The Tigers had just a run of the mill 5-2 loss tonight. With a 21 year old pitcher making his major league debut, you kind of hope the team will be able to put up some runs to let him relax a little. But the Tigers ran into Fausto Carmona and he had his good stuff tonight. He was mixing his mid-90s fastballs with a good breaking ball and was able to keep the Tigers off balance for most of the game, setting a personal best with ten strikeouts.
When the Tigers were finally able to tune him up a little bit, they could neither tie it up with him still in the game or chase him and take their chances against the bullpen. They scored in the second, but what I’m talking about was the triple Curtis Granderson hit to right center in the eighth inning. It scored Brandon Inge, who had singled, and made it a 4-2 game with no outs and a man on third. If they get Granderson in, it becomes a very interesting game, and it seemed like a given with Thames, Sheff and Maggs coming up.
But Carmona got Thames to strikeout on a low and away pitch much like what Chad Gaudin had success with against Marcus on Monday. Then Sheffield hit a soft, broken bat line drive to short and Maggs fouled out to the first baseman, Ryan Garko. I don’t know about you, but at the time that felt like their last good chance to me.
In the bottom of that inning, Bobby Seay let Michaels reach on a leadoff walk and gave up a ground rule double to Casey Blake. He showed some life by striking out Sizemore, but after an intentional walk to Victor Martinez in the hopes of getting another double play grounder from Pronk, he walked in a run to make it 5-2. I tossed the remote to my wife, scratched my dog behind the ears and went upstairs to check minor league scores – mumbling all the way.
Because he’s taken so much crap lately (and rightly so, to some degree) I will throw out that Jason Grilli came in to finish the inning by getting a double play grounder from the only batter he faced. Good job, Grilli.
Of course the biggest story in this one for the Tigers was the kid making that major league debut, Jair Jurrjens. I was pretty happy with the way he pitched. He certainly did well enough to keep the Tigers in it and even showed some good stamina by consistently throwing 92 mph in the seventh inning, when he was up around 100 pitches. I’ll tell you one thing. If Rogers or Miller comes back and there’s a choice between Jurrjens or Durbin as the fifth starter, I’d have Jurrjens out on the mound before you could even get all those Js out of your mouth.
–GUEST BLOGGER, Matt