The Tigers latest slide continued as they dropped their fifth straight game. Curtis Granderson drove home Edgar Renteria on a sac. fly in the third and then Miguel Cabrera drove in two with his seventh run of the season. Unfortunately, it went down hill from there. Eric Byrnes took Jeremy Bonderman deep in the fifth to make it 3-1 and then he and Zach Miner combined to give up three in the seventh to make it a 4-3 loss. The game winner scored on a Carlos Guillen throwing error. I didn’t see the game so I don’t know what happened, but it’s his fifth error since taking over at third base.
Errors don’t always tell the whole story, but Guillen’s other numbers aren’t encouraging at third either. If you’re a fan of Revised Zone Rating, Guillen ranks pretty far down the list of AL thirdbasemen with a .643 RZR. Only three other third basemen with at least 100 innings have a lower RZR then Guillen and ironically, one of them is Miguel Cabrera. Only Morgan Ensberg and Mike Lamb have lower ratings then the two Tigers. Brandon Inge has the third best RZR of third basemen with at least 100 innings and he also hadn’t made an error.
So the question is, what’s the lesser of three evils. It looks like Guillen and Cabrera are a wash at best but you’d have to hope that Guillen would improve over time. Brandon Inge is by far the superior fielder, but then you have his bat in the lineup. Best case scenario is Gary Sheffield can play most of the rest of the season in left, and that would allow Guillen and Cabrera to swap time at DH, allowing Brandon Inge to get as much time at the hot corner as possible while still keeping the Tigers best bats in the order.
Jeremy Bonderman walked four and struck out five so his strikeout to walk imbalance is still there. At least he threw six solid innings. You can fault him, Miner and Guillen for the three runs in the seventh but I think this one falls on the offense. Once again they scored some runs early, but couldn’t finish and provide the kill.
Tonight it’ll be Armando Galarraga going up against rookie sensation Max Scherzer. Scherzer has an 18/3 strikeout to walk ratio and the way the Tigers have been hitting, this could be an ugly game if they don’t pick their spots. Should be a fun game to watch because Scherzer is one of those promising future stars.