Detroit 5, Tampa 3 (box)
Magic Number 20
Wade Davis made his big league debut and was phenomenal. It certainly looks like the hype was well placed here. Davis held the Tigers to one run and three hits while striking out nine over seven innings. The only real blemish on his day was the solo homer he allowed to Aubrey Huff in the second.
For his part, Edwin Jackson was almost as effective, though never as dominant as Davis. Jackson battled to keep the Tigers in the game and held the Rays to just three runs over eight frames. Jackson used 126 pitches to complete his outing, but it looked like it wouldn’t be enough. Jim Leyland pushed Jacskon through the eighth hoping his club could score some runs.
Then, of course, came the ninth inning. Back-to-back walks to Miguel Cabrera and Marcus Thames preceded a Magglio Ordonez single. Brandon Inge then launched a grand slam off the Rays fourth reliever of the inning, Russ Springer. Inge had fanned in each of his first three at bats of the game. If I were Tim Kurkjian, I’m sure I could tell you how many times a player has fanned three times and then hit a game winning grand slam, but I’m not so I can’t. I bet it’s not many though.
- Brandon Lyon– Lyon worked another perfect ninth, earning his second save in as may games. No controversy here, it’s still Rodney’s job, but isn’t it nice to see ’em mowed down in order? What’s wrong with a stress-free save?
- Edwin Jackson– Great job to battle and keep his club in the game. EJax hasn’t been as great as he was early, but he continues to post quality efforts.
- Wade Davis– Seriously, what a debut. Davis fanned the first four batters he faced, then gave up the bomb to Huff, then K’d another two in a row. If he’s this good, no wonder Tampa felt they could trade Jackson, Hammel, and Kazmir. There is a ton of talent in that Rays rotation.
- The Rays Bullpen– so, yeah, uh… wow. Joe Maddon just doesn’t have anyone down there he can trust. Tampa came into the year counting on Troy Percival and Jason Isringhausen. That didn’t work. Now neither has JP Howell, Grant Balfour, or Russ Springer. Where have you gone, Roberto Hernandez?
What’s on tap
Labor Day is upon us and the Tigers have an off-day in Kansas City, ahead of a three gamer with the Royals starting Tuesday. Don Kelly has recently joined the Tigers as an additional call-up, apparently MudHens manager Larry Parrish will soon do so as well. Parrish skippered the Tigers during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Armando Galarraga likely won’t be starting again this season, as Nate Robertson has been awarded the final rotation spot for his very strong outings recently. I have much more confidence in Nate right now than Galarraga or Washburn. I didn’t expect to write that this year. The Twins and Sox both fell on Sunday, the division is not much of a race right now. I’m not saying it’s over, but it sure is close. The Tigers have won five of their past six road games.