Rodney already warmed up for ninth
Once again, Fernando Rodney made an appearance in a non-save situation, where the stats show he struggles mightily compared with save opportunities. But to understand why the Tigers did it, keep in mind that Detroit had just a two-run lead before tacking on three runs in the bottom of the eighth as Rodney warmed up. By the time the Tigers had put the game out of reach, manager Jim Leyland, Rodney had already put in the warm-ups to be ready to pitch.
“It was a close game when I brought [Brandon] Lyon in,” Leyland said, “and then you’ve got Rodney warmed up. He had one inning [available] today. That’s all he had. But after he’s all warmed up and everything, you might as well pitch him. It’s like he pitched if you sit him down then, so go ahead and use him. If I had known at the beginning of the inning we were going to get some runs, obviously I’d have used somebody else in the ninth. But you can’t count on that.”
The non-save situation would also explain Rodney’s subdued reaction after the game. He never celebrates much after a win that wasn’t that close. I doubt it had anything to do with the ball in the stands from nine days ago, even though that was the first win he had finished off since then.
Leyland expects he’ll probably try to rest both Rodney and Lyon Monday. Fortunately for him, Justin Verlander works very well into that scenario.
- Brent Dlugach made his Major League debut Sunday as a pinch-runner, replacing Aubrey Huff in the eighth inning and scoring.
- Sunday’s win pushed this year’s Tigers in the tie with the 2006 team for the most home wins in a season (46) since the club moved into Comerica Park in 2000. These Tigers still have 11 games to go at home before the regular season ends.
- On the day the Lions opened their season with a loss at New Orleans, we note with others that Sunday marked the Tigers’ 150th victory since the Lions last won a game. The Tigers won 74 last year, and this was their 76th win of this season.