It seems like it’s feast or famine for this year’s Tigers and at least the last four games, it’s been a famine. The Tigers followed up nine walks with just three hits and the end result was eleven men left on base in a 6-3 loss to the Red Sox. Gary Sheffield drew three of those walks and Marcus Thames had the big hit for the Tigers with a two run single that capped off a two run seventh inning.
I’m not a huge fan of the lineup changes, but at the end of the day, lineup construction has just a small effect on a given game. I know Gary Sheffield has a sub-.200 batting average, but he has a team high 20 walks. Then again, the guy who replaced him in the three spot, Carlos Guillen, is right behind him with eighteen. What I thought would have made more sense would have been to drop Granderson and his 1.192 OPS down and then move Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen into the 1/2 slots. The problem then is, you don’t want to drop Granderson all the way to sixth. I’ll have to run the numbers in the lineup calculator when I get a chance to see what the numbers say make the most sense. It was interesting seeing Ivan Rodriguez hitting behind Matt Joyce though.
And have you noticed Granderson has struck out just six times with ten walks in his twelve games back. Not too shabby. It’s also funny that he’s just one homer back of the team lead after missing all of that time.
Matt Joyce drew a walk in his first big league plate appearance but finished the game 0 for 2. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets the start tonight with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield on the mound.
Jeremy Bonderman fell to 2-3 and he made two big mistakes (homeruns to Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis. Clay Rapada and Todd Jones also gave up runs that didn’t help out the cause.
Nate Robertson gets the nod tonight. He’s coming off of his first win of the season, but he’s given up at least four runs in all six of his starts this season. Despite the struggles, he leads the Tigers with 27 strikeouts and he’s only walked nine but hitters have a .294 batting average against him.