Due to school/work, I had not seen the “new and improved” Nate Robertson since he’s come off the DL, at least not in a start. I still haven’t seen that version of him. Nate had no command whatsoever. He walked five and the only reason he only gave up two runs is because of the strong wind knocking balls down. Obviously, you can’t say with 100% certainty that the groin injury was the cause of his problems, but you can certainly suspect that. Nate had several problems last year and this year. Walks were not one of them. He had issues with putting hitters away, but those normally resulted in base hits, not walks. At any rate, the injury finally forced him out of the game and brought Armando Galarraga in. Now, I did not want to see Armando in this game, although probably for different reasons than everyone else. He actually looked very good for the first inning and two-thirds that he was in there. However, between the injury and the fact that he hasn’t pitched much in over two weeks, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of stamina right now, and it appeared like he ran out of steam. The line as a reliever is not good, but in and of itself it’s not so bad. He didn’t get a lot of help from his friends. I can’t be sure about this, but on the Barajas home run, it looked like it was gonna stay in the park and Raburn actually knocked the ball over the fence. And the third run scored on the Ruiz home run that Ryan Perry gave up. Ryan Perry has not had a scoreless outing (and by that, I include his own runs and inherited runners that he’s allowed to score) since August 26th, the last game of the Angels series, and even that was an adventure. Jim Leyland was quoted as saying that the add-on runs are killing them, immediately adding that “some guys are getting too casual.” Was that aimed at Perry? At any rate, Robertson had to have an MRI and will NOT make his next start. So who will make it? Obviously, the leading candidates would be Galarraga, Miner, and Bonine, but all three have their issues. Galarraga has already made three good starts against Kansas City this year, but he’s not 100% healthy and is arguably not stretched out enough right now. Miner has the best stuff of the three, but hasn’t been good at throwing strikes recently. And Bonine is the best at throwing strikes, but gives up too many home runs. I suppose a lot of that will be dictated by how the bullpen is used in the rest of this series.
Okay, tonight we need Edwin Jackson to pitch deep into this game because right now the bullpen is out of whack and could use a night off to straighten things out. Because of the day off, he does have an extra day of rest, which is good, since he threw a lot of pitches his last time out. Jim Leyland left him out there long enough to turn a loss into a win thanks to Brandon Inge’s ninth-inning grand slam against the Rays. He pitched a good game against the Blue Jays in his very first start of the year (a start which I did not see, by the way) but was denied a win because, well, Brandon Lyon struggled in April. He’ll be opposed by native Canadian Scott Richmond, who is the lone righty that the Tigers will see in this series. He has struggled recently, just like Tallet, although Richmond’s problem tends to be one big inning. Outside of that, he’s fine. Like his last start. He gave up five runs to the Twins in the first inning, but only gave up one run after that in five or six innings. I’ll be at work tonight (I hate closing on Saturdays), so it’s the late innings for me.