Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tigers Outslug Angels.

Last night, the Tigers had 14 base runners and hit a lot of other balls hard but they were held to 3 runs by spectacular Angels Fielding. Tonight, they hit the ball solidly again but this time they found some gaps and cleared some fences and beat the Angels 8-7. Magglio Ordonez led the way with his 11th and 12th homers of the year and Carlos Guillen and Curtis Granderson had one apiece. Tigers with multiple hits were Pudge Rodriguez with 3 and Granderson, Ordonez, Placido Polanco and Sean Casey with 2 apiece.

Chad Durbin did not pitch great tonight but left with a 6-3 lead in the 6th. The struggling Jason Grilli came in with a man on second and nobody out in the 6th and got the Angels down 1-2-3 and also pitched a perfect 7th. Jose Mesa entered in the 8th and continued to pitch poorly giving up a 3 run homer to Mike Napoli to make it 7-6. He then gave up a triple to Howie Kendrick but Tim Byrdak put out the fire by striking out Chone Figgins. Todd Jones gave up his usual 2 singles in the 9th but once again held on to get the save.

After his first three starts (See Table 1 below), most fans assumed that Durbin and his 10.54 ERA would get removed from the rotation and everyone was guessing who would replace him. Would it be Andrew Miller? Virgil Vasquez? Zach Miner ? Would Will Ledezma become a starter again?

A month later, Durbin is still in the rotation and his job appears safe. He has not dazzled anybody but has allowed 3 runs or fewer in each of his last 6 starts (see Table 2 below). His 21/16 K/BB ratio in those games is not impressive and he has been quite wild at times. One difference between the first three games and the last six games is GB/FB ratio. It was 20/23 in the first 3 and 57/30 in the last 6. It has translated into fewer hits and a 2.52 ERA in his last 35 2/3 innings.

Table 1: Durbin's First Three Games

Date

Opp

IP

H

ER

BB

SO

GB/FB

ERA

4/9

@Chi

4.2

9

6

1

5

7/7

11.59

4/14

Bal

4

8

6

1

2

6/8

13.50

4/20

@KC

5

3

4

4

2

7/8

7.20

Total


13.2

20

16

6

9

20/23

10.54



Table 2: Durbin's Last Six Games

Date

Opp

IP

H

ER

BB

SO

GB/FB

ERA

4/25

@Chi

8

3

0

0

9

8/5

0.00

5/1

Bal

3.2

3

2

6

1

9/2

4.92

5/6

@KC

7.2

6

2

0

3

11/7

2.35

5/12

@Min

6

7

2

3

1

12/5

3.00

5/17

@Bos

5.1

3

1

5

4

10/6

1.69

5/23

Ana

5

8

3

1

3

7/5

5.40

Total


35.2

30

10

16

21

57/30

2.52


Tomorrow afternoon, Jeremy Bonderman comes off the disabled list after missing two starts with a blister problem. He will be opposed by Ervin Santana who is notoriously bad on the road.

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