What Did You Expect?

Blake VandeBunteContributor IJune 11, 2009


  • Final Score: Chicago-4  Detroit-3
  • WP: Bobby Jenks
  • LP: Joel Zumaya
  • HR: Jim Thome (12), AJ Pierzynski (6), Ramon Santiago (4), Curtis Granderson (14)

Jim Leyland filled out the weakest lineup card since 2003 against the White Sox tonight.  Sure, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but what could we expect from the Tigers offense today given that lineup?

The Tigers fell behind early in this one and didn’t score their first run of the game until the eighth inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers were trailing 3-1 with two outs. With Ryan Raburn on second base, Curtis Granderson clubbed a pitch from Bobby Jenks into the right field seats to tie the game at three.

Sadly, Joel Zumaya came on in the bottom of the ninth and failed to get an out as the White Sox plated a run and won, 4-3.

Still, the Tigers won a five-game series in Chicago.

I didn’t think that was possible. So, I’ll let this bad one slide and look at the big picture.  The Twins also lost today so the Tigers will head to Pittsburgh with their four-game lead in tact.

  • Good: Brandon Lyon looked good again. Lyon came on for Edwin Jackson in the sixth inning and retired all seven batters he faced.  Lyon has thrown eight innings in the month of June and has given up only two hits and zero runs.
  • Good: Edwin Jackson didn’t have his best stuff today. He was a bit wild, walking four men in five innings. However, only two runs crossed the plate and he kept the Tigers in this thing.
  • Bad: Joel Zumaya is the anti-Lyon. Heading into June, Joel was pitching really well. However, he’s given up three runs in only four innings of work so far this month. In fact, since May 20, his ERA has risen from 1.59 to 3.60. Three times this month (yeah, it’s only the 11th), Zumaya has either coughed up a lead or turned a tie into a deficit. It may just be bad luck, but boy, this has not been a good month for Joel.
  • Bad: The lineup Leyland ran out there was weak. The Tigers 4-5-6 hitters today (Cabrera, Granderson, and Inge) have a combined 38 home runs. However, the guys Leyland had hitting in front of them were all way below league average in terms of on-base percentage.  I don’t see how Josh Anderson and his .289 OBP are hitting leadoff.  I could go on about the top three, but I’ll let myself cool off and move on.
  • Good: Curtis Granderson was awesome today. He went 3-4 (the Tigers only had seven hits) and hit that big, game-tying home run.  He at least made things interesting and gave the Tigers a bit of steam heading into interleague play.

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