Why is it that the Detroit Tigers seem absolutely incapable of winning the first game of a series? Is it some of that "if it ain't rough, it ain't right" Detroit Pistons mentality creeping in? Whatever it is, it's hugely annoying.
When was the last time the Tigers won the first game of a series? July 17, after the All-Star break, against the Baltimore Orioles. That was eight series ago.
Let's just do it bullet-point style tonight:
- Once again, Nate Robertson stunk, giving up five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. I don't know what the Tigers have in mind for him, as he continues to go out there and give his team no chance to win every three or four starts. But I hope they don't see him as part of next year's starting rotation. Is trying him out as a reliever even possible? (He'd have to be the closer, with that contract.) I'd rather see him in another uniform next season.
- I also hope the Tigers have gotten over any idea that Todd Jones was terrible because he was injured. Maybe he's not completely healthy yet either, after just returning from the disabled list, but Jones was just as awful as he was before going on the DL. At least Jonesy throws strikes? Not tonight. Five runs on three hits and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning. Even if that was nowhere near a save situation, that should be the last time Jones sees a ninth inning with the Tigers. And if the bullpen wasn't already so bad, I think he'd be looking at being designated for assignment.
Melvin Mora owns Tigers pitching. Including tonight's 3-for-4, he's batting .474 against Detroit with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
- Where was Brandon Inge's head tonight? The Orioles' scoring started when he misplayed Magglio Ordonez's throw from right field, and his lack of urgency in finding - let alone blocking - the ball let a second run come in. 0-for-4 at the plate, too.
- At least you got some excitement if you turned the channel to watch Michael Phelps (barely) win his seventh gold medal of the Beijing Olympics. Even better, it happened during most of Jones' ninth-inning meltdown.
- There are so many damn questions surrounding this team right now. The Daily Fungo has listed 17 (!!) of them to ponder. What's terrifying is that none of them seem to come with easy answers.