First off, congratulations to both Frank Thomas for hitting 500 homeruns and Craig Biggio for racking up 3,000 hits. Both are significant milestones and I’ve always been a fan of both players so it’s nice seeing them get their due.
Kenny Rogers had another nice outing in the Tigers series finale against the Rangers. He picked up the win and he improved to 2-0 and the biggest surprise was that he actually gave up a run. The last time he did that was as a reliever in the Tigers final regular season game against the Royals, which is also the last time he lost. Counting the post season, he’s given up one run in 35 innings and he’s 5-0 in his last five starts.
Gary Sheffield hit one of those “no doubt about it” homers yesterday to open the game up. Man, when he gets a hold of the ball does he send it into the stands. Carlos Guillen drove in two runs and he’s now driven in a run in eleven consecutive games. The Tiger record is 12, which is held by Mickey Cochrane and Rudy York (the Yahoo recap doesn’t say when they did it) so he can tie that team mark tonight.
Chad Durbin gave up a run in two innings and Todd Jones came in and pitched a perfect ninth. A lot of people forget that after a rough June in 2006, Todd Jones had an exceptional second half of the season (1.07 WHIP, 1.80 ERA) and at one point, he saved eighteen consecutive games. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jones, who seems to get motivated after a bad stretch, does the same thing this year and gives the Tigers some quality innings after the break.
Next up is a pretty important series against the Twins. Not only could the Tigers keep their razor thin, half game lead in the Central with a good series, but they could further bury the Twins, who sit six games back of the Tigers and have hung on at a modest distance behind the indians and Tigers. Tonight’s pitching matchup should be a great one as Justin Verlander goes up against Johan Santana. I do like how the pitching matchups go in the other two games so if the Tigers can get to Santana, that should set themselves up for a good series. And they also get some more national recognition because Saturday’s game will be on FOX again and Sunday they’re back on ESPN.