Detroit 0, Los Angeles 2 (box)
Tigers record 7-6
There are a growing group of players around the league that always seem to do very well when they see the Olde English D across the field. These Tiger Killers litter the rosters of many different teams, but there is one in Anaheim, and he reared his head last night.
Early in his career, back when he pitched for the Mariners, Joel Pineiro made a habit of shutting down the Detroit Tigers. Pineiro began his career with a 6-0 record in seven appearances versus Detroit. In recent years, Pineiro has pitched in the National League, and the Tigers have been able to get to him a bit as Pineiro entered last night’s game 0-2 in his last three games against Detroit. Now back in the AL, Pineiro re-asserted himself last night.
The Tigers came into the game sporting the league’s highest team batting average and they were true to form by grinding out nine hits off of the Angel righty. But Pineiro (2-1) danced through the rain drops, getting crucial ground balls whenever he needed them, stranding 13 Tigers on the basepaths. He pounded the strikezone, throwing nearly 72% of his pitches for strikes.
When Pineiro tired in the eighth, reliever Kevin Jepsen came on to quash the Tigers rally and old friend Fernando Rodney did something he rarely did while closing in Detroit, he sat down the side in order in the ninth.
For his part, Pineiro’s opponent, Dontrelle Willis, was up to the task himself. Willis retired the side in order in each of the first two innings before running into trouble in the third.
A leadoff single was followed by a Jeff Mathis double to right, which scored a run when Magglio Ordonez uncorked a wild throw. a walk and a ground ball moved runners to second and third and the Angels added their second run on a Bobby Abreu ground ball. Willis then allowed a double by Torii Hunter but was able to escape further damage.
Willis (0-1) got back into the groove in the fourth and pitched very well through the sixth. Frankly, he deserved a better fate.
Cheers and Jeers after the jump.
- Dontrelle Willis- Willis’ final line: 6 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 2 K. You couldn’t ask for a better effort given the circumstances of his past few seasons. Willis took a giant step forward last night after his mini-step back in his last start. This was by far the best he’s looked this year.
- Eddie Bonine- I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Bonine and his two innings of no-hit relief. He’s pitched very well so far this season.
- Joel Pineiro- Pineiro wasn’t perfect, but he kept the Tigers off the board in his 7.1 innings.
- Johnny Damon- His hideous white shoes worked again as Damon added two more hits. He’s now riding a six game streak and has his average up to .279. He also gunned down a runner at second.
- RISP- The Tigers were just 1-9 with runners in scoring position and that one was an infield hit by Scott Sizemore. If your not driving the ball into the gaps (the Tigers had just one extra base hit), you’ll need a timely single or two, the Tigers couldn’t get the big hit.
What’s on tap?
Game two of the Tigers/Angels will follow game four of the Wings/Coyotes Stanley Cup Playoff series tonight on FSD. The Wings trail 2-1 in the series and the Tigers now sit just a game over .500. Jimmy Howard will remain in net for the Wings but his club, like the Tigers, will need to generate a bit more offense going forward.
The Tigers will send Rick Porcello to the hill to oppose Scott Kazmir. Kazmir (0-1, 13.50) was hit hard in his season debut last week and has struggled in his career versus Detroit, coming in with a 2-4 record and 4.69 ERA in eight starts. Porcello (1-0, 4.09) made one start against the Angels a season ago, lasting five innings while allowing four earned runs at Comerica Park on June 7. he was 1-4 with an ERA approaching five on the road last season. This will be his initial road outing of 2010.