I wanted a split, and a split is what I got. It sure took a power display and a roller-coaster ride to get there. For a while there it looked like Jeremy Bonderman was finally going to be the one to pitch some good innings, maybe even get into the eighth. Then something happened with two outs in the sixth and I don’t know what. He left after 5.2 innings with only 74 pitches thrown, but not being able to get that last hitter. Joel Zumaya finally bent, although it was through hits, not walks, and the runs scored when Phil Coke was on the mound. Coke ended up vulturing the win after pitching a scoreless bottom of the eighth, and Valverde got the save rather easily (though perhaps it’s good they’re leaving when they are; Josh Hamilton is showing signs of coming around).
Offensively, this game started the way the previous game did: A lot of runs early and then nothing in the middle innings. Until Brandon Inge hit a massive 2-run homer, that is. His average had been steadily going down on this road trip, and I was beginning to wonder if he was pressing, since he hadn’t homered yet. Maybe he had been, because after that home run, he laced a double down to left that almost got out, and then homered again in his last at-bat. The big hero was Miguel Cabrera again, who homered off Neftali Feliz right before Inge did. For all the (probably deserved) hype about Feliz and how dominant he is, the Tigers don’t seem to have that big a problem with him (of course, Ramon Santiago gave all the Tigers a good long look at all the pitches Feliz throws).
And after a not-great-but-satisfactory road trip, it’s time to don the home whites for a little while. I saw so little of the last homestand that to me it’s almost like they’ve been on the road for this entire season. And while the Tigers got into