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Tigers at Padres 06/14/05-06/16/05

Game 1 (Final Score: 8-4, Tigers win)

Returning home after that dreadful Colorado skiing trip, the Tigers got to face a top notch squad in the Padres. There was a two hour rain delay and the Tigers were Jekyll before and Hyde after it. Ginter took over the pitching duties from Johnson per Trammell’s established policy and provided some motivation for the hitters in his first inning of work. In the third the Padres played some National League ball with Ginter’s help. Khalil Greene lead off with a single, was sacrificed to second, and was on third with two out and Ryan Klesko at bat. Dmitri Young botched Klesko’s effort and Greene crossed the plate (1-0).

After the rain delay the Tigers’ hitters remembered how to put the ball in play successfully. During the first two innings the Tigers exhibited great skill in both missing the ball when they swung at it and successfully keeping it in the infield (Jekyll). Shelton and Giarratano wasted their at bats so Logan looked pretty pathetic with his two out walk. In an effort to look manlier, he stole second (enter Hyde). Inge was facing a 3-1 count and Jake Peavy threw him a pitch he probably wanted back; To get it however, he’d have to go wrestle a fan in the fountain (1-2). Polanco continued his hot hitting with a double and Young redeemed his miscue in the top half with an RBI single (1-3).

Doug Creek took the reins in the sixth and started ugly. Klesko benefited from another Tiger miscue, Creek’s, and reached second base on another infield grounder. Fernando Rodney was called on to keep the Tigers’ lead and he couldn’t do it. Phil Nevin scored Klesko from third with one out used and Mark “I wanna be like Mike” Sweeney doubled him home to tie the game (3-3). Klesko must have felt bad for the home fans because he made a fielding error that benefited the Tigers in the bottom half. With White and Polanco on first and second, Klesko’s head started spinning and he spewed projectile vomit and lost the ball hit towards him in the mess. White and Polanco both scored when the rest of the Padres went to help him out and poor Monroe was trying to clean himself up at first base (3-5).

The Tigers provided some insurance runs in the eighth. Polanco singled, stole second, and scored on White’s triple (3-6). Rodriguez hit an RBI single, stole second, and scored on Monroe’s RBI single (3-8). Shelton kept the magic going with a single but Giarratano Muggled the magic with a double play ball. Walker, Farnsworth, and Percival finished the game out from the seventh on and only Percival allowed a run on Sweeney’s solo homer (4-8).

Game 2 (Final Score: 2-8, Tigers win)

Pretty much all that needs to be said about today’s game was covered by Maroth (quote from espn.com’s recap) “Today felt good,” he said. “I haven’t been pitching with leads very often lately.” Maroth has pitched well enough to win most nights out this year but he’s still lost five games in a row, mostly due to the Tigers’ well documented offensive incompetence. Maroth quickly ended his shutout bid with no outs in the first when Greene produced the first run with his RBI double (1-0). In the second the Tigers closed the gap with Polanco scoring on White’s double (1-1). Polanco has been an absolute hitting beast since he came over from the Phillies and is making me quickly forget how to spell Ugueth Urbina.

In the second the Tigers gave Maroth his first lead in about a month. Monroe and Shelton were on after a single and an error and one out was used by Giarratano’s popped up bunt. Logan’s fielder’s choice gave Inge runners at the corners, who made second after the throw home on his run scoring single (1-2). Polanco bested Inge’s feat, scoring two runs with his single, and the inning got really interesting (1-4). Adam Eaton loaded the bases with a walk to Young and a hit White to face I. Rodriguez. Pudge demonstrated his usual impatience and hit the second pitch for out number three into right fielder’s mitt.

Maroth stuck it on cruise control in the second and abused the Padres the rest of the time he was on the mound. In the third the Tigers extended the lead with back-to-back doubles from Monroe and Shelton (1-5). The last man Eaton faced was Logan and he drew a walk. His relief, Darrell May, followed with another walk to Inge after Logan stole second. Polanco plated Shelton from third and May got Young to end the inning with a double play (1-6). May struck again in the seventh, allowing a double and home run to White and Monroe respectively (1-8).

Franklyn German was given the opportunity to end the game quietly and he wasn’t terrible. He started the ninth with a walk to Klesko, got Nevin to miss strike three, uncorked a wild one that advanced Klesko to second, and gave up Robert Fick’s RBI single before ending the game with a 6-4-3 double play (2-8).

Game 3 (Final Score: 1-3, Tigers win)

With the series already won, Bonderman faced Woody Williams with a chance to pitch the Tigers into a sweep of another first place team. Except for the first and seventh innings, Bonderman was very good. Dave Roberts was the first Padre on in the first and he thoughtfully batted himself home with his lead off homer (1-0). After two quick outs, Bonderman had a first base giveaway party attended by Brian Giles and the less famous Sweeney, Mark. Ramon Hernandez was Bonderman’s next opponent and he struck out to end the inning. In the second, the less famous Sweeney hit a single that went for two bases after the error by Monroe. He was joined on base by Geoff Blum who earned a one out walk. Greene had a real opportunity to do some damage with the Tigers ahead by only a run but Bonderman induced an inning ending double play.

The Tigers scored runs in the second, third, and seventh. Chris Shelton tied the game on his single, the third consecutive hit of the inning, scoring Pudge (doubled, advanced on Monroe’s single) from third (1-1). Inge tripled to start the third and scored on Young’s sacrifice fly (1-2). Shelton led off the seventh with his first major league homer (1-3). The offense provided just enough runs to give Bonderman his eighth win and Percival his fifth save.

I’m not going to complain about the offensive output in this series but the Tigers are still impatient at the plate. If you look at the pitch-by-pitch logs you’ll see a lot of at bats that aren’t longer than four pitches. The one thing that doesn’t show up is what kinds of pitches they are swinging at early in the count; All these pitches they’re choosing could be really good ones to hit but since so many are going for groundballs I’m a little skeptical. Just something to watch for those of you that are lucky enough to get Tigers broadcasts on the TV.

T Giarratano 10 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
A Gomez 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
O Infante 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
B Inge 12 3 4 3 1 9 0.333 0.750
N Logan 7 2 0 0 2 0 0.000 0.000
C Monroe 11 3 5 3 0 9 0.455 0.818
P Polanco 12 4 6 3 0 7 0.500 0.583
I Rodriguez 11 2 3 1 0 4 0.273 0.364
C Shelton 11 2 4 3 0 8 0.364 0.727
R White 10 3 3 2 1 6 0.300 0.600
D Young 9 0 1 2 1 1 0.111 0.111









J Bonderman 7 4 1 1 3 4 1.29 1.00
D Creek 0.1 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
K Farnsworth 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.00
F German 1 1 1 1 1 1 9.00 2.00
M Ginter 3 3 1 0 0 1 0.00 1.00
J Johnson 2 1 0 0 1 1 0.00 1.00
M Maroth 8 6 1 1 0 5 1.13 0.75
T Percival 2 2 1 1 0 0 4.50 1.00
F Rodney 1 2 1 1 0 0 9.00 2.00
J Walker 2.1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.48
Totals 27 19 7 5 6 13 1.67 0.93

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