Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bittersweet Victory for Tigers

All the runs scored on homers today as the Tigers topped the Yankees 5-4 to remain 2 1/2 games behind the division leading Indians. Curtis Granderson decided that a triple wasn't enough today and circled the bases for an inside the park homer leading off the game for the Tigers. Carlos Guillen hit a 2 run blast in the same inning to make it 3-0 Tigers. Jason Giambi hit a solo shot in the second for the Yankees to make it 3-1. Marcus Thames then put the Tigers up 5-1 with a 2 run homer in the 3rd inning, the 3rd homer of the game off Phil Hughes. Finally, Robinson Cano smashed a 3 run homer in the 4th to make it 5-4 Tigers and that was the end of the scoring.

The bad news is that Tigers starter Jair Jurrjens left with one out in the second inning with a shoulder injury. An MRI after the game revealed inflammation in the rotator cuff. It will not require surgery but he was placed on the disabled list and I suspect he'll miss the rest of the season. Nobody connected with the Tigers said his seasowho has a rotator cuff problem. Despite the initial positive prognosis, I'm concerned about Jurrjen's shoulder. He also had trouble with shoulder last year and was on the disabled list near the end of the season. So, even if the injury is not serious, one has to wonder what is causing the problem and whether it will be a recurring issue.

Jurrjens will be replaced on the roster by Zach Miner but it's not known yet who will take his spot in the rotation. It won't be Kenny Rogers as he is not yet ready to return. Chad Durbin could go from the bullpen to the rotation or someone could be called up from the minors. Virgil Vasquez is a possibility. Regardless, the loss of JJ is a big blow to their ever diminishing post-season chances.

Getting back to today's game, the bullpen saved the Tigers for the second time in the series. Chad Durbin allowed the 3 run homer to Cano but the rest of the bullpen was near perfect. Bobby Seay pitched 2 perfect innings. Joel Zumay followed with 1 2/3 perfect innings, a good sign after his poor performance versus the Indians on Wednesday. Then Todd Jones got the save with a one hit 9th inning.

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