Game 88: Tigers at Mariners

PREGAME:: Nate Robertson and Ryan Rowland-Smith. Rowland-Smith has 2 last names. That’s enough motivation to want and beat him right there.

DET @ SEA, Sunday, July 6, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 4:10

POSTGAME: Well, I’m back from my weekend escape. It was nice to stay offline, even though I did see most of the baseball this weekend. And today there was a lot of baseball to see with a 15 inning event.

Nate Robertson was awesome today. Some jumpy Seattle hitters put the ball in play early and Robertson went 9 innings only allowing 4 hits, 2 of which were infield singles. He “pitched to contact” with great results and the only 2 walks allowed were intentional.

The bullpen was also impressive with Joel Zumaya, Freddy Dolsi, and Aquilino Lopez preceding Todd Jones. The group through 5 scoreless innings.

As for the Tigers offense. Eh. Marcus Thames and Edgar Renteria struggled mightily. And Pudge Rodriguez put together 4 hits, but none were of the rocket variety. Two bloops, a grounder through the middle and a groundball that hit first base and changed direction.

The offense did one thing right and they were quite selective. They drew 9 walks throughout the day and ran up pitch counts. Rowland-Smith was done after 5 innings and 87 pitches. His replacement lasted only an inning throwing 38 pitches. Corcoran got through 2 innings on 21 pitches, but Batista and Green followed with 20 pitch innings before giving way to Jimenez who pitched 4 easy shutout innings.

Basically the Tigers won this one on attrition when the Mariners turned to Jamie Burke, the back-up catcher who featured an arsenal of 84mph fastballs around the plate. Cabrera torched one for a double. But the Tigers didn’t rock him. A wild pitch and a sac fly were the all the damage they could muster against what was essentially a BP pitcher.

The Tigers needed to notch one for the left hand column, which they did. And while a loss would have been pretty crippling, the win doesn’t feel that great either. But the red-eye flight home will be a little more pleasant.