Mother Nature looked like she might be a Chicago fan to start the day, when all signs pointed to a rain delay, or a potentially weather-shortened game. At the top of the third inning it started to pour, and it seemed unlikely the Tigers would be able to get through the five innings necessary to consider it a complete game.
The weather decided to play nice and the rain eased up by the fourth, just in time for the Tigers’ bats to get hot, hot, hot. In the bottom of the fourth the Tigers batted through the order and managed to collect a whopping four runs.
Jordan Zimmermann still didn’t look like the pitcher he was last April, but he had better command than in previous innings and collected five strike outs through five full innings work before being replaced by Blane Hardy in the sixth. Zimmermann gave up three earned runs on seven hits.
Francisco Rodriguez looked great in the final inning, striking out a pair and going 1-2-3 with little effort, looking like his old self. A great sign.
Justin Upton is quietly having one heck of a season and isn’t seeing nearly enough fanfare about it. He nailed a home run in his first at-bat in the second inning, then got another hit in the fourth. Upton joined John Hicks and Jim Adduci in each having a two-run game.
The offense. Everyone was awake and swinging early today, and it showed. Only Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler were without hits, and in Kinsler’s case it was because his base hit was a result of an error by White Sox short stop Tim Anderson. This game was a prime example of how good the Tigers’ offense can be if they learn to swing early and often. Before the seventh inning the Sox were only able to collect one strike out, that of Victor Martinez.
The weather. Before it eased up the rain definitely put a damper on the spirits of both players and fans alike. Though from an amusement perspective the Fox Sports crew got to obsess over the umbrella broken by a Victor Martinez foul ball out in left field. Poor Tony was promised a new umbrella but only got a Tigers poncho.
STREAKS AND INFO:
Multiple hit game for several members of the staff. Alex Avila and Nicholas Castellanos both collected three hits, meanwhile Jose Iglesias had three RBIs for the day.
Most importantly the Tigers ended their four-game losing streak by denying the White Sox a series sweep. It would be nice to see the Tigers figure out how to keep the offense this hot more often.
Mario Impemba announced the Tigers are averaging 3:21 a game right now, the longest in the American League. So if you thought these games have seemed extra long, it’s not your imagination. The Indians are also in the top five which means the coming week’s series could be a long one.