Well, at least Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen made significant returns to the lineup. Beyond that the theme of the night was frustration. Despite Cabrera’s 3 homer heroics the Tigers managed to repeatedly come up short in most facets of the game.
Cabrera was spectacular. Each of the 3 homers were crushed no-doubters. Unfortunately the rest of the team didn’t follow suit.
And then there is Dontrelle Willis. Once again he wasn’t good, but once again he wasn’t the reason the team lost. It’s safe to say that the game was close in spite of Willis rather than because of him.
As for the bullpen management, I have a hard time complaining about this one. I like that Ryan Perry was thrust into a difficult 2nd and 3rd situation. Because of the 9th inning it’s easy to forget that Perry escaped the 8th without incident.
The 9th inning was just a disaster, but only one of those pitches I can hang on Perry and that was the Mark Ellis HBP. The double was a fluke. Ordonez was playing deep, Guillen was playing up the middle. It truly was no man’s land.
The swinging bunt was a fluke, though the fact that Fu-Te Ni gave up on the play was frustrating. I don’t know that they can get an out on that play, but Ni didn’t give himself a chance.
In the end the pitching wasn’t quite good enough, the fielding wasn’t quite good enough, and the hitting certainly wasn’t good enough. For the 4th time in 5 games the Tigers came up on the wrong end of a close game.
- Magglio Ordonez didn’t have a particularly good game. It’s rare he strikes out twice. And while he was active in right field with 7 outs recorded, his inability to get to the double or gun out the runner on the sacrifice fly in the 9th hurt. I think Maggs catches too much flack for his defense as there is nothing wrong with being okay. But he didn’t play well last night. The 8th inning double he didn’t read well and the throw to the plate was accurate but without zip.
- Phil Coke escaped scrutiny because nobody scored in the 8th inning but he faced 4 batters and all 4 laced line drives.
- Alex Avila has often hit the ball hard right at people this season (he’s also struck out a lot so I’m not saying his batting average is all bad luck), but he managed 3 dribblers tonight and a catchers interference.
- Not everything was bad though. Guillen played fine at second base and worked 3 full counts at the plate. The time he didn’t work a full count he ripped a double.