Ripping Nate Robertson for his recent performances has become something of a pastime here at BYB (though he hasn't been so bad that I've been able to use the "Eight-Run Nate" nickname I thought of a while ago). So if we're going to knock him when he's terrible, he also deserves praise when he's good. And today was one of those days.
Sure, you could point to the Oakland (Triple) A's and say they don't provide much competition. So allowing one run and five hits over 7 2/3 innings is exactly what Robertson should do against a team like that. But if he was at least beating all the teams he was supposed to beat (which, in fairness, is pretty much what he's done), and taking his chances against the better teams, wouldn't he have a better record right now? With a few more games like this, he just might.
If you want to nitpick about the offense, however, you could. Because Greg Smith basically beat himself today with seven walks, yet the Tigers could only score one run. Making pitchers pay for putting runners on base is a problem Detroit has struggled with all season. But maybe the Tigers hitters just needed to see a more familiar face. Once Huston Street took over for Smith (and it was kind of shocking to see him come in for middle relief), Detroit got the big hits to drive those runs in.
Just as Nate Robertson should defeat lesser competition, so should the Tigers. Taking two of three is really the least they should do, and this part of the schedule is a stretch many people pointed to as a reason Detroit should be able to stay in the AL Central race. Unfortunately, they haven't consistently been beating the teams they should, so when they lose to those of equal or better talent... well, that's how you end up with a record below .500.
I think we're entering those so-called dog days of summer. Between that, and some other competition for TV time (PGA Championship, Olympics), along with the fact that it was a pretty pleasant Sunday afternoon, it was a little thin in the GameThread. Big thanks to wepri31, Wingz (thanks for helping out with the lineups), explosivo2k2, Rogo, TFerg1103, ashmark, ahtrap, rook34, and ThaWalrus9 for spending part of their afternoon here!