This was kind of a peculiar game in that it lent totally different perspectives regarding media vs. bloggers. If you listen to the bloggers, this is one of the toughest losses of the season. If you listen to the radio, it’s a loss that may be the start of something good. At any rate, Edwin Jackson did not have a lot of command, something that you can’t get away with against the Red Sox. Fu Te Ni was probably the most effective pitcher the Tigers used. He did give up a home run to Jason Bay, but it was one of the worst-hit home runs you’ll ever see (I seriously thought it was a popup to shallow left when it came off his bat). The offense DID show more life than it normally does on the road. Polanco in particular seems to have heated up, and Magglio had a really good night at the plate. The fact that Adam Everett was not pinch-hit for in the eighth inning has caused a lot of debate online. I agree that you’d probably want someone better at driving in runs in that situation, but it’s not like the alternatives were that attractive. Raburn and Santiago are far more likely to strike out than Everett (plus, Leyland probably wanted to save Raburn in case he needed to pinch-hit for Guillen later), and Leyland has explicitly said that Avila is off-limits as a pinch-hitter.
Tonight, Rick Porcello tries to maintain the momentum he’s built from his last couple starts, which have been good. He did not fare so well against the Red Sox back in June. This’ll be even harder than that. This was supposed to be John Smoltz’s spot in the rotation, and the “win at all costs” side of me really wishes that it still was. In his career, Smoltz has a 10.32 ERA against the Tigers, and that was BEFORE his struggles this year. Alas, it’s not to be. Instead, the Tigers will face Junichi Tazawa, whom they themselves were interested in during the offseason. Tazawa took the loss in relief during that extra inning game at Yankee Stadium, but he’s put up some real good numbers at Double A. I’m at work tonight, but considering how long Red Sox games tend to be, it may only be the fourth or fifth inning by the time I get home.