Wednesday, April 29, 2009

News and notes

Justin Verlander had his best outing of the season the other night against the Yanks. Hopefully, it wasn't a mirage. The Detroit Tigers Weblog had this interesting article about his struggles prior to Monday night.

Detroit's starters have thrown 16 straight scoreless innings heading into tonight's game against NY. Over the last 12 games, the starters have a 3.07 ERA.

Brandon Inge has reached base in all 20 games this year. It's the longest streak by a Tiger to open the year since 2005 when Inge reached in 21 consecutive. Given Inge's struggles at the plate, that's rather odd.

Josh Anderson has been a pleasant surprise at the dish. He's batting .351/.400/.486 with nine runs, six RBI, and six SB as Detroit's top part-timer. Unfortunately, he had a rough go of it last night in the field. His misplaying of a soft liner in the seventh inning helped open the floodgates to a 10-run NY outburst.

Last night's game was the first time in history that an AL game tied 0-0 in the seventh inning or later was broken up by a 10-run inning. It happened once, in 1919, in the NL.

Edwin Jackson threw 117 pitches in 6 innings last night, and Robinson Cano was a big reason why. Cano was a foulball-producing machine. Over two ABs, he made Jackson throw 22 pitches.

The Tigers are 9-1 when leading after six innings. They are 2-8 when trailing or tied after six innings.

Detroit's batting order from 1-5 has been almost written in stone. With only two exceptions, it's been Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen. From there, it's most often been Gerald Laird, Brandon Inge, Brandon Inge, and Adam Everett. Yep, Inge is the person with the most appearances in both the 7 and 8 spots. Otherwise, Laird, Anderson and Ramon Santiago have seen time there.

Rick Porcello pitches tonight for the Tigs. When he made his major league debut on April 9 at Toronto, he faced Ricky Romero, who also was in his big league debut. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time since the draft began in 1965 that two first-round picks faced each other in their MLB debuts.

Dontrelle Willis will start for Triple-A Toledo on Friday.

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