PREGAME: Last Thursday things were looking bleak for the Tigers. They had lost 4 in a row, and their 2 aces couldn’t even stop the bleeding. So it was Rick Porcello’s turn and he managed to flip the switch. The Tigers have won 5 in a row and made it through an entire turn through the rotation. Now it’s Porcello’s turn again.
On the other side Rich Harden will get the ball for the Cubbies. Harden has struggled with consistency this season. He was rocked by the Indians last weekend and it ran his ERA over 5. His walk rate is rather high (26 in 54.1 innings) and he’s given up 11 homers. But he also has 64 K’s on the year. So he’s entirely capable of shutting down a team, or getting rocked. Hmm.
If you are a Twitter-er, the Tigers are hosting a Twitter event tonight where you can ask questions and there is a ticket giveaway. Follow @official_tigers starting at 7p tonight. (You can also follow me @billfer but I’m not giving anything away).
More of the same with the lineup tonight, except Everett is in for Santiago. Maggs is still 7th after a remarkably uneventful (either good or bad) night last night. (Dusty Ryan will likely play tomorrow, but I’m surprised that he didn’t get the start tonight instead. That’s 4 games in a row for Laird and I’d like to see Ryan worked in a little more.)
POSTGAME: The Tigers are finding a way to do just enough, but they’re doing it consistently. Rick Porcello wasn’t great, he allowed 11 baserunners in 5+ innings. But like Jackson on Tuesday, he managed to not be hurt by it (other than the pitch count). And really, it’s turning into a theme because despite numerous jams the last 2 games, the Tigers have limited the damage. I don’t know if that is the Cubs struggling, or the Tigers pitchers doing things right under pressure, but it’s working.
- How about the bottom of the lineup with 7-8-9 coming up with 2 hits apiece, including a short haired Magglio Ordonez?
- There were 14 walks in this game, 7 per team. But 2 of the Tigers came with the bases loaded, and the margin of victory was 2 runs. Do the math.
- Nate Robertson faced one batter. Didn’t get him out. Frankly he looks miserable, not the performance, but he just looks miserable on the field.
- Miner did a nice job getting out of a bases loaded no out jam with just 1 run, but then he created a jam the next inning.
- Joel Zumaya was quite good, lot’s of gas, lot’s of strikes.
- Fernando Rodney not so good.