Tigers-Rangers: Carlos Guillen, Strong Bullpen Lead Detroit to Third Straight

Nathan SimkoCorrespondent IApril 23, 2008

Tonight the Detroit Tigers showed why they have the premier offense in all of baseball. They continued their romp of the Texas Rangers beating them 19-6.

It sure didn't look like that would be the final score after 3 innings. Kenny Rodgers had a horrible start letting the Rangers go up 5-0 on 9 hits and 6 earned runs. The first six batters he faced he got ahead 0-2 on them but he found a way to let them on base. It was not looking good!

Kenny finally got the hook when manager Jim Leyland had enough shortly into the  3rd inning pulling Rodgers for the rookie Clay Rapada who would be credited with the win.

Rapada came in and provided the shutdown pitching the Tigers needed to not only tie the game but come back and take the lead, a lead the Tigers would not relinquish. Rapada would only pitch 1.2 innings but made good use of his time allowing no hits and striking out two batters. 

Lopez came in for Rapada and continued the shutdown of the Rangers giving the Tigers a chance to build on their lead. Lopez went 3 innings allowing only 2 base hits and struck out three batters.  

In fact it didn't stop with Lopez. The Tigers bullpen gave up only 2 hits and allowed no earned runs.

This much criticized bullpen showed its critics what they can do and what we should expect this season. I think people need to stop pointing at the Tigers bullpen and start looking at our starting rotation. They have proven that the bullpen is not the issue here. When you have a starter that goes less than 4 innings gives up 6 earned runs on 9 hits you have a problem. This isn't the first poor start for a Tigers Pitcher this season. In fact most of our losses can be attributed to a poor starting pitcher. 

The offense was sparked by Carlos Guillen who went 3 for 5 and driving in an incredible 5 runs. After the game manager Jim Leyland said "this is the guy I love. This is why I believe in Carlos. He plays hard and never gives up. That's why I love him."

The Tigers offense had only 14 hits in this blowout, but thanks to horrible Rangers pitching, were given 10 walks allowing this game to get out of hand.

As long as the Tigers keep capitalizing on teams mistakes and building their confidence level higher and higher this could be a very promising season for the Detroit Tigers.