September 24th, 2007

Keep this in mind about Silva

Taken by itself, Monday’s 2-0 loss is a blown opportunity to keep their postseason hopes going, or at least not allow the Yankees to back in. However, losing a game like this to Carlos Silva is part of a pattern that goes back for most of the season.

Statistically, Silva isn’t much this year (12-14, 4.40 entering tonight), but he’s the kind of pitcher who has given the Tigers trouble all year — the sinkerball-throwing type that throws strikes, forces contact and induces ground balls. Fausto Carmona is a harder-throwing version. Roy Halladay is similar, but he’s in a class by himself. When these guys are on, they’re tough against any team, but they prove particularly challenging for the Tigers because they force Detroit hitters to try to manufacture offense on the ground. They had their chances at doing that tonight, but they never got that big hit.

Carlos Guillen was the only Tiger who could get the ball in the air off of Silva tonight, which probably explains why Guillen has hit him so well over the course of his career. Even so, all it got Guillen was three fly outs. His only hit came off Joe Nathan in the ninth.

Magglio back in lineup

He’s expected to be in there the rest of the way, so there should be no sandbagging in the batting race. It’s pretty much the regular lineup today:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Guillen, SS
  6. Rodriguez, C
  7. Perez, RF
  8. Casey, 1B
  9. Inge, 3B

On a side note, it’s one last trip to Detroit for ex-Tiger Rondell White, who says he’s 99 percent certain he’ll retire at season’s end rather than go through the injuries again. He has a newborn baby girl awaiting him at home, and he’s well-off financially to go home, be a dad and watch her grow up. So wish him well if you make it to the park for batting practice in the next couple days. He’s one of the nice guys who make baseball a good sport.