Detroit 3, Seattle 11 (box)
Detroit 2, Seattle 4 (box)
Detroit 4, Seattle 2 (box)
Tigers record: 7-5 Second Place, 1.5 GB of Minnestota
For the record, this is the style of recap you will find more often than not concerning weekend series. I don’t write a lot during the weekend, I try not to write at all. My wife is gracious enough to put up with my baseball obsession during the week, the weekends are generally reserved for her and the kids. I still watch the games, but adding another hour or two to the back end to fill up a recap is not something I like to do. So until we add a contributor to the staff here at MCB, this is what you can expect on Monday mornings. Let’s get to it.
Friday night, the Tigers knew they couldn’t expect to dig themselves a big hole and comae back against one of the best in the league when facing Felix Hernandez. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. After working the first two innings scoreless, Jeremy Bonderman ran into trouble in the third, fourth, and fifth before yielding the game to the bullpen.
After sitting down nine of the first 10 batters he faced, Bonderman allowed five straight batters to reach with two outs in the third, leading to three Seattle runs. A walk and a single were followed by a throwing error in the third and Seattle tacked on two more.
Bonderman then allowed the first five batters of the fifth to reach base before leaving the game and watching Brad Thomas usher all three on his inherited runners home. When the smoke cleared that inning, Seattle lead 11-2 and Bonderman had been tagged for eight earned in just 4+ innings.
Taxing the bullpen on the first day of an 11 game road trip is not a good idea, so Justin Verlander has his work cut out for him on Saturday. Verlander responded beautifully after struggling to a 28-pitch first frame. Verlander worked seven strong and allowed three runs, certainly good enough to win on most nights. But the Tigers let this one get away in the seventh after they had tied the score at two in the top half. Verlander issued a leadoff walk to Milton Bradley, who then stole second. Casey Kotchman ripped a long fly ball to right that Ryan Raburn should have caught at the wall, but he mis-played it into a double. This is why second basemen should not be playing in the outfield. A true outfielder would have made the play.
Sunday afternoon, Detroit needed a win to avoid the sweep. Max Scherzer, the best of the Tigers starters so far, was up to the task again. Detroit fell behind 1-0 but Miguel Cabrera launched a 450 foot three-run bomb to deep left field against Ian Snell in the third. They would add an insurance run on an Austin Jackson RBI single in the eighth and Scherzer and the bullpen did the rest. Again, the offense wasn’t really there, save Cabrera’s jack, but this time the pitching staff did just enough to win. My guess is they’ll need a lot more of these type wins this year.
- Austin Jackson– The Tigers rookie centerfielder continues to lead all rookies in hits. He had six more over the weekend, batting .429 vs the Mariners.
- Miguel Cabrera– Miggy had a homer and a two-run double to account for five runs batted in. The rest of the team drove in a total of four runners in the series. Ouch.
- Max Scherzer– Crazy Eyes tossed six strong innings on Sunday, needing just 87 pitches. He allowed two runs on six hits to earn the only win for Detroit over the weekend.
- Johnny Damon– Damon collected four hits in eight at bats, including a clutch pinch-hit RBI single on Saturday. With two walks as well, Damon was on base in six of his 10 plate appearances.
- Shortstops– Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago combined to go just 1 for 11 (.091 average) in the three games.
- Magglio Ordonez– Maggs homered on Saturday but was otherwise hitless in 11 at bats. He does still lead the club with four bombs though, so this is just a mini-jeer.
- Brad Thomas– This isn’t Korea, that’s for sure. Thomas allowed all three inherited runners to score on Friday, then allowed one of his own as well. He’s really not very good.
- Jeremy Bonderman– Bondo was strong early on Friday, but when he lost it, he lost it quickly and completely. After retiring 9 of the first 10 batters he faced, 14 of the next 18 batters reached base. That is not good.
What’s on tap?
Check back later today for a preview on this evening’s game against the Angels.