PREGAME:: A win, a win, my kingdom for a win. After having no luck with the Royals the Tigers turn their attention to the White Sox. For those worried that the Tigers have already dug themselves an insurmountable hole, fear not. Jamie Samuelson of WDFN and the Freep did some research and found that way back in 1998 the Yankees started 0-3 before going on to be one of the best teams in modern times. Those Yankees did win the 4th game – in extra innings.
The Tigers will be facing Jose Contreras. Now the last time the Tigers faced Contreras it was a happy day. It was the last day of 2007. The Tigers won. Placido Polanco got his 200 hits, Guillen his 100 RBIs, Granderson finished at .300, Magglio won the batting title, and Mike Rabelo hit his first homer.
Nate Robertson takes the mound for Detroit. Coincidentally he was on the mound for that same game and picked up the win with a 6 2/3 inning effort.
Miguel Cabrera is back in the lineup as DH and batting third while Clete Thomas gets another start in center field.
Game Time 1:05
POSTGAME: I have to give Jason Grilli some credit, he got people to stop talking about the offense. There are degrees of blame here, but I’ve never seen 3 pitches do so much damage. I can’t fault Leyland for not pulling Grilli before the damage had been done, but leaving him in beyond that was asinine. If it weren’t for bad baserunning by the White Sox Grilli might still be out there.
I understand the vitriol and the desire to let Grilli go. I had the same thoughts not only today, but at times last year as well. But here’s what sucks, there isn’t anyone else. If Francisco Cruceta were available, or if Jordan Tata didn’t have a broken hand then by all means let him go. But this is a team with Aquilino Lopez already on the roster.
What I have a bigger problem with is Leyland’s erratic use of the pen. Using Zach Miner for only one inning is a waste in that situation. The game was tied and there were still 3 innings left in regulation. He’s also burned Bobby Seay for one batter appearances. Never mind the fact that Seay is one of the better relievers at his disposal.
- Robertson looked stellar at times, but awful at other times. Five runs and five innings wasn’t good enough.
- Nice defense by the Tigers today with Brandon Inge starting a tough double play and Carlos Guillen making a nice pick on a throw in the baseline from Robertson.
- The bats are waking up with every Tiger but Edgar Renteria getting a hit. They were also pretty selective with the team picking up 6 walks.
- Relievers not named Jason Grilli were quite good with Miner, Bautista, and Jones going 3 scoreless innings.
- I read some of the comments that the Tigers seemed to be rushing their at-bats after the homer. I have to say I disagree. The 9th inning they battled. Carlos Guillen worked a 10 pitch walk. Ordonez hit a line drive to center field. Cabrera walked. And Renteria hit a liner that Jermaine Dye made a diving play on. They didn’t exactly roll over against a tough pitcher.