PREGAME:Here’s where I fess up a little. I’m writing this in the past so I don’t know what happened last night. So I can’t provide much context. The pitching match-up is Zach Miner and Javier Vazquez.
Vazquez looked nasty earlier in the year when he dominated the Tigers leading to a Leyland tirade. Since then he’s been not nearly as good. In his last 8 he has a 6.39 ERA despite striking out a batter an inning. But he can still flash the dominance with 2 10 K starts.
Zach Miner will try to stymie the Sox the same way he baffled the Royals. I think this will be a little tougher task.
POSTGAME: This series felt so much like the Twins series. The Tigers coming off a good series and welcoming in a team they are chasing. A crushing come from ahead loss, a comeback (or two) that falls short, and suddenly the team is trying to avoid a sweep on Sunday.
For that reason Zach Miner’s performance was something special. The 8th starter in the rotation came up and and held down the Sox for six innings with no walks and 5 strike outs. A terrific game.
The offense hasn’t been a problem since the All Star break and after wiping out an early 1 run deficit, added on a couple more throughout the day.
Then there is bullpen flux. Joel Zumaya was supposed to pitch 2 innings and hand the ball to Rodney. Instead he pitched into his second inning before handing over the ball prematurely due to shoulder tightness. Rodney stuck around for the rest of the game, but struggled in the 8th and took all 3 hitters in the ninth to 0-2 counts, and then 3-2 counts, before striking each out.
Zumaya is presumably out for a couple days, and Rodney definitely can’t pitch tomorrow. So if need be the Tigers will have to scramble at the end of the game. At least they have a guy with some closing experience to hand the ball to if need be.
I’m not happy with the series, but I said going in as long as the Tigers don’t get swept they’d still be in OK shape. But it sure would have been nice to take advantage of one of the first 2 games.