Binge Drinking: A Cool Six-Pack

Jeff Weaver threw 74 of his 113 pitches for strikes tonight, including a fat one to Brandon Inge that was sent over the fence to tie the game. On several occassions, Weaver was visibly upset with home plate umpire “Country” Joe West. West, in Weaver’s mind, was squeezing too tight of a zone and not calling several pitches on the black. Shortly after one such incident, he made his mistake pitch and Inge made him pay. Weaver stayed strong, however, because despite allowing a triple to the very next batter, Ramon Santiago, he got out of the jam and held the game at 1-1.

Fast forward to the eighth inning. Once again Inge caused troubled, drawing a walk off of Weaver right after a Craig Monroe strikeout. Then, on a groundball to second, Inge managed to avoid being put out on the fielder’s choice giving the Tigers 1st and 2nd with two outs. Two outs haven’t bothered the Tigers in their homestand at all and Alexis Gomez delivered a single to score Inge for the go-ahead and eventual winning run in Wednesday’s 2-1 win.

Starter Nate Robertson, who left with a no-decision, struck out six, walked two, and allowed four hits with his lone blemish coming in the first inning on a Vladimir Guerrero sac fly. Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney teamed to close the door and extend the Tigers’ winning streak to six games. According to mlb.com, “The Tigers have allowed just five runs over their last six games, tied for the best streak in franchise history and last accomplished in July 1986.”

In 71 innings of work, the bullpen has struck out 51 while walking 25. They have collected a 1.06 WHIP and allowed With Todd Jones returning, the Tigers have a powerful two-closer combo with he and Rodney. Jones, Rodney, and Zumaya all rank in the top 25 for relievers in Baseball Prospectus’ Expected Wins (WX). Jamie Walker ranks 26th.

In tomorrow’s getaway day, Justin Verlander (3-2, 3.52) squares off against Kevin Gregg (1-0, 0.84), who is making his first start of the season. The team then heads out on a nine-game road trip visiting Minnesota, Baltimore, and Cleveland.

The Win Probability Graph from FanGraphs.com
May 3rd WPG

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