PREGAME: The Tigers welcome in the St. Louis Cardinals for their annual trip to Comerica Park (seriously, why do the Tigers never play at Busch?). It also marks the third consecutive series for the Tigers against a sainted city (the others being San Diego and San Francisco for those with uber short memories).
The Cardinals are behind the Cubs in the Central, but are the current front runners for the Wild Card. They are coming off a series win in Fenway Park, and prior to that a sweep at the hands of the Royals. They are without Albert Pujols but have gotten some nice production from former minor league scrap heaper Ryan Ludwick. You may remember Ludwick from his 266/342/506 season with Toledo in 2006. Or maybe you don’t.
The pitching match-up features a couple guys who are on a roll. For the Cardinals it’s Braden Looper. The Tigers pummeled Looper last year, but the man hasn’t allowed a homer in his last 4 starts and he hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 3.
Kenny Rogers is also having some success of late going at least 7 innings inhis last 5 starts and only allowing 4 earned runs over that span. He has a 1-0 record to show for it.
Tonight also marks the return of Gary Sheffield to the Tigers lineup. He’ll bat 7th as Jim Leyland keeps the top 6 spots intact.
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Guillen, 3B
- Ordonez, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Thames, LF
- Sheffield, DH
- Renteria, SS
- Rodriguez, C
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: Well both hot pitchers were derailed tonight. Of course Rogers got the worst of it. The Tigers broke up Looper’s homerless and walkless streak, but couldn’t manage many good scoring chances. Rogers on the other hand gave up a variety of hits. Some drilled, some dribbled, but in the end it was too much for the Tigers to overcome.
- Rogers pace tonight seemed to be exceedingly slow. Don’t know if he wasn’t feeling well, or if he just didn’t have a lot of confidence in his stuff. But I think it would qualify as agonizing – especially that game turning 5th inning.
- Yes, the 5th was when the Cards only tied it but it proved to be the pivotal inning. Rogers was a strike away from a 1-2-3 inning. Instead a full count pitch was deposited in the left field bullpen and Rogers would load the bases before fanning Rick Ankiel. It was a long draining inning that insured Rogers was almost done.
- Freddy Dolsi didn’t have it tonight either. He threw strikes and got ahead. But like his last few outings he hasn’t been able to put batters away. I believe he hasn’t fanned anyone since the Indians game which inspired the Sexy. That is bad boding.
- But, Fernando Rodney pitched a clean inning. His first couple fastballs were erratic but he settled down and pitched well.
- Gary Sheffield homered in his return. It’s only one at-bat but certainly an encouraging one.
- The Cabrera homer shouldn’t have been but the Pudge one was a no doubter.
- Cabrera did play some excellent defense tonight. He made a couple of tough picks of throws and did a nice job fielding balls to both his left and right.