When your team turns to an emergency starter and you get a win, the aesthetics of such a win become irrelevant. Which is fortunate because this wasn’t exactly a pretty victory.
With Dontrelle Willis battling a stomach virus the Tigers turned to Brad Thomas to try and eat some innings. Thomas wasn’t good the first two innings. He either missed the strike zone or got hammered. Even factoring in an Austin Jackson misplay, you had the feeling that the Rangers should have scored more than 4 runs in the first 2 innings. But Thomas did manage to come out for a quick and painless 3rd inning.
The Tigers then got frisky in the 3rd and 4th innings. They strung together 3 hits, an RBI ground out to get the game within 1 run in the 3rd.
In the 4th inning it was Tigers patience and a screwy wild pitch that gave the Tigers the lead. Ramon Santiago scored from second on a pitch that went through Taylor Teagarden’s 5-hole.* That was enough for the lead, but the Tigers added some more runs as they batted around.
*Does anybody else remember another game in Texas where Nook Logan scored from first base on a wild pitch?
The story of this game though is probably the bullpen. Eddie Bonine followed Thomas and allowed just 2 baserunners in 3 innings while getting 9 ground ball outs. Bonine threw his knuckler 7 times, all for strikes and 2 resulted in ground outs.
Joel Zumaya was next and recorded 5 of his 6 outs with strike outs. Jose Valverde handled the 9th inning allowing just an infield single.
The final line for the pen was 6 innings, 3 singles, 1 walk, and 5 K’s.
Because Bonine and Zumaya in particular were able to chew up 5 innings, it means that the rest of the pen is available tomorrow.
- The bullpen would have had one more hit surrendered were it not for a spectacular leaping grab by Jackson. It may be his best catch of the season.
- Jackson did keep his strikeout streak alive. It’ll end some day.
- I liked seeing the Tigers taking advantage of the defense and picking up 2 bunt hits. I hate the sacrifice, but love seeing a guy drop one down when the 3rd baseman is playing deep.
- Adam Everett left the game with a hamstring strain.
- Scott Sizemore didn’t play due to ankle soreness.
- Johnny Damon’s hit streak extends to 11 and he reached base 4 times.