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Nate Robertson Shuts Down Orioles in Tigers Win

Nate Robertson threw a gem tonight against the Orioles as the left hander threw 7 1/3 shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.  The lone Oriole run was a solo homerun by Corey Patterson off of Joel Zumaya.

The Tigers did the bulk of their damage in a crazy sixth inning.  Neifi Perez led off with a single and then Curtis Granderson drew a walk.  Placido Polanco was trying to push them both over with a bunt but he ended up beating it out instead to load the bases.  Gary Sheffield struck out and then Magglio Ordonez hit a sharp grounder to short in what looked like a tailor made double play only Polanco got down to second quick enough to cause Brian Roberts to throw it away.  Two runs scored and the rest is history.

The Tigers added a third run in the eighth when Curtis Granderson stretched a single into a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on Placido Polanco’s sac. fly.

Justin Verlander gets the start tomorrow in the rubber game.  He’ll face Adam Loewen, who’s never pitched against the Tigers before in his brief career.

Great game by Robertson today. Let’s hope he keeps this up for longer than half a season. I’d say he made steps in the right direction last year.

Question for you: Who will DH next year? How about 2009? Ordonez is borderline unplayable in right field and falling fast.

Posted by Dan on April 11th, 2007 at 10:10 am

Gary Sheffield’s already made some noise about wanting to get on the field so the two could flip at times during the season but what you see now is probably what you’re going to get next year. You might want to hold judgement on Ordonez though until the weather gets a bit better. It’d be tough for anyone to play in these conditions.

Posted by Brian on April 11th, 2007 at 10:29 am

If everything goes right, Maybin will develop, replace Monroe in left next year and allow Granderson to cheat toward right and help out our defensively-challenged right fielder. But that’s a reach, for sure, especially since Maybin literally has yet to hit Advanced A pitching.

This is no revelation, but Maggs and Sheff bogging down our right field and DH spots for the next three years was the most concerning thing about the Sheffield deal to me from day one.

Posted by Matt in Toledo on April 11th, 2007 at 11:53 am

Yeah, Matt, I felt the same way, and I wondered how they could possibly commit to both Sheffield and Ordonez. I think you’re right about Maybin. Unless he hits a wall he’s a decent bet to shoot right into the majors beginning this September and then out of camp next year. This will give us a terrific defensive outfield. Well, 2/3 of a terrific defensive outfield.

Brian, I don’t think it’s the weather. Ordonez’s skills have been deteriorating very steadily. If he hits he’ll suffice for now.

Posted by Dan on April 11th, 2007 at 4:52 pm

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