Like I touched on last week, the Tigers had done a good job in the month of July by winning their Sunday games to salvage a game in their previous four weekend series. It almost looked like this would be the case today, but Fernando Rodney had a tenth inning meltdown that cost the Tigers the win. He walked three, hit a batter and gave up a single and a one run lead turned into a one run loss in extra innings. Even worse, Kyle Farnsworth gave up three runs in the bottom of the eighth and the only reason the game went into extra frames was because Curtis Granderson came through big in the ninth with a game tying solo homer.
The end result is, the Tigers are now back below .500. They’re seven games back of the Twins, who passed the White Sox today. Speaking of said White Sox, the Tigers have a day off, then they finish up their road trip with three against the White Sox in Chicago. Even a sweep would only cut their deficit to the Sox in half. The Twins have three against the worst team in the American League, the Mariners.
Armando Galarraga once again came through with a fantastic outing. He gave up just one run on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts in seven innings. He was up to 100 pitches, which is probably wanted prompted Leyland to go to the pen. After 90 pitches, Galarrage had given up thirteen hits and five earned runs in seven innings prior to today’s start and outside of his first fifteen pitches, that was his roughest patch of the game.
Here’s some more interesting tidbits on Galarraga. Prior to today’s start, he had a .329 batting average against when hitters put the first pitch into play. After the first pitch, regardless of the count after that first pitch, Galarraga has a .192 batting average against. To round out the Galarraga situational stats, he’s gone to 3-0 to eleven batters and he’s walked all eleven. He hasn’t given up a hit nor has a batter even put the ball into play. Some of his other numbers are similarly odd. After going 3-1 to a batter, his line is .160/.553/.240. You wonder how often he just gives up the free pass and hopes he can get the next guy.
Miguel Cabrera belted his 20th homerun to give the Tigers the lead in the tenth. It was a huge shot that actually hit one of the cat walks in the dome. Cabrera would be the perfect guy to match up against Galarraga. Prior to today’s game, Cabrera was hitting .400 when he put the ball in play on the first pitch and he’s walked all thirteen times he’s gone to a 3-0 count.
Enough of the fun. There’s no doubt the Tigers need to win this week. After the White Sox, they come home to play the struggling Athletics. Hopefully the A’s are still struggling and the Tigers are riding a three game winning streak.