PREGAME: Aubrey Huff makes his Tigers debut tonight and he’ll be batting 5th in the lineup. I don’t know if Daniel Fields will make an appearance tonight or not, but he’s in town.
As for the pitching match-up it will be a rehabilitated Rick Porcello. Rehabilitated in the sense that he has done time for his crime of having a helmet chucked at him (yep, still bitter). He’s facing Seattle after a lengthy layoff having only gone 1 inning and 1 pitch his last time out. The last time he faced Seattle it came on the heels of his summer vacation (that 2.5 week stretch where he was off) and it didn’t go so well.
He’ll have to be better this time out though because Felix Hernandez takes the mound for the Mariners. Hernandez is awesome. He just is. But he has had some problems with walks as of late with 14 issued in his last 3 games.
Your Aubrey-ized lineup is:
POSTGAME: I think it’s safe to deem this game a battle. Porcello and Hernandez battled. Tigers hitters battled. Fernando Rodney battled Jose Lopez. Fortunately for the Tigers they won more of the battles.
Porcello and Hernandez was essentially a draw. Porcello was better than at any ponit this season through 5.2 innings. He picked up 8 K’s and he had the fastball and breaking ball working. It appeared he tired a little in the 6th though, because the ball started leaving the infield. Through the first 5 if the M’s weren’t whiffing they were grounding out meekly.
The Tigers didn’t fare any better at the dish while Hernandez was in the game and he held them to 4 hits and 1 walk and 1 run in 7 innnings. He made Granderson look particularly foolish as Grandy was on his way to the golden sombrero before he was lifted.
Bobby Seay struggled again against the Mariners. You may remember it was Seattle who broke Seay’s scoreless appearance streak in July and got to him on consecutive nights. This time it was a jam job double by Ichiro that set up a couple sacrifice flies.
Fortunately Mark Lowe struggled more with some “help” from his defense. Alex Avila started off the 8th with a monster mash to visitor bullpen and that opened things up. A great pinch hit at-bat by Santiago resulted in a single. A Granderson foul out was followed by a chopper to short . Probably not a double play but there should have been an out except the misplay resulted in runners at the corners. A Guillen walk was followed by a Cabrera clutch 2 run single that would pull the Tigers ahead and be the difference.
The Tigers added on with a “double steal” where Lowe tried the fake throw to third (after a nice job tagging up and getting to 3rd by Raburn who Leyland inserted for Guillen) then get the guy breaking off first. The play that never works…except Cabrera was actually moving on the play. Raburn managed to score as everyone was safe.
A composed Rodney gave up a ground ball single and a line drive single, but he fanned Russell Branyan and eventually fanned Jose Lopez after a tremendous 12 pitch at-bat to end the game. Rodney threw 28 pitches, 22 of them for strikes.