PREGAME: Nate Robertson takes the mound looking to earn a 3rd straight quality start for the rotation. Robertson pitched well his last time out working 7 innnings on only 89 pitches. But the Angels bunched their baserunners in the 4th inning when 4 runs scored.
He’ll be opposed by Ian Kennedy who has struggled so far this year. He’s been knocked out in the 3rd inning on two different occasions and with a 15:17 K:BB ratio he looks like he good be pitching for the Tigers. One positive for Kennedy is that he’s only allowed 1 homer in 19 innnings this year.
The Tigers lineup is:
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: We’ll probably hear the naysayers talk about how this wasn’t the Yankees at full strength. They didn’t have two big guns in Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada. Well, tough. Yes it’s a break to play a team when they are struggling or banged up. Just ask the White Sox who took 5 of 6 from a slumping Tigers team that had the top third of the line-up banged up or missing altogether. But they still count as wins.
Nate Robertson got his one bad inning out of the way early. And boy was it ugly. He threw first pitch balls to the first 7 hitters he faced. He wasn’t ahead of a hitter until he threw pitch number 25. But he really settled down after a 3 run first inning and he made it through 5.2 innings to get the win. And even with the control problems at the beginning he managed more K’s than walks (3 to 2) which has been a feat this year.
As for the offense it took a trip through the order to get going, but fueled by some solid at-bats and some adventures in the outfield the Tigers took the lead in the 3rd by plating 3 runs. It was a balanced attack with all the starters reaching base except for Curtis Granderson. Granderson hardly struggled despite the 0fer. He hit 3 line drives to the outfield that found gloves, plus he managed a RBI ground out. In another strange twist the Tigers hit 2 triples and neither was by Granderson.
And when the Yankees tied the score in the 6th inning, Detroit responded with 2 runs in the next half inning. The bullpen preserved the lead as they continued to excel. Zach Miner did the heavy lifting with 2.1 innings of work. But we also saw Francisco Cruceta for the first time. After some early jitters that saw him throw 7 of his first 8 pitches for balls, he settled down and got the next 3 outs without incident. It was a very impressive effort and a very impressive series. A nice final trip to Yankee Stadium to be sure.
Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Ramon Santiago. Those were your offensive stars for the night.