Boof Bonser and the Twins bullpen shut down the Tigers 2-1 tonight in what amounted to yet another anemic offensive display by the Tigers. The Tigers managed only 5 hits and 2 walks against Bonser, Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan who combined to retire the last 17 batters. The only Tiger with 2 hits was Pudge Rodriguez.
Nate Robertson pitched shut out ball for 7 innings and allowed just one earned run. An Omar Infante error on a possible double play ball contributed to the 2 runs in the 2nd inning. As usual Robetson did a fine job working out of difficulty - a 2 on no out jam in the 2nd and a bases loaded jam in the 5th. According to The Hardball Times database, Robertson has stranded 74.8% of his base runners this year. That is 7th best in theAmerican League. Justin Verlander leads the league at 79.9%.
Joel Zumaya loaded the bases in the 8th with one out thanks, in part, to a horrible call by second base umpire Larry Vanover. Vanover called Mark Redmond safe on an obvious force out at second. I expected Jim Leyland to explode but I think he stayed calm in order to keep Zumaya from getting worked up. Apparently it worked as Zoom retired the last 2 batters easily. I almost never complain about umpiring because I strongly believe bad calls even themselves over the course of a 162 game season but I don't think the unpiring has been very good this series. I'll leave it at that.
The Tigers lead had dwindled to 3 games over the Twins and 3 1/2 over the White Sox who held on to beat the Indians 10-8 tonight. It won't get any easier for the Tigers offense tomorrow when they face Johan Santana. Hopefully, the slumping Jeremy Bonderman gets himself straightened out has one of his dominant games tomorrow.