PREGAME: Two days without baseball seems like an eternity. It’s why the All Star break is so painful. Fortunately the Tigers return to action tonight. Unfortunately it will be against Zach Grienke.
Grienke went 7 innings on 99 pitches the last time he faced the Tigers, limiting them to 1 run on 6 hits. He’s thrown a quality start in every outing, save for one when he only made it through 5 innings. In his last two starts he’s fanned 17 and walked 2.
The Tigers will send out Nate Robertson. Robertson has kept the team in most games, lasting 5 to 7 innings and allowing 4 runs with remarkable consistency. But while he’s kept them in games, with those stats, it doesn’t make for a good ERA (6.64) despite a 3:1 K:BB ratio.
Game Time 8:10
POSTGAME: Another punch in the gut.
I didn’t like Nate Robertson being removed from the game. Robertson had been in a ton of trouble throughout the course of the game, but aside from the Jose Guillen double he wasn’t being hit hard. He had gone through 7 innings on 82 pitches and he was attacking the strike zone and was helped out by an aggressive Royals offense.
But Leyland taking him out isn’t the reason the Tigers lost. It was a bad move especially considering it was done to avoid Robertson pitching to Mark Grudze… who is 8 for 9 in his career against Robertson but who had yet to hit the ball hard in any of his 3 hits that night. It was also the polar opposite of what Leyland has done on several occasions this year where he would leave a floundering and out of gas Justin Verlander in to try and “get him a win.”
The inability of the offense to generate extra base hits, or cash in on scoring chances are reasons the team lost. Edgar Renteria trying to make an inning ending play and failing is a reason they lost. Bringing in Cruceta who got two quick outs and got to two strikes on Jose Guillen before allowing a double wasn’t the problem.
I’m not defending the decision, but it’s not why they lost. Robertson allowed multiple baserunners in 4 innings and didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning all night. The same thing that happened to Cruceta could have happened to Robertson.
But reasons and blame aside, enough is enough already.