PREGAME: I’m watching this one from the friendly confines of my couch, so the Tigers have a chance. On paper, this isn’t a good match-up for the Tigers. Then again on paper the Tigers looked like contenders.
The Indians send out uber pitcher and Cy Young (and maybe MVP) front runner Cliff Lee. Oddly, the Tigers have had some success off of Lee this year and have scored 8 runs in 10 innings, chasing him after 5 innings in both games.
Meanwhile, the Tigers send out Chris Lambert who is making his big league debut. I like watching debuts.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: So this one played out like it looked on paper. Chris Lambert had a good start, recording 6 outs on 18 pitches. But a bad finish, not escaping the 3rd inning. He was undermined by errors from Ryan Raburn and Marcus Thames meaning 4 of the 6 runs he allowed were unearned. Still he had his own issues.
I can’t kill him for allowing a homer to Jamey Carroll. I’d rather see him throw one down the middle to a guy like Carroll and take his chances. Carroll just got him. But the bigger problem was that Lambert went to his breaking ball wayyy too much. He’d get a head, but then throw 3 straight breaking balls out of the zone before having to throw a fastball down the middle. And by the 3rd inning it almost looked like the Indians knew exactly what was coming. Whether it was a matter of being predictable, or if he was tipping his pitches, it wasn’t good.
Still, there was some stuff to like from Lambert. He looked to have quite a bit of movement on the slider. He just needed to throw it closer to the strike zone to entice the hitters a little more.
I could talk about the offense, but why. For the second consecutive night all the RBI came from the bottom of the lineup. So nice job Brandon, Edgar, and Marcus (3 consecutive 2 hit games for Thames).
As for that interference call on Brandon Inge, as strange as it was, the umpires appear to have gotten it right:
Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not.
Clearly Inge was trying to avoid the fielder, but even intent doesn’t play into the ruling.