Tag Archives: Nate Robertson

One More Time

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“You’re out on the town, safe in the crowd
Ready to go for the ride
Searching the eyes, looking for clues
Theres no way you can hide
The fire inside”

-Bob Seger, “The Fire Inside”

It’s fitting that Nate Robertson gets the start for the Tigers today. With the the Tigers’ first division title in 22 years hanging in the balance, we hand the ball to a guy who, at the beginning of this season, pretty much said if he wasn’t starting, didn’t want to be here. Yet, here we are, four games to go, and Robertson is getting the nod. Shows what happens when you buy into something, eh Nate?

This Tiger team may be the greatest metaphor that the city of Detroit has ever seen. A down-and-out group during the preseason who hardly anyone gave a chance to do much of anything. A division title? Forget it. It won’t happen. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Detroit as a city rebounding? No way. It’s over.

Is it?

This city has long held the Tigers close, despite being treated to a number of terrible seasons where hope seemed to run out on Day One of the season. Sure, attendance dropped and money was lost, but the one thing that always stayed constant was the love of a team that most closely resembles the state of the city as a whole. Some will argue that the Lions are a more fitting metaphor: a bunch of losers with no way out and no hope of ever bouncing back. Yet, the Lions did get that first win last week, and although I don’t follow the team that closely, it was a great moment and a step in the right direction. Some will argue that the Red Wings are the face of the city. I disagree. The Red Wings are kings of the city, expected to succeed, and when they don’t, everyone is surprised. They are the gold standard that the city itself hopes to one day achieve. They are the success story that every true Detroiter wishes its city would become.

No, the city itself most closely aligns itself to the Tigers, a group who are constantly up and down and who you are never quite sure will actually pull it off or hang on to do something great. But it’s their character that connects us to them. Their love of what they do, the support that they give the city, the hope that they provide for the downtrodden. They are the great success story of Detroit, and they can put their seal of authenticity on their great tale today.

No, a win today is not a World Series victory, but it doesn’t need to be right now. The World Series experience in 2006 was a glorious and golden moment for this organization, but if you asked any Tigers fan about it, nine times out of ten you heard “This is great, but it sure would have been nice to win the Division.” I was one of those fans. In true “assembly line” fashion, the road to a championship needs all of the parts, and one of those is the satisfaction of grinding out 162 games and finishing what you started. All of those spring and summer matchups against “fill in the blank” that “didn’t mean anything”, well, those now mean a whole lot. Every game this team played this year means something now. Every hit, every run. It was all for the chance this team has today.

It’s fitting that in the year the Tigers are one step short of the division mountaintop, they also lost one of the great symbols of Tiger baseball. In 1987, the old stadium would have been rocking and rolling as the boys of summer put on the long sleeves and brought home the division. Today, it’s a new stadium that holds the opportunity, one that is yearning for a legacy of it’s own. It’s already been host to a pennant win and a World Series appearance, but now it’s time for the new park to wear a division crown. Since Tiger history never seems to fade away, it would be a fitting tribute to the ol’ ball park that used to live at Michigan and Trumbull if the Tigers win the division in the year that it died.

There are so many ways in which a win today would impact this city and this organization. I could sit here and list them for days. The truth is that for each of us, this means something unique. For me, it’s the vindication of growing up a diehard Tigers fan and thinking that I would never ever see this team win the division and make the playoffs. Sure, I’ve seen them in the playoffs. But that division win has been oh so elusive.

It’s in their grasp today. Pardon the pun, but can they finally “grab the Tiger by the tail?” I sure hope so.

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TT: Ugly, Ugly, Ugly

Yankees 11, Tigers 0

11-9, 1st in AL Central (1.0 GU on CHI/KC)

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(Photo courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press)

Edwin Jackson started the game hot. Went six innings, giving up only four hits. THEN:

  • Ryan Perry came in. He sucked.
  • Nate Robertson came in. He sucked.
  • Brandon Lyon came in. He too sucked.

The bullpen SUCKED to the tune of 10 runs in one inning.

Game over.

Probable starters for 4/29:

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (1-2, 4.50 ERA, 11 SO)
  • Yankees – Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 3.94 ERA, 11 SO)

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TT: Weekend Wrap Up

Sat: Tigers 4, Rangers 3

Sun: Tigers 6, Rangers 4

4-3, 1st in AL Central (0.5 GL)

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(Courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press)

  • Nothing remedies starting the season with a 1 –3 record quite like coming home and pulling off the three game sweep. And it’s not just the wins, it’s how this team did it. A dominant performance, a come-from-behind win and solid bullpen work showed that this team can indeed put it together and win in different ways. This is what championship teams do. I’m not saying this is a championship team. I’m just saying that they have the ability to play high caliber baseball and find wins in different situations. It’s nice to gain that confidence early.
  • Tip of the hat to Brandon Lyon for his work this weekend. After blowing a lead for Edwin Jackson this week in Toronto, Lyon came in and and pitched a perfect seventh and eight innings today, en route to his first win of the season. Also worth a nod is Nate Robertson, who came out of the bullpen on Saturday and picked up a win. Good things from the relievers this weekend.
  • How about Brandon Inge? A year ago, he was the odd man out in the “dream lineup” and was basically written off by Tigers fans. This year? By far the first week MVP and quickly moving back towards being the “Kris Draper” workhorse type figure for this club.

Probable starters for 4/13:

  • Tigers – Zach Miner (1-0, 1.59 ERA, 4 SO)
  • White Sox – Gavin Floyd (0-1, 2.57 ERA, 9 SO)

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TT: Time to Go Home

Blue Jays 6, Tigers 2

1-3, 4th in AL Central (1.5 GB)

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(Courtesy Nathan Denette/AP)

  • Rick Porcello got his first start today for the Tigers and managed to put together a respectable debut. Porcello have up four runs on nine hits over five innings of work, but did manage to strike out four on some nasty pitches. However, he struggled to get outs quickly, and also gave up a pair of home runs. Verdict? He’s going to be very good, but might need some time in the minors when Jeremy Bonderman returns.
  • Welcome back Nate Robertson! After your incessant complaining about not being a starter, your impressive relief outing earlier this week made some of us second guess why you were in the bullpen. But today you reminded us exactly why you aren’t in the rotation, as you came in and gave up a backbreaking double to make it a 4-2 game. That 2/3 of an inning pretty much put any hope of a comeback out to pasture.
  • Is it time to start questioning Jim Leyland when it comes to leaving pitchers on the mound? He took some (what I thought at the time was) undeserved heat when he failed to go get Edwin Jackson earlier this week, but I felt like he left Porcello out there way too long. You started to get the feeling that Porcello was losing it in the fifth, and I was surprised to see him come back for the sixth. Yes, the Tigers were still in the game, and I understand you want to let the kid work and see what he is made of, but it wound up costing us the game. Doesn’t say much for Leyland’s faith in the bullpen.

Probable starters for 4/10:

  • Tigers – Armando Gallaraga (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • Rangers – Kris Benson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

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Three Thoughts: Trashed.

This will be an ongoing segment following each Tigers game. Check in after each game and get some quick thoughts, feelings and other general observations.

Blue Jays 12

Tigers 5

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(Courtesy of Frank Gunn/AP)

  • Who had the worse night? Justin Verlander (3.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 19.64 ERA) or newly acquired Yankees “ace” C.C. Sabathia (4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, 0 HR, 12.46 ERA)? Either way, this was not what either team was expecting from their opening day hurlers.
  • How about much maligned Nate Robertson? Nate pitched with some fire (granted it was only one inning) and was one of the only bright spots for Tigers’ pitching with 2 K’s in one inning of work.
  • Does anyone know WTF happened to cause the ruckus in the stands? One minute the Tigers are getting whomped and the next minute, we have a nine minute delay and Jim Leyland is pulling his players off the field. From the sounds of it, there are some pretty embarrassed Jays fans after the incident.

Probable pitchers for 4/7:

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • Blue Jays – David Purcey (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

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