Editor’s Note: Through the years, sports editor David Troppens has collected historical radio and television broadcasts of Detroit Tigers games. During the summer, he’ll be featuring some of these games through his collection based on the a date close the actual date of our current publication.
July 17, 2007
Detroit 1, Minnesota 0
Network/Announcers: Today’s game is a Fox Sports Detroit broadcast by Mario Impemba and Rod Allen.
Background: Life was good as a Tiger fan in mid-July 2007. The Tigers (55-36) entered this game one game ahead of Cleveland Indians in the American League Central Division standings and held the best record in baseball entering that day’s action. It seemed the Tigers were well on their way to eventually qualifying for the playoffs and contending for a world championship title for a second straight season. Mario Impemba and Rod Allen proudly boasted before the game began that they thought the Tigers were the best team in baseball, and there was no reason to think they weren’t at that time.
Game recap: Coming off of a stint on the disabled list earlier in June, Nate Robertson was making just his third start of July, and his first in nine days. He had struggled in those starts. But on this date, Nate Robertson was as good as any pitcher in baseball, tossing seven innings of three-hit, two-walk ball while striking out five.
“Nate’s slider is back,” Jim Price proudly announced. “This is the best slider I’ve seen him have in a long time.”
“Everything was flat when Nate went on the disabled list,” Dickerson said, amazed how his pitches looked on this date versus prior outings.
Meanwhile, Twins’ starter Matt Garza was equally effective. The only thing that hurt him was an error by his defense.
The Tigers scored the only run in the top of the sixth when Brandon Inge reached base on an error. Curtis Granderson walked and two outs later, Magglio Ordonez hit an 0-2 pitch through the left side of the infield for the only run of the game, an unearned run.
The Twins’ best chance to score against Robertson came in the sixth with runners on first and second and one out. Robertson calmly got an angry Joe Mauer out on a called third strike (he thought it was a ball) and then a strike out of Michael Cuddyer.
A name I forgot, Macay McBride, pitched a shutout eighth inning, and Todd Jones got the Twins out 1-2-3 in the ninth, earning the Tigers the 1-0 win.
“Roller coaster” Todd Jones: Ernie Harwell coined the nickname on Jones because it seemed every time he pitched it could be an adventure. This wasn’t one of those periods in his career the nickname was merited. He earned his 17th save and had now pitched shutout ball in five straight appearances.
Jones saved 235 games in eight seasons with the Tigers. He retired after the 2008 season.