ALCS Game 1 Non-Sequiturs

Cramming to get some work done so I can watch tonight’s game then fly to Oakland tomorrow morning for Game 2. Dig in:

  • I don’t understand all the consternation over starting Nate Robertson tonight. If, as some are suggesting, the Tigers start Justin Verlander in Game 1, I think you upset the rotational apple cart for the rest of the series. Yes, I’m an unabashed Robertson fan (Gum Time notwithstanding) but I think it’s the right decision to give him the ball.

    I understand that means you only get Jeremy Bonderman for one start in the ALCS but so what? The upside is you get Kenny Rogers and Verlander twice each in the series. I’m sure Doug will weigh in on this topic.

  • Speaking of Nate, here are his stats against Oakland:

    Lifetime: 2-2, 5.46 ERA, 4 G, 4 GS, 0 CG, 28.0 IP, 23 H, 17 R, 17 ER, 7 BB, 14 K.
    In 2006: 1-1, 5.79 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 14.0 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 6 K.

    Last Start/Win:
    July 23, 2006 at Detroit, 8-4 (7.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K).
    Last Loss:
    July 3, 2006 at Oakland, 5-3 (7.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K).

  • Old habits die hard. I was listening to Baseball Beat yesterday and Chuck Wilson was interviewing Tom Haudricourt, a beat writer from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. As they were talking about the Tigers’ post-game, on-field revelry on Saturday, Haudricourt was wondering how Detroit could top that celebration if they won the ALCS and then World Series. Read this original lead:

    If celebrations are ratcheted up for each round of the post-season, you have to wonder what the Detroit Tigers will do if they topple Oakland in the American League Championship Series.

    Hang naked from chandeliers? Shoot off enough fireworks to put any 4th of July display to shame? Burn down the city?

    OK, so they already tried that last one when the Tigers won the 1984 World Series. And it wasn’t the players but a bunch of shameless hooligans who got out of hand that year.

    How droll.

    Seriously, shouldn’t the copyeditor step in and say ÒTom, not only is that not even close to original, it refers to a 22-year-old event. Try again.Ó?

  • Here are some stats for tonight’s pitching matchups:

    Robertson’s career numbers vs. Athletics

    AVG-AB-H-HR
    Bradley: .333 3-1-0
    Chavez: .286 7-2-0
    Crosby: .500 10-5-0;
    Ellis: .250 12-3-0
    Johnson: .200 5-1-0
    Kendall: .071 14-1-0
    Kielty: .250 8-2-1
    Kotsay: .000 7-0-0
    Melhuse: .000 1-0-0;
    Payton: .267 15-4-2
    Perez: .333 3-1-0
    Scutaro: .250 8-2-1
    Swisher: .000 11-0-0
    Thomas: .300 10-3-1.

    Zito career stats vs. Tigers

    AVG-AB-H-HR
    Casey .600 5-3-1
    Granderson .500 2-1-0
    Guillen .200 30-6-2
    Infante .167 12-2-0;
    Inge .125 24-3-0
    Monroe .095 21-2-1
    Ordonez .130 23-3-0
    Perez .500 16-8-0
    Polanco .636 11-7-0
    Rodriguez .308 26-8-1;
    Santiago .000 2-0-0
    Thames .000 3-0-0
    Wilson .250 4-1-1.

  • In 1987, the Tigers had an emotionally draining end to the season and moved on to the ALCS…where they were spanked by an inferior Twins team. Will there be a hangover this time around? Will they come out flat tonight? Methinks not but if the Tigers drop Game 1, rest assured Òthe letdownÓ will be brought up by sages far and wide.

    One more thought on that: Remember last year? The Angels beat the Yankees at home, flew to Chicago and had to play less than 24 hours later? The Halos dealt the Sox their only loss in the postseason but then quickly ran out of gas. I’m just sayin’.

  • Definitely listen to the Baseball Today podcast. It’s a great preview of both LCS.

Finally, what is the screening process for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight as it relates to bringing in players for postseason ÒanalysisÓ? God God, man. Gary Matthews Jr.? Eduardo Perez? Who’s next, Grahame Lloyd?

Enjoy the game tonight. Tigers win 3-1.

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