The last time the Tigers faced the Cardinals, they embarrassed themselves in the 2006 World Series. Tonight, they got a little bit of revenge by pounding the Cardinals 14-4. They scored more runs in the first 5 innings tonight than they scored in the whole series last fall. However, the big story of the night had nothing to do with hitters. It had to do with a pitcher.
21 year old Andrew Miller, pitching in place of the ailing Jeremy Bonderman, hurled 6 shutout innings in his first major league start. Miller allowed just 4 hits, walked 3 and hit a batter. He looked like an experienced major league pitcher dazzling the Cardinals with his mid 90s fast ball and sharp slider. He was just a little bit wild at times but pitched well with runners on base. He also got much better defensive support than he did pitching for Lakeland.
The Tigers scored 2 in the first on a 2 run home run by Gary Sheffield, 1 more in the 3rd on a solo shot by Magglio Ordonez and 2 more in the 5th. They then blew the game wide open with a 9 run 5th in which 13 batters came to the plate. Each of Braden Looper (who came into the game with a 2.29 ERA) and Kelvim Jimenez gave up 7 runs. It was 14-0 when miller left the game after 6 innings.
In all, the Tigers banged out 18 hits including 2 home runs and 5 doubles. Perhaps happy to be going up against National League pitching again, Sean Casey broke out with 4 singles. Others with multiple hits were Placido Polanco (3 doubles), Sheffield (a homer and a single), Ordonez (a homer and 2 singles) and Carlos Guillen (3 singles).
The lone Cardinal hitting hero was Albert Pujols who had 4 hits including a home run in his final at bat. This was actually good to see as he has been having a really hard time getting untracked this year and came into the game batting a shockingly low .245 with 6 homers.
The Tigers look to get a little more revenge in game two tomorrow night when Nate Robertson opposes Anthony Reyes who stymied them in game 1 of the World Series last year.