Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tigers Lose 3rd in Row to Yankees

As has so often been the case in the second half of the season, the only good news to report today is that the Indians lost to the Rays 4-3 in 12 innings. Old friend Carlos Pena helped out with a game tying 7th inning homer and a double in 5 at bats. The Tigers lost to the Yankees for the third straight day 9-3. Thus, they remained a game and a half behind the Indians with a three game series between the two rivals beginning on Tuesday.

Jeremy Bonderman struggled with control today walking 5 batters and throwing 115 pitches in 6 innings. He left with the team trailing 4-3 after 6. The Tigers led 3-2 in the 5th but Brandon Inge misplayed a routine double play ball which led to an unearned run in the bottom of the inning. Bonderman then allowed a go ahead homer to Johnny Damon in the 6th. Zach Miner and Aquilino Lopez turned the game into a laugher by allowing a combined 5 runs in the 7th and 8th innings.

The Tigers once again had plenty of opportunities to score in the game but couldn't get runners home against starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. Then they were helpless the last three innings versus Joba Chamberlain and Edwar Ramirez. Their best rally came in the 5th when they scored 2 runs with the aid of a balk, a wild pitch and a double steal. Tigers with multiple hits were Mike Rabelo with 3 and Ryan Raburn with 2.

Brandon Inge continued to look awful at the plate to go along with the 5th inning error. He went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts and is now batting .236/.273/.333 with 1 homer 1n 123 at bats since the all-star break. He also has struck out an alarming 48 times to go with just 4 walks during that period. With Placido Polanco probably returning from the flu on Tuesday, it might be a good idea to to shift Ryan Raburn to third for a couple of games to give Inge a rest. Raburn doesn't defend well enough to play third on a regular basis but it is his original position.

Update: Apparently Jim Leyland agrees about Raburn replacing Inge. He said that the "concentration level of (the Tigers) at bats is just not acceptable". He also announced that Raburn will start at third base on Tuesday. He gave no indication as to how long he would stay there.

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