Ryan Raburn probably isn't leaving anytime soon. Not if he keeps swinging the bat like he did on Friday night.
Jim Leyland admitted before the game that Raburn likely would've been the odd man out if Detroit decided they couldn't take a six-man bullpen on their west coast road trip. But could the Tigers really send Raburn - or Clete Thomas - down to Toledo with the way they've been playing recently? And could any pitcher added to the bullpen give the team what these two outfielders have provided?
Raburn blasted two home runs in his first two at-bats, giving Detroit virtually all of its offense against Oakland's Gio Gonzalez, who racked up nine strikeouts in less than six innings. In particular, he had a nasty curveball that got some bad swings from Tigers hitters. Maybe Gonzalez should've thrown a couple of those to Raburn.
Edwin Jackson, meanwhile, didn't look very sharp to begin with, as he had trouble locating his fastball. But after the second inning, during which the A's tied the game at 1-1, Jackson found his groove. He only allowed four hits in his remaining four innings, and was charged with a second run when Brandon Lyon gave up a double to Rajai Davis in the seventh. Fortunately, the Tigers' lineup (or, should we say, Ryan Raburn) scored just enough runs to make sure the effort wasn't wasted.
Fernando Rodney got the save in last night's boxscore, but Placido Polanco truly saved the game in the ninth inning. With a runner on second, pinch-hitter Nomar Garciaparra hit a hard groundball up the middle. But Polanco nabbed it with a fantastic backhand stop to get the out.
After an 0-for-4, two-strikeout night, Marcus Thames is batting 0-for-12 with five strikeouts in his last three games.
Comment of the Night:
by rock n rye
And your runner-up, which is sure to come up frequently over the next week.