Nate Robertson has very quietly emerged as one of the most consistent pitchers in the American League this season.
Robertson, who came to Detroit in a trade from Florida in 2003, went just 1-2 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts for the Tigers last year. After beginning this season in the Detroit bullpen, Robertson has clearly become the Tigers’ most consistent starter, leading the staff in wins (9), ERA (3.98) and strikeouts (97).
Robertson has won seven of his last eight decisions, including a 4-2 victory over the American League-leading New York Yankees on Sunday. He yielded two runs and six hits over a season high-tying eight innings, striking out three and walking one.
Making the outing even more impressive, Robertson had been pounded for seven runs over just 1 1-3 innings in a 10-3 loss at New York just two weeks earlier.
Despite his success and the Tigers’ surprising season after losing an AL-record 119 games last year, Robertson knows he is still far from becoming a household name. Not that it bothers the 26-year-old southpaw.
“With the lineup we have and the players we brought over, people are still going to ask, `Who is Nate Robertson?”’ he said. “That’s just fine with me.”
Robertson will try to pick the Tigers up after Thursday’s 13-7 loss to Kansas City.
Detroit’s Carlos Guillen left the game after the fourth inning due to stiffness in his back. The All-Star shortstop is listed as day-to-day.
The Tigers went 3-5 on an eight-game homestand, but will carry a three-game road winning streak into this series.
The White Sox are coming off a dominating two-game sweep of Cleveland. After a 14-0 win by left-hander Mark Buehrle on Wednesday, Freddy Garcia and two relievers combined on a six-hitter in Thursday’s 3-0 victory.
Carl Everett drove in a pair of runs for the White Sox, who remained within a half-game of first-place Minnesota in the AL Central.