out poorly. Jeremy Bonderman was having all kinds of control problems. He (or Pudge) insisted on throwing 2 seam fastballs that couldn’t be controlled. The first 16 pitches were 2 seam fastballs that tailed off the plate. He then started to mix a little, but still only threw 4 pitches that weren’t fastballs in that difficult first inning.
But then Bonderman really settled in, and with the help of some early strikes in the count and Yankees impatience he was able to last into the 8th inning.
The turning point in this game was probably the 5th inning. Marcus Thames hit a 2 run homer to give the Tigers the lead and Bonderman followed with a 1-2-3 5 pitch inning.
- One of the most encouraging things I saw tonight was Gary Sheffield’s at-bat in the 6th. He fouled off a couple tough 2 strike pitches and then ripped a line drive single to left. Yes he hit the homer last night, but you’re never sure if he was getting back or just ran into one. In that at-bat he looked like the healthy Sheffield of last year.
- I think Placido Polanco might be getting his stroke back a little. A four hit night followed by a 2 homer night is encouraging.
- And speaking of guys getting healthy, Curtis Granderson walked and doubled and looks remarkably locked in.
- Lastly, another nice outing for Clay Rapada who retired the last 4 hitters of the game.