PREGAME: The Tigers journey through the AL Central with 6 wins, 6 losses, and a rain out. So they didn’t really lose or gain anything. Now they go out of the division for a while starting with the Oakland A’s. Kurt and Blake have already written up previews of this series, so I’ll just put my feet up after I tell you a little about tonight’s pitching match-up.
The Tigers look to Edwin Jackson to perhaps bullpen proof this game – or at least minimize the pen innings. Jackson hasn’t received a lot of run support this year, so if the pattern holds he’ll need to be close to perfect. My guess is that tonight’s pen consists of Fernando Rodney, Lucas French, Ryan Perry…and hope. Miner and Seay are likely out, and I’d guess that Jim Leyland would like to give Zumaya and Lyon an extra day after their marathon night on Wednesday.
Lefty Dallas Braden takes the hill for Oakland. He has a sub 6 K/9 rate, but he walks less than half of that and keeps the ball in the park. Lefties only have 33 at-bats against him this year and they’ve only put together 7 singles and a walk. Most of the damage against Braden has been done in the later innings with a sub .700 OPS in the first 4 innings. But the third time through the lineup hitters post a 953 OPS against.
POSTGAME: It’s nice not to be in the Metrodome anymore. The Tigers hit 2 grandslams and took advantage of 4 Oakland errors, and got another great start from Edwin Jackson.
- I never thought that at any point I would look at a list of most recent Tigers grand slams and see Brandon Inge/Ryan Raburn/Adam Everett topping that list.
- Inge killed his grandslam to centerfield. You know he’s hit it well if he adjust his cup before he leaves the batters box.
- Venezuela got going with 6 hits between Ordonez and Cabrera. Stud 3 hole hitter Clete Thomas also had 3 hits making a potent middle of the lineup, and enabling Inge and Raburn to combine for 10 RBI
- Jackson once again pounded the zone and walked nobody with 69 of his 97 pitches going for strikes
- About those 97 pitches though. Clearly it isn’t a heavy workload, but there was the rain delay. Plus he threw in the tunnel during the rain delay. Plus he had to warm up after the rain delay. That is way too much work in a game where the only doubt was when the tarp would come off.
- The good news is that the entire bullpen should now be available. French and Perry only worked one inning each. Lyon and Zumaya got 2 days off. Miner and Seay should both be good to go as well.
On another note, sorry about misleading you about tonight’s A’s starter. I went off of the info on MLB.com’s site. Braden will be tomorrow night’s starter so at least I have a head start.