Cleveland 3, Detroit 2 (box)
Okay, this is getting old.
After a long weekend both in terms of days off work, and in terms of watching the Tigers struggle to mount any kind of offense against Oakland, Detroit’s bats were cold again last night.
Jeremy Bonderman wasn’t overpowering, he struck out just one batter all night, but he worked effectively through eight full innings, his longest start since 2008. He scattered nine hits and allowed just three runs. He certainly was good enough to win.
But he didn’t.
He didn’t because his Tigers teammates again failed to put up any significant offensive support. Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook (3-3) consistently missed the fat part of the Tigers bats, inducing weak ground balls and pop-ups. Westbrook allowed just five hits and one measly run through 7.2 innings of work.
The Tigers were hurt by the long ball as Bonderman (2-3), who had allowed just two homers all year coming in, gave up solo shots to Russell Branyan and Shin-Soo Choo, turning a 1-0 Tigers lead into a 2-1 deficit. The Tribe added an insurance run in the eighth and they needed it as Kerry Wood did his best to give the lead back, allowing a run on a hit, a walk, and an error in the ninth. He held on to earn his third save of the year.
Cheers and Jeers after the jump.
- Jeremy Bonderman– Bonderman held the lowest ERA in the AL in the month of May, thanks in large part to that rain-out in Cleveland that wiped away a disaster start. He didn’t have his strikeout pitches working last night, but he battled and grinded his way to a very good outing.
- Alex Avila– He had just one at bat, but Avila’s extended battle with two outs in the ninth eventually resulted in an RBI single that brought the Tigers within a run. He should play more, methinks.
- Mario Impemba– The FSD play-by-play voice just kept harping on the struggles of Choo. Ofer 17, ofer 18, ofer 19. It was as if he was daring Choo to break out of his slump. You just can’t tempt fate that often without repercussions, Mario. Respect the streak.
- The offense– Miguel Cabrera had two hits, and Carlos Guillen and Avila each had and RBI, but the lineup was terrible all night. How’s that new number working out there, G-money? I wonder what he’ll try next.
What’s on tap?
Well, the beauty of baseball is that there is little time to dwell on a loss, or two, or four out of five. The Motor City Bengals will take on the Tribe again this evening as the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona takes the hill for Cleveland. Carmona (4-3, 3.69) has been much better this season than he was last year when Cleveland optioned him to A-ball. Still he’s not a strikeout guy like he once was and left handed hitters still feast on him.
The Tigers counter with the pitcher formerly known as Armando Galarraga. We all know his story, no sense in re-hashing it. For the time being, Galarraga (1-1, 4.50) is in the rotation. He was touched up for six runs in under five innings of work in his last start against the Dodgers. He worked 1.2 innings of scoreless relief since then.
In all honesty though, it won’t matter if Galarraga goes the distance tonight unless the Tigers find a way to score some freaking runs. Gad, I feel like a Phillies fan right now.