Guillen holds hammy, Tigers hold on

The Tigers finally got to a starting pitcher early. Unfortunately Detroit’s starting pitcher wasn’t on his game. Fortunately the Tigers bullpen earned a cumulative save getting the last 12 outs.

The Detroit lineup had no trouble getting to Joe Saunders. They hit, they moved people over, the bunted, the sacrifice flied, and they scored in the first 3 innings. When Adam Everett hit the flyball to left to plate a run it was the first 2nd inning run Detroit has scored this season.

On the other side Justin Verlander had significant issues controlling his offspeed pitches leading to all sorts of trouble. Mostly in the form of rapid pitch count escalation. The irony is that Verlander often becomes fastball happy when in trouble. Yet when the other pitches weren’t working for him against the Angels, he stayed away from the heater. Only 17 of his first 35 pitches were fastballs.

Credit needs to go to the Angels also who fouled off 35 pitches for the night.

Joel Zumaya, Phil Coke, Ryan Perry, and Jose Valverde did a terrific job locking down the game once Verlander was lifted. Seeing Zumaya come out for two innings the night after throwing 33 pitches makes me nervous given his history, but he did fine. As a group they allowed 5 baserunners and fanned 5 in 4 innings.

The bigger news in all this though is probably the injury to Carlos Guillen. Guillen’s hamstring popped as he was coming around to score (pictured above) and couldn’t make it to home plate. Guillen is hitting the disabled list, which is an unfortunate annual tradition.

  • The Tigers didn’t strikeout until Gerald Laird fanned with 2 outs in the 7th inning.
  • It looked like Austin Jackson’s strike out streak may end, but he went down swinging in his 4th at-bat.
  • Miguel Cabrera doubled in his 5th straight game. The last Tiger to do it was Frank Catalanotto in 1999.


  1. Rick G

    April 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Wow, that seems like an awful quick decision to put him on the DL. Seems like they’d at least wait a day or two. MLive is reporting that Brennan Boesch has been called up to replace him.

    • Vince in MN

      April 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

      This offense can’t afford to wait a day or two playing a man short, since with the weaknesses in the lineup as it is, they need a full bench for as much flexibility as possible. Anyway, with Guillen’s injury history, it is a forgone conclusion that he is going to spend some time on the DL at some point during the year. It will be interesting to see what Boesch does during his 15+ day stint.

  2. Stormin Norman $

    April 23, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I’ll spare everyone the faux-surprise about Guillen being injured… again – and will add that i REALLY hope Boesch steps up and produces to the extent that Guillen becomes expendable… ps:: i realize they’d be hard-pressed to get anything of value in return for Carlos and his fat remaining contract.

    When healthy, having Guillen’s bat in the lineup is a good thing, but let’s face, over the past few years we’ve seen more of the injured/hampered Guillen than the healthy version.

  3. Scott

    April 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Is it officially time to sound the panic horn with Verlander yet? That first inning was hard to watch. Yes, the Angels fouled off a bunch of pitches, but that was ridiculous. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him struggle so bad locating his fastball. With Justin, I think mechanics are a problem. Not so much how he delivers, but in terms of the speed at which he makes his delivery. When he gets nervous or tense, the pace of his delivery speeds up to a point where it makes him more erratic. Laird and/or the pitching coach need to remind him to calm down … dude, you’re too hyper. I think JV would benefit from yoga, seriously.

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      April 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

      April is almost over……then the real JV will show up!

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    April 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Not even close. He threw 85 strikes last night, and had a 3/1 strike/ball ratio after the first inning (over 89 pitches!). JV is going to be fine.

  5. jason

    April 23, 2010 at 10:17 am

    He was in a similar situation last year, and the year seemed to turn out ok for him.

    The “panic horn” is still a ways off.