Did I hear that the Comerica Park grounds crew was grateful for tonight's 7:05 p.m. start because they needed extra time to clean away the chalk outlines of Braden Looper and Kelvin Jiminez from the pitcher's mound? No one else heard that? It was just my imagination? Okay, if you say so.
As nice as it was to see the Tigers' bats break out from the mini day-night doubleheader slump they fell into at Boston, last night's fifth inning began to feel like watching someone continue to get punched after they've already been knocked unconscious. Even Sean Casey joined the hit parade, which has me thinking it's time to break out the ol' hypnosis pendulum again to make sure he sees a St. Louis Cardinals uniform every time he steps to the plate from here on out.
The last time Reyes took the mound in Detroit, however, he was a revelation. And his mastery over the Tigers' batters set the tone for what turned out to be an almost shockingly unproductive World Series. Since then, he hasn't been very good. At least that's what his record says. But a closer look at his statistics tells you that he's been the victim of some poor run support. It's enough to make the bill of Reyes' cap bend into a frown. Even Robertson might shake his head in sympathy when looking at those numbers.
But Detroit's bearded wonder has his own worries these days. In his last two starts, Robertson's gotten hammered and hasn't made it past the fifth inning. The Red Sox, in particular, worked him like an unpaid intern, forcing him to throw 115 pitches in only five innings. Judging from what we saw last night from the Cardinals, they don't seem capable of pushing Robertson that hard. Of course, he might not have the same stuff as Andrew Miller, either.
▪▪ MLB.com's Jason Beck says the lineup will be the same for the Tigers tonight. And depending on how Jeremy Bonderman is recovering from his "blister crater" (and that just doesn't sound good), the starting rotation will proceed as planned.
▪▪ Mike McClary has posted Episode #14 of The Detroit Tigers Podcast. In addition to talking about Miller's debut, Mike talks with Lee Panas of Tiger Tales about his trip to Lakeland and his eyewitness account of the Tigers in Boston.
▪▪ Viva El Birdos says there has never been a sweep when the two World Series teams face each other the next season in interleague play. (VEB also points out that Reyes pitches well against the American League.)