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Despite Slump, Tigers remain in first place


I was in Detroit for the three game sweep. Yes, I witnessed the squirrel debacle, that was nothing bothersome compared to the shutdown pitching of the Red Sox during the week at Comerica Park. On Tuesday the Tigers left the bases loaded with no out to end the ball game. The offense continued to struggle into last night, where Justin Verlander was let down by the Tigers offense and a man named Fernando. Rodney came in the game in the ninth inning and gave up two runs. 

Despite the current four game losing streak, the Tigers remain in first place in the A.L. Central; 1.5 games ahead of those pesky and annoying Minnesota Twins. Going on the mound to stop the bleeding is Edwin Jackson. We will see if the real sore, the Tigers offense, will be able to get things going tonight against the returning Kelvim Escobar.  This is the first time Escobar will take the mound since late in the 2007 season. The reports have been good so far on the return of strength and velocity of Escobar. He isn’t fresh though. The righty has thrown 15 innings of rehab this season.

Tiger Notes

–Jeremy Bonderman will start Monday: It seems that rehab is over for Bonderman as he will make his first start of the season on Monday. Tigers slugger Marcus Thames will be activated on Monday. It is safe to note that Bonderman will not be the same pitcher we are used to seeing. He will throw a bit more changeups and won’t throw as hard as he has in the past.

"“I don’t know what it’s going to take to be 100 percent or how long it’s going to be — or if I’ll ever get back to the velocity I used to have,” Bonderman said. “I’m just going to have to find a way to pitch, and to be successful if I want to keep playing.“When I left Lakeland (for his rehab assignment), I thought it would come back a little bit, but it hasn’t. I have to pitch with what I’ve got. Hit my spots and move the ball around. I’m probably not going to punch out 10 guys in a game.“I’m going to use a lot of stuff I didn’t use before. That’s what I have to do now.”"

Bonderman will start game two of the double header Monday.

–With the ninth pick in the Tigers draft the Tigers could be targeting a hitter? Probably not considering there are not many in this draft. Many options will be open on Tuesday, including former Fresno State flamethrower Tanner Scheppers, Prep Starter Jacob Turner, and possibly Aaron Crow, formally of Missouri, if he falls to the Tigers at nine.  We will have scouting reports upcoming throughout the week.

–RYAN STRIEBY CONTINUES TO HIT: The Erie First Baseman is one of Baseball America’s hottest prospects this week as he continues to tear the cover right off the ball. Straight from Baseball America:

"He leads the EL in home runs (14) and is second in slugging (.609). Like most big power hitters, Strieby is prone to strikeouts, but he does know how to work counts to get himself into hitter’s counts."

Strieby is hitting .484 with the Seawolves.