I thought for sure Fox TV would show the Mets game in Massachusetts today but surprisingly it was the Tigers game. Thus, I got to watch another lackluster performance by the Tigers. They lost 5-3 to the White Sox and are now 0-5 in a season that started with so much anticipation. i'm not too worried but the losing is getting frustrating.
Dontrelle Willis made his debut as a Tiger and the wildness which plagued him last year and in spring training this year was still a problem today. He made it through 5 innings without allowing a run or a hit but struggled with his control throughout. The Tigers were up 3-0 after five innings but Willis walked the first two hitters to start the sixth. At that point, Jim Leyland went to the mound to check if he was hurt but Willis insisted that he was OK as he has been saying all along. The big left-hander then gave up his first hit, a double to Thome which brought in the first White Sox run. After the double, Willis yielded to Zach Miner who proceeded to give up a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly before getting out of the inning down 4-3.
Offensively, the Tigers looked sluggish once again. The main exception was Brandon Inge who knocked in all three runs with a double and a two run homer. He also walked and hit a deep fly ball to left center field. Inge was playing third base again today as Cabrera was the designated hitter. Frankly, when you consider defense in the equation, I don't think they lose much (if anything) by having Inge at third, Cabrera at DH and Gary Sheffield on the bench. At the same time, I really do like the idea of Inge as a super-sub.
Other Tigers with two hits today were Clete Thomas and Jacque Jones. Thomas continues to impress in his opportunity to play. When and if the whole line-up gets healthy at the same time, it will be interesting to see what they will do with Thomas.
There was more bad news before even started today. Rodney felt some pain in his shoulder during Friday's bullpen session and won't be ready any time soon. His health is definitely becoming a big concern (That's me saying that, not the Tigers).
In an attempt to bolster their bullpen, they made a roster move before today's game. They added Francis Beltran and sent Ryan Raburn to Toledo. Beltran had a 5.87 ERA in 56 appearances for the Cubs and Expos between 2002-2004. Last year, pitching for AAA Norfolk in the Orioles organization, the 28 year old right-hander, had a 4.70 ERA and 47/15 K/BB ratio in 59 1/3 innings. Beltran made his Tiger debut today giving up one hit - a homer to Jermaine Dye - in two innings of work.