The White Sox dropped two games to the Rangers this weekend, so the Tigers have extended their AL East lead to 6 1/2 games. They have the Indians and Devil Rays coming up over the next 10 days so they definitely have a shot to pad their lead if the White Sox should slip. Crammed in there is a series with the now relevant Minnesota Twins. Francisco Liriano pitched today, so he’ll be due to throw in the series. We’ll miss Johan Santana though. What will be nice is the White Sox and Twins go head to head early this week. One of them has to lose, so one of them will hopefully lose ground as long as the Tigers take care of Cleveland.
Dmitri Young went hitless today, but he reached on an error and scored and later had an RBI on a sac. fly. He didn’t look horrible at first base either. Most importantly, he didn’t cost us any games. This is kind of weird time for the Tigers to experiment but they have to know what they have with the trading deadline just over a week away.
Nate Robertson gave up two homeruns today, and while he never came close to giving up that six (and eventually eight) run lead the bats gave him in the first inning, he was hardly stellar. Hopefully he was pitching to the score but it was his first win in the month of July. His WHIP and batting average against are almost where they were last year, so it’ll be interesting to see whether his ERA regresses to the 4.48 he had last year or whether he can buck the trend and keep it under 4.00. He’s now won one more game then he did in 2005.
I’m surprised Leyland left Joel Zumaya in there for two innings with such a big lead. Maybe he didn’t want to see a repeat of Friday’s game when Roman Colon made things interesting and the tying run eventually reached the plate. I figured Grilli would have been better in there with a four run lead, saving Zumaya for tomorrow against the hard hitting Indians.
Good matchup of young pitchers. Jeremy Bonderman goes head to head against Cliff Lee. I wonder what’s going on in Cleveland on Wednesday, because it’s a 12:05 start. Pretty early.