Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tigers Sweep Red Sox

In perhaps the most satisfying series of the season, the Tigers swept the Red Sox 9-2 on Friday, 3-2 in 13 innings on Saturday and 6-5 today. With 2 straight wins versus the Indians coming into the series, that is 5 consecutive wins against fellow contenders heading into the break. Since the Indians lost 1-0 to the Blue Jays today, the Tigers are now alone in first in the AL Central. They are also just a half game behind the Red Sox for the best record in baseball. The American League race is shown in the chart below:

Team

Division

W

L

PCT

GB

Red Sox

East

53

34

.609

---

Tigers

Central

52

34

.605

½

Angels

West

53

35

.602

½

Indians

Central

52

36

.591

Mariners

West

48

36

.571


In today's game, the Tigers beat up red hot Daisuke Matzusaka for 6 runs on 10 hits in 5 innings. Gary Sheffield hit a solo homer in the first, hirst 21st of the year. Marcus Thames hit a solo shot in the 3rd and Carlos Guillen added a two run blast in the same inning. Sheffield also had 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI on the day. They built up a 6-2 lead by the 4th inning before the Red Sox bullpen shut them down.

Nate Robertson made it through six innings for the first time since May 2 and allowed just 4 hits but it wasn't easy. He allowed 4 walks and a hit batsman in the 3rd for 2 runs. He settled down in the middle innings but then allowed back to back homers to rookie Jeff Bailey and Julio Lugo in the 7th.

The Tigers got decent relief pitching today. Jose Capellan came in with 2 men on base in the 7th and got the last 2 outs. He gave up a run in the 8th thanks, in part, to his own throwing error to make it 6-5. However, Zach Miner preserved the lead by striking out the final batter of the inning. Todd Jones then closed out the game with one of his patented 2 hit 0 run innings.

Curtis Granderson made the catch of the year when he reached over the center field wall as far as he could to rob WilyMo Pena of a home run in the 4th inning. You have to see this catch to understand how great it was so here's a link at MLB.COM

Other than Granderson's catch, the Tigers were pretty sloppy defensively. They made 5 errors on the day including 2 by Craig Monroe and 1 apiece by Guillen, Mike Rabelo and Capellan. Monroe, whose whole game is falling apart lately, also made a base running blunder where he slowed down on a steal attempt thinking the batter had been walked.

Thames is taking advantage of regular playing time in left field against right-handers and first base against left-handers. In 7 starts this week, he had a hit in each game and belted 4 homers. Monroe, on the other hand, is batting .156 with 0 homers in 83 at bats since June 6. Monroe may have a small advantage over Thames defensively but not when Monroe is asleep as he seemed to be today. With Thames playing well and Raburn now up, one has to wonder whether Monroe will finish the season in Detroit.

With the first half of the season ending on a very positive note, five Tigers now head to San Francisco for the allstar game. Magglio Ordonez, Pudge Rodriguez and Placido Polanco (if his lat muscle is feeling ok) will start and Justin Verlander and Carlos Guillen will also be on the team.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 08, 2007

    You must be very happy about the Tiger's performance this year. Great blog. You are a very good writer.

    ReplyDelete

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