Blue Jays 7
WP: Ledezma (2-0)
LP: Ryan (0-2)
S: Jones (6)
Only one day removed from a stunning pitcher duel between Jeremy Bonderman and Roy Halladay -- a game in which the Tigers lost in extra innings after Bonderman only gave up one run over a span of nine innings -- the Tigers and the Jays combined for a total of 17 runs and 22 hits in a game that saw just about everything you could imagine from both teams.
It would be easy to say that this is why we love baseball; The simple fact that you never know what you're going to witness as a fan when two teams take the diamond. But, I'll admit it, in a way I feel we should have expected to see some runs on the board today on behalf of the Blue Jays lineup due to the Tigers use of Chad Durbin as the starting pitcher in this match up. Durbin, who has made only one start this season in place of the injured Kenny Rogers, failed to impress any of us in Baltimore last week; The Orioles knocked him around for six runs on nine hits in only 4.2 innings of work. Because of his relative failure in his Tigers' debut, combined with his little success as a major league starter (a 17-31 career record), Tigers fans just don't have too much of a reason to trust him as a legitimate starting pitcher right now.
I'm not discarding Durbin as a major league pitcher just yet, though. He could surprise us very easily as soon as his next start, but until then the Tigers will not have a great chance of winning, in my mind, when he is trotted out to the mound for a start.
While on that subject, Durbin gave up six runs once again today on eight hits in only four innings of work -- a performance included giving up two homeruns to the Jays' Alex Rios and Vernon Wells. Before the Tigers had gotten on the board in this one the Jays had already plated four runs in the first two innings -- not something an offense wants to go up against, especially when you're facing a lineup that can easily win "shootouts" or in other words, high scoring affairs. Plus you always have to be aware of the presence of a closer like BJ Ryan, who at times last season looked untouchable for the Jays.
But the beauty of baseball is that it's a team sport, where the poor production of one can easily be overshadowed by the positive production of others in the group. In today's case, Jason Grilli is deserving of a ton of credit for the victory, as he pitched three no-hit innings to allow the Tigers offense a chance to crawl back into the game; Something the lineup did a gutsy job of today.
This was a good victory, especially considering they needed to bounce back from what I would consider a heartbreaking loss on Friday night. When Overbay hit the homerun in the eighth to put the Jays back on top after the Tigers tied it in the top of the inning, I'll admit that I had little confidence in our lineup's ability to scrap together more hits off of BJ Ryan -- luckily Ryan had some control problems and the Tigers showed some great patience to get the three walks that led to the winning runs in the ninth.
Update [2007-4-14 20:52:23 by Mark]: Looks like Durbin will get another start on Friday against the White Sox, according to Danny Knobler's Tiger Insider:
Leyland doesn't believe in skipping his fifth starter early in the season. He thinks his other starters benefit from the extra day of rest. So it will be Durbin on Friday night against the White Sox, unless rainouts earlier in the week force changes.