Nate Robertson out dueled Matt Garza for 7 innings tonight in the Minnesota House of Horrors and the Tigers held on to shutout the Twins 1-0. In his first 7 inning stint since April, Robertson allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks before yielding to Macay McBride in the 8th. McBride was a little wild and walked a batter but got through the inning with the help of a double play. Todd Jones spared us the roller coaster ride tonight with a 7 pitch 1-2-3 ninth.
Garza pitched about as well as Robertson allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk in 7 innings but he was the victim of an unearned run in the 6th. Brandon Inge reached base on an error by shortstop Jason Bartlett on a routine grounder leading off the 6th. He moved up to second when Curtis Granderson walked and then scored on a two out single by Magglio Ordonez. That was all the scoring in the game.
The Tigers remain a game ahead of the Indians who beat the White Sox 6-5 in 11 innings tonight. Game two, tomorrow night, will be a match-up between Andrew Miller and Johan Santana.
I don't often question in game managerial strategy but why did Jim Leyland have Placido Polanco attempt to sacrifice with runners on first and second with nobody out in the 6th and 8th innings tonight? I know it was a tight low scoring game but Polanco is batting over .330 and is very good at moving runners over without bunting. Plus, a successful bunt in that situation takes the bat out of Sheffield's hands as you know he would be walked with first base open. Polanco was unsuccessful on both attempts so it was two wasted at bats. The only reason I can think of is that Polanco's lat injury is still affecting him at the plate. If that's the case, then why is he still playing and batting second?
Granderson Chasing Records
Curtis Granderson went 3 for 3 including a double tonight to raise his batting average to .299. He is 15 for 34 with 4 doubles, a triple and 2 homers in last 8 games. He now has 27 doubles, 16 triples and 13 homers on the season for a league leading 56 extra base hits. Most of you know by now that he is on a pace to break the American League record of 26 triples set by Sam Crawford of the Tigers in 1914. You might not know that he is also on a pace to break the team record of 99 extra base hits set by Hank Greenberg in 1940. Granderson is on a pace for 100.
Speaking of Granderson, you should be reading his excellent blog regularly. In his latest entry, he talks about trading baseballs to fans for bags of peanuts during games at Seattle over the weekend.