Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tigers Destroy Nats, Casey Homers

The Tigers were not going to let the bullpen blow this one as they ran up a 12-0 lead after 4 innings and went on to trounc the Nationals 15-1. They had 17 hits and 8 extra base hits but perhaps the most celebrated hit of the night was a three run homer by Sean Casey off Jason Simontacchi in the 3rd inning. Why was this such a big deal? Casey, the most controversial topic on Tigers messageboards this season, had gone 232 plate appearances without a home run before that blast. Only light hitting Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre have had more plate appearances without a homer in 2007. He also had a double, a walk and 4 RBI on the night.

Other than the homers, Casey has been hitting quite well since April as the Table below illustrates. Since his awful start, he has batted .341/.397/.449 in 138 at bats. For the season, he is now batting .287/.346/.375. The slugging average is still way too low for a first baseman but he is no longer the black hole he was in April or last August and September (.245/.286/.364) for that matter.

Table: Sean Casey's splits





















The other noteworthy story of the night was Chad Durbin who may still be competing to stay in the rotation with Kenny Rogers and hopefully Nate Robetson soon back on the team. Durbin pitched six innings allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and, most encouraging, no walks. I still suspect he is headed for the bullpen(which certainly could use a boost) but either way his start tonight was a positive sign.

They try to complete the sweep of the series tomorrow night at 7:05 when Jeremy Bonderman faces Mike Bacsik.

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