Photo Credit: Roger Dewitt
After spending many years in the minors trying to stay healthy and trying even harder to find a position, Ryan Raburn is getting a chance to play in the majors right in the middle of a pennant race. The former infielder turned outfielder has been making the most of his opportunity and today he had a game that he'll never forget. In a game where everybody was hitting for both teams, Ryan burned brightest in the Tigers 13-9 victory. He smashed two homers, a double and a single and drove home 7 runs in 5 at bats.
Many internet fans insisted that Raburn and not Timo Perez should have gotten the starts when Marcus Thames went down and Craig Monroe was not ready to return from his back problem. It's starting to look like we just may have been right. He has 10 hits in 20 at bats including 3 homers and 2 doubles and has 10 RBI in his limited action. He will likely start tomorrow against the lefty John Danks. After that, I'm not sure. Jim Leyland is very loyal to his veterans and I don't know if he would bump craig Monroe from his regular role to give Raburn more of an opportunity. We'll see.
It was another bad start for a Tigers pitcher tonight. Kenny Rogers got shelled for 7 runs on 7 hits including 4 homers in 4 innings. It was the third rough game in a row for Rogers which suggests to me he might not be quite at full strength yet despite his initial success upon returning from surgery. It was also the 6th straight game in which a Tigers starter did not get a quality start. Jason Grill was his usual shaky self giving up 2 runs in 3 innings. The one bright spot for the pitching staff was Tim Byrdak's successful return from the disabled list. He pitched 2 perfect innings to close it out.
Another big contributor to the Tigers 19 hit attack was Mike Rabelo who had 3 hits for the second straight night. Brandon Inge added 3 hits of his own and Curtis Granderson had 2 hits and 3 runs scored. However, there was no doubt that this night belonged to 26 year old rookie Ryan Raburn without a Y.