The first five innings of this game were pretty bizarre. There were two pickoffs, a strange play at first where Sean Casey tripped over the bag while still making the play and then a border line obstruction call on Wil Ledezma in the fifth. Ledezma was tossed but not after the obstruction play but after the following hitter (Jason Kubel) singled home two runs. Jim Leyland joined him while getting standing ovation for laying into the home plate umpire.
As interesting as all of these things were, the Tigers got beat down to the tune of eleven runs on seventeen hits. Justin Verlander threw just three frames and he gave up five runs and the only Tiger reliever of the four used that didn’t get credited with a run was Jason Grilli and even he allowed an inherited runner to score.
Gary Sheffield looks to be heating up. He went three for four with a run and he almost scored another one but he got gunned down at the plate. He’s one more good game away from getting out from below the Mendozza line. Carlos Guillen had three hits and he was a homerun short of the cycle while Placido Polanco had yet another multi-hit game with three singles and two runs.
The Tigers haven’t been swept yet, but with Johan Santana on the mound tomorrow, it’s looking like this might be the series. Maybe Mike Maroth can pull a gem out of his pocket and pitch the Tigers to a win but he’s going to have to be pretty flawless to pull it off.