It's a big stretch, but one of the bright sides of last night's 5-0 loss to Cleveland is that the Tigers were able to avoid the awkward situation of Todd Jones having to come in for a save situation two days after being told he was no longer the closer. Jim Leyland wouldn't have had a choice, with Fernando Rodney gassed out from throwing 42 pitches and Joel Zumaya's right triceps tightening up on Sunday.
Tonight, however, Detroit should have its regular late-innings crew available to protect a lead. That is, if the Tigers' lineup can generate any offense against Matt Ginter. (Leyland says he'll try to avoid using Rodney if he can help it, however.)
After receiving electro-stimulation treatments on the muscle, Zumaya played catch on Monday afternoon and said he felt fine. Leyland says he could've pitched last night, if needed. Zumaya, however, sounds a bit nervous about a relapse.
"It's all right," Zumaya said. "I just threw a little bit."
When asked if he was relieved that the condition turned out to be nothing, Zumaya said, "We don't know if it's nothing yet, but it felt fine. I took a little medicine. But you don't need to make a big deal out of it."
If Zumaya goes tonight, he might not be able to use his full complement of pitches. According to Leyland, the Tigers' medical staff thinks the triceps tightness might be due to the way Zumaya throws his curveball. Didn't Leyland just tell Zumaya he needed to mix his breaking stuff in with those fastballs? Maybe Zumaya and Chuck Hernandez can tweak his mechanics before tonight's game.