PREGAME: The last time the Tigers saw the Yankees they were one game under .500. Since then the Tigers have won one game. They have 10 extra base hits in their last 241 at-bats. They’ve struck out 43 times. They haven’t hit a home run since Curtis Granderson led off with one 5 games ago. Things aren’t good.
Kei Igawa takes the mound for the Yankees, making his first start of the year. Last year he allowed a homer 4.5 innings so that may bode well for an offense in a power outage.
Kenny Rogers has quality starts in his last two outings. His last start against the Twins was derailed following a Carlos Guillen error, but he still managed 6 strike outs and no walks.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: The Tigers have a thing about playing the Yankees on Friday nights. Comerica has seen some noteworthy games tilting in the Tigers favor under those circumstances. There was the shellacking of Randy Johnson, the Mike Maroth 1-hitter, and the 3:30 in the morning walk-off. Todd Jones did his best to make this one memorable as well.
Jones made a 4-run lead look very surmountable, but the winning run was left on first base as Shelley Duncan hit a ball hard but at Granderson. All I can say about Jones is that if he’s going to pitch crappy, better to do it with a 4 run cushion than a 1 run one. But yes, he will blow some saves, as do all closers.
As for the offense, they pounded Kei Igawa as they’ve pounded many left handed pitchers. Part of me wishes Boof Bonser was traded to the NL instead of Johann Santana (that would be sarcasm). Pudge had two doubles, a single, a WALK, and a flyball deep to right field.
Polanco had two hits, and two line drives that turned into outs. Guillen took an 0’fer but might have had the hardest hit ball of the night but Bobby Abreu tracked it down.
Ryan Raburn got a rare start (more on this later) and made the most of it with two hits.
Two milestones occurred last night. Gary Sheffield tied Al Kaline on the all time RBI list. This was acknowledged on the scoreboard. Kenny Rogers broke the pick off record, totally befuddling Wilson Betemit (who had a really bad game). Yet this wasn’t even mentioned in the stadium.