Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, April 24, 2006

Love that pitching!

The road continues to be berry, berry good to the Tigers. Of course, the Mariners' hitters were very, very kind to Detroit's pitchers. But that's probably not giving the Motor City Kitties enough credit.

Consider the competition, but the Tigers' pitching was outstanding during a three-game sweep of Seattle. Between the three of them, starters Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson, and Justin Verlander (YAY! We got to see him on TV!) only allowed one run over the weekend. And though the bullpen had its shaky moments, particularly Todd Jones' taking us back to the days of the "roller coaster" on Friday and Joel Zumaya allowing three runs yesterday, they got the Mariners out when it counted most. But the Tigers' best reliever right now, as Billfer pointed out, is probably Fernando Rodney. Jones got the save on Sunday because he pitched the ninth, but Rodney was in during the game's most important situation.

Zumaya, Rodney, and Jones look like a pretty fearsome late-inning threesome, giving the Tigers the type of bullpen they wanted last season with Kyle Farnsworth, Ugueth Urbina, and Troy Percival.

And the offense? Hey, it was good enough. Even when it looked like the Tigers might give themselves a cushion yesterday, after Craig Monroe's three-run homer, it turned out they really needed those runs. Don't the good teams combine good pitching and timely hitting? It's looking more and more like Detroit deserves to be placed in that category.

At the risk of repeating myself, however, I hope the Tigers maintain their focus for the next three games against Anaheim Los Angeles. At 10-9, the Angels look like they might still be trying to find themselves, so Detroit could be catching them at the right time. And the front of their rotation is going, which certainly won't hurt. No need to settle for a .500 West Coast road trip. Not when they're playing this well.

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