Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-09-04

--LHP Nate Robertson probably earned a third start with six sturdy shutout innings Thursday on his 32nd birthday. Robertson gave up one earned and one unearned run in his first start, which lasted four innings, and is remaking his style following surgery in June to remove four growths from his left elbow. Robertson is still fortunate if he reaches 90 mph with his fastball but he no longer is using that as his primary pitch, instead relying on a slider, slow curve and change-up to keep hitters off balance. He threw 80 pitches Thursday and 54 of them were for strikes. One of two double plays he threw came with runners on first and third in the fifth inning and preserved his 1-0 lead.

--CF Curtis Granderson got the Tigers off to a 1-0 start Thursday by opening the bottom of the first inning with his 26th home run of the season. It was the 22nd time Granderson has hit a home run to begin a game and the fifth time this season. He hit a 1-1 87-mph change-up over the right-field fence. He walked once and scored twice but the home run was his only hit.

--RHP Rick Porcello was decidedly in control, pitching one batter into the eighth to win his 12th game of the season and set a club record for most victories by a pitcher in a year before he turned 21. RHP Dave Rozema won 11 games in 1977, turning 21 in August en route to a 15-win season. Porcello threw 80 pitches, and 52 were for strikes. He got 11 groundball outs, including his 22nd double play of the season. He struck out only one but didn't walk a batter and gave up just four hits. "I've started to use my four-seamer (fastball) more," Porcello said. "I got a lot of first-pitch swings, and I was able to get a lot of outs early (in the count)." "Porcello did a really good job against some of the very good left-handed hitters in the lineup," manager Jim Leyland said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12 -- Seasons where Detroit has had at least three players with a minimum of 25 home runs. 3B Brandon Inge made it a threesome with his 25th home run Aug. 28, joining CF Curtis Granderson and 1B Miguel Cabrera.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "When you take care of them as much as you can, you tend to have them fresher late in the season. I've never been one to get greedy early. (RHP Edwin) Jackson and (RHP Justin) Verlander have been throwing 10, 15 or 20 more pitches than I've normally gone. I've extended to 115 and 120 pitches more than in the past." -- Manager Jim Leyland on why he likes to keep his starters pitching in turn after a day off, giving them an extra day's rest, rather than skip somebody and use his better pitchers more often.

Sign up for breaking news alerts from!

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 4, 2009