Game of the Day
Let 'em have it: A day after Chicago's Gavin Floyd took a no-hitter into the eighth, Detroit's bats again were silent (thank you, Javier Vazquez) and Tigers pitchers gave up six walks and 10 hits — including a pair of grand slams (thank you, Paul Konerko and Joe Crede).
Skip's not too happy: Manager Jim Leyland finally went RoboCop on his boys. What did he say? Did he have smoke coming out of his ears? OK, lots more extra smoke? "If I wanted you guys to know what I said to the team,” Leyland told reporters, “I’d invite you in here.” Touchy. However, Yahoo! Sports' baseball bigfoot, Jeff Passan, was on the scene with plenty of smoky details.
It ain't because you're 35-5: When the Elias Sports Bureau gets involved, it's usually because you've either been really good or really bad. The Tigers are 2-10, so it might not shock you to find out that there's almost no historical hope for them whatsoever, Bill Madden reports in the N.Y. Daily News.
Chrysler plant, here you come: Kenny Rogers, though he does have the team's one and only quality start, is 0-3 for the first time since Justin Verlander was 8 years old. Placido Polanco is 6-for-39 with 1 run scored. Gary Sheffield has 1 RBI. Miguel Cabrera has 2. Magglio Ordonez has 3. Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell ain't walking through that door, boys. Denny McLain is out on bond. Bo Schembechler can't fire Ernie Harwell again. The Supremes broke up. Axel Foley is off to Beverly Hills. It's all on Jason Grilli.
He's your All-Star: Where would the Tigers be without Brandon Inge, who has started at least 1 game at catcher, third base and center field? Probably 2-10 still, but he's batting .282 with 9 of the team's 30 RBIs.
Royals 5, Twins 1 — Sneaky sonovagun Brian Bannister (CG 3-hitter, 0 ER, BB, 3K) purposely works quickly in 29-degree wind chills to help subvert the return after 17 months of lefty Francisco Liriano. “I knew Liriano was coming back from an injury, he was rehabbing," Bannister said. "My goal was to get on and off the field as fast as possible and keep him out there, because I knew he was going to get tired. I’ve been in that situation before.” Why you little!... “I came up with Liriano,” Bannister continued. “I played with him at several different levels. He’s always had a tremendous slider and been a tremendous strikeout pitcher. I know that pitch, the way he throws it, is hard on his elbow. And I knew he was going to be trying to throw more for strikes today." If Ron Gardenhire ever gets his hands on you... “He’s going to be a good pitcher again. We were just trying to take advantage of the fact we knew he was going to get tired in the third or fourth inning,” Bannister concluded. Looks like everything went to plan, Mr. Bannister.
Blue Jays 5, Rangers 4 (10 inn.) — B.J. Ryan is back at closer and the Jays swept a 3-game series at Arlington for the first time since '85, when Bobby Cox was managing them against the Rangers' Bobby Valentine, master of disguise.
Red Sox 8, Yankees 5 — With David Ortiz (3-for-43) safely on the bench, the other Bostonians took their time (nearly 4 hours) pummeling Phil Hughes on a wintry night. Dice-K pitched OK, the Sawx took 2 of 3, and Jorge Posada might want to try it with his left hand. Throwing, that is.
Rays 6, Orioles 1 — Jeff Niemann, Tampa's 6-foot-9 righty, came nowhere near a triple-double in his debut, but in 6 innings, he allowed a run and 6 hits with 5 strikeouts. B.J. Upton (3-run homer) is only four deeps behind his brother Justin. Al Reyes went 1 inning without being tased. Evan Longoria is 2-for-6 so far and hot.
Indians 7, Athletics 1 — Cliff Lee (8 IP, 2 H, ER, 8 K) is good again, at least against Oakland, after taking 2007 season to try an experiment called "How To Put Your Career in Peril Even If You're Left-handed."
Photo of the Day: Noogie time for A-Rod
Paul Konerko (White Sox) 2-4, HR, 5 RBI
Alex Gordon (Royals) 2-3, 3 R, HR, SB
Jeff Mathis (Angels) 3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI
Raul Ibanez (Mariners) 2-5, 3 RBI
Robinson Cano (Yankees) 0-5, .170 BA
A-Rod (Yankees) 0-5
Eric O'Flaherty (Mariners) 2 2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 20.25 ERA
Garret Anderson (Angels) 0-5, .222 BA
“Where we’re at makes sense because that’s the way we’ve played. It’s not surprising that we’re 2-10. We’ve been shut out four times … I didn’t think we’d get shut out four times all year, to be honest with you.” — Tigers manager Jim Leyland
- Jim Leyland