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Nate Robertson Gets No Support in Great Start

While it’s never good, you’d think Nate Robertson would be used to the lack of run support.  After starting 2-0 with two fine starts, he got it done today as well but unfortunately the Tigers didn’t hit for him and they picked up just one run.  The lone Tiger run came in the first inning when Curtis Granderson scored on an error by Josh Towers.  In fact the offense was so bad that after that first inning, the Tigers racked up just two hits and they were both by Ivan Rodriguez.

Robertson was very sharp in seven innings of work.  He gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts.  Joel Zumaya threw the final frame and he didn’t give up a base runner.

The Twins also lost and the Indians won so the Tribe vaults both teams and the Tigers now stand a half game back of them.  The White Sox are off to a rough start but if the Tigers hadn’t gotten a couple of key hits (like the Pudge homer last week), the Tigers might be down there with them.  But first place is just 6-3 and we all know this was going to be a shoot out amongst four teams.

The Tigers finally come home after ten games on the road and they’ll take on the last place Royals tomorrow night.  It’ll be a battle of two good young pitchers in Zach Greinke and Justin Verlander.  Justin has a thirteen scoreless inning streak going and hopefully he can get that up to around twenty or so after tomorrow.

“…and we all know this was going to be a shoot out amongst four teams.”

Uh, no. Do you think all four teams will beat up on eachother in such a way that it will turn out to be a true four-horse race? I doubt it. One or two of these four contenders will falter, most likely the Tigers or the White Sox, and it will probably end up being what it usually is – a couple fo teams going at it to the end. As soon as the Twins realize that they’re starting the wrong pitchers (just as they realized last year that they began the season with the wrong left infielders) they’ll be off and running. That being said, the Indians are looking like the class of the league, which is about what I was expecting. The Tigers are a .500 that has gotten lucky so far. There is no guarantee that Sheffield will come around, and there seems to be this mass delusion that Sean Casey is a good player. It’s all a recipe for a disaster, and I think we’re looking at something slightly better than 82 wins this year.

Posted by Dan on April 16th, 2007 at 11:03 am

See, I’m convinced anyone of the four teams can walk away with it. Yeah a team will drop off eventually but also don’t judge the teams as they stand. It could very well come down to a trade deadline deal that shifts the balance.

Posted by Brian on April 16th, 2007 at 2:11 pm

I didn’t say that any team couldn’t walk away with it. I said that it wouldn’t be a four-team race. It doesn’t really happen all that often. There are four teams that can win it, if enough things go right for them. Usually, things go right for one or two of them, and things go really wrong for at least one of them. I could see the Twins perplexing rotation decisions burying them, but it’s unlikely since as soon as Ponson starts sucking (inevitable), they can make a major upgrade with Matt Garza. Same maybe for Ortiz/Perkins.

Unlike the Twins, the Tigers don’t have a backup plan for their problems, except maybe Shelton or Thames but, as you know, it will take months for them to pull Monroe out of the lineup if he sucks. Injuries could completely derail the Tigers.

If the White Sox bite the big one it will be because they are so stubborn about their idea to stock the top of their lineup with total garbage. Dye’s and Thome’s numbers are bound to take a hit, and there is nothing there to step it up in their stead. They are just waiting for a miracle like 2005 to happen again.

The Indians are the favorite. They are going to score a ton of runs, and they seem to have enough pitching to get them through, especially if Adam Miller shoots into the majors and if Cliff Lee can return with a strong performance. They would be the easy favorite at that point.

Sizemore, Hafner, Morneau, Santana and Mauer are all better than any player on the Tigers or the White Sox.

Posted by Dan on April 16th, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Some possible good news here, Brian. Mesa came in with a 9-3 lead and immediately surrendered a single and a homer. He looks awful. If we can still win this game it will be a great way to expose Mesa’s sheer lack of ability without it actually costing us a win. At least in this time.

Posted by Dan on April 16th, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Hey Dan, only problem with the Indians is that they can’t field a ball, hold runners on, prevent stolen bases, and close games out. Who would you rather have Borowski or Jones/Zumaya? Also, that starting pitching, while good, lacks anybody concrete behind C.C. We’ll see soon the Tigers have 18 games against them, and fielding or managing just might come into play in more than one of them, and I’ll take the Tigers any day of the week.

Posted by Ian on April 16th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Those are legit problems that the Indians have, though I don’t think the fielding will continue to be as big of a problem as it has been. Westbrook is a good pitcher, Paul Byrd is middling, and Carmona has potential. Sowers stinks, but it’s only a matter of time before we see Cliff Lee and Adam Miller. I don’t think they’ll have a great staff, as I said. I think they might have enough, considering that fact that they’ll lead the division in runs scored, possibly by a large margin.

Also, managing has nothing to do with it.

Posted by Dan on April 17th, 2007 at 8:18 am

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