Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on August 14, 2007 · 46
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · 46

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
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DETROIT FREE PRESS I WWW.F, Zumaya liits94 on the gun for Toledo He faces 3 hitters in rehab game By CHRISTOPHER A. VITO FRLE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER TIGERSOUTDOORS Joel Zumaya NORFOLK, Va.-Sitting in the visitors dugout Harbor Park, Tigers reliev er Joel Zumaya couldn help but fiddle with the scar that zig-zagged across his right middle finger. Subconsciously, he knew it was there. "But it's my job to forget about it and pitch like it's not there," Zu maya said. He tried Monday night retiring two of the three bat ters he faced in his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Toledo, a 5-2 loss to the Norfolk Tides. Zumaya entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and threw 11 of 18 pitches for strikes. He got the first batter to ground out to third, then allowed a double to Jason Dubois be fore striking out the next hitter on a 78-m.p.h. curve ball. His fastball topped out at 94 m.p.h. Zumaya was replaced by Vic Darensbourg after the strikeout. "It was his first time out, and he was a little rusty. You could tell," Toledo manager Mike Rojas said. "He looked fine and feels good, so that's the best news." The burly right-hander's scheduled three-game rehab stint continues Wednesday in Richmond, Va., where he'll be limited to a workload similar to Monday's: one inning or 20 pitches. In his final appearance Saturday in Toledo, he'll be allowed two innings or 30 pitches. After Monday's game, Zumaya said he's still on schedule to return to the Tigers' bullpen as early as next Tuesday if all goes according to plan. "If anything goes wrong, I'm not going to rush back and ruin my career on one outing," he said. "It's a matter of timing. "I'm sure the fans wanted to see a couple 100s flash on the board (Monday), but that'll come. ... I got the cobwebs out." Monday was Zumaya's first game appearance since May 1, when he ruptured a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand. A day later, the Tigers placed him on the disabled list, and he underwent surgery May 9 to mend the finger. He has missed 92 games. "Honestly, I had forgotten how it felt to just get up on the mound and throw to a real batter," Zumaya said. So for now, Zumaya is in the minors, but he's antsy to return to Detroit. He admitted that he has taken a peek at the standings. "I know we're in a little bit of a pennant race, and I know we're right up there with the best of them," he said. "So it's only a matter of time until I'm back up there with them." TIGERS I Fail with A's; Tribe next From Page ID to think that we're going to win something playing the way we're playing and managing the way we're managing. I'm responsible." Leyland also took time afterward to congratulate Polanco. It was Polanco's 144th consecutive game at second base without an error, breaking the record set over last year and this year by Minnesota's Luis Castillo, who has since been traded to the New York Mets. "It means a lot to me," Polanco said. "This game has been around a long time." Polanco didn't have a ground ball hit to him Monday. He had no putouts, and his only assist came when he picked up a ball that had caromed off shortstop Carlos Guillen and fired to third baseman Brandon Inge for a force. Polanco said he was thinking about the record in the ninth inning. "I was ready," he said. When the game ended, the Comerica Park scoreboard saluted Polanco's feat. The remaining fans applauded, and Polanco's teammates congratulated him in the dugout. Sean Casey, who has been Polanco's first baseman for more than a year, scored on the play on which Polanco made his last error. That was July 1, 2006, when Casey was still playing in Pittsburgh. In perhaps his most eloquent JULIAN H. GONZALEZDetroit Free Press Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge hugs Placido Polanco after the second baseman set a major league record with his 144th consecutive errorless game. tribute to Polanco, Leyland said before the game, "He doesn't hit it the farthest, he doesn't throw it the hardest, he doesn't run the fastest. He just does everything good all the time. He's a complete, total, major league, very, very, very good player." The Tigers could use a Po-lanco-like element of steadiness in their starting pitching. Tonight the Tigers begin a two-week stretch in which they play only the Indians (five times) and recently relentless Yankees (eight times). Durbin gave up a two-run home run to Mark Ellis before he got an out Monday night. Magglio Ordonez offset that with a two-run single in the Ti gers' first giving him 104 RBIs. Durbin allowed two runs in the third when the Athletics went ahead for good, and two more (one earned) in the fifth, an inning he didn't survive. Oakland right-hander Chad Gaudin allowed four hits in 62a innings, striking out a career-high nine. Gary bhelhelds bid tor a three-run home run a blow that would have brought the Ti gers within a run was caught on the leftfield track to end the fifth. The Tigers never threat ened to get close again. Leyland said that if Sheffield's right shoulder had been at full strength, that ball probably would have gone out. ROSENBERG I No more saesinff From Page ID Bonderman has become the most important Tiger, simply because of the range of his possible performance. At his best, he is an All-Star-quality pitcher. At his worst, he gets knocked around in the first inning and doesn't make it to the sixth. And lately Bonderman has been at his worst. If Bonderman gets shelled to night, the Tigers likely are looking at a two-game Indians sweep, because they are putting minor leaguer Jair Jurrjens up against Fausto Carmona m Wednesday's Enunciation Special. And if the Tigers get swept, they will have lost 15 of 20 head ing into a four-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are merely the hottest team in baseball. Meanwhile, the Indians will visit Tampa Bay, the worst team in the majors. If you haven t followed the Ti gers' recent slide, their 7-2 loss to Oakland on Monday provided a Cliffs Notes version. (Side question: Do students even use Cliffs Notes anymore? Or do they just find a summary on the Internet? I fear that academic fraud is not what it used to be. Poor Cliff.) OK, the Cliffs Notes version: The Tigers' main problem, Monday and for the past month, was poor starting pitching. Chad Durbin pitched to 13 batters before he recorded a groundout and allowed five earned runs. If Durbin keeps leaving balls up in the strike zone, we'll have to call him Hanging Chad. Reliever Jason Gnlli was booed when he entered the game, then showed why, with a four-pitch bases-loaded walk. But the Tigers were too far behind for their relief pitching to matter. Placido Polanco was smooth and error-free tonight, he will try to extend his errorless streak at second base to a record 145 games. Carlos Guillen, the other half of the Tigers' double-play combination, will try to extend his errorless streak to ... uh ... one. Guillen booted a potential in ning-ending double-play ball Monday luckily for him, he booted it toward Polanco, who got a forceout at third base, sav- V V ' v. J J ; JULIAN H. GONZALEZDetroit Free Press Jason Grilli reviews his mistakes in the dugout after being pulled. He surrendered a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. X TP ESDAY,AUG.14,2007 5D Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, left, has spoken out against the federal government allowing a BP refinery to increase the pollutants it dumps into Lake Michigan. LAUREN VICTORIA BURKEAssociated Press EPA to allow more toxins in Lake Mich. ing Guillen from an error. Guillen also failed to get to a ground ball up the middle that, to put it bluntly, was in the range of most shortstops. Guillen also had a throwing error. And this brings us to our stat of the day: Carlos Guillen has committed 38 errors since Placido Polanco last committed one. So that was the night in a nutshell. Oh, I forgot one thing: When the game ended, the Tigers were still in first place. Leyland is tired of hearing that "We're fooling ourselves if we think we're going to win pitching and playing the way we are," he said but it's true. And at times like this, it is important to remember that other teams have problems, too. The Indians just got swept by the Yankees. They are not hit ting. Bonderman is capable of deflating them in the first two innings. Then again, given Bonder-man's first-inning troubles, he might be just what the Indians ordered. We won't know until it's over, but this 13-game stretch could well determine the Tigers' season. The Tigers have stumbled and tripped but are somehow still in the thick of the race. They can't afford any more stumbling or tripping, especially in the next two weeks, and especially tonight. Contact MICHAEL ROSENBERG at 313-222-6052 or mrosen berg a CHIROPRACTORS ,)7: Does Your TOM w icedA(jjusing?.i! Phone 586-826-7387 to improve your Top of Mind Awareness ( LET THE JK HARRIS TAX TEAM FIGHT FOR YOU! ".. the (Nation's) most succewlul (in terms of me) tax-resolution company "' -The Wall Street Journal Free Tax Settlement Analysis: Confidential Interview by Appointment Only 800-371-6538 FfM Special Htpert ttafeEnliRSPratM 877-451-9111 800-499-0951 www.lowerback nm tmv Call for an Appointment Near You K not an enrlirerrvnt by the SJ I J jThile salmon fishing in w Lake Huron has been decimated by a food web collapse, chinooks continue to be caught in big numbers on Lake Michigan. So why would the State of Indiana agree to allow a BP petroleum refinery to increase the amount of sludg es and toxins that could go into those fish? Biologists believe Lake Michigan fishing is surviving because the southern end is shallower and warmer than Huron. It has continued to produce massive amounts of the tiny organisms at the bottom of the chain to feed the minnows that feed the slightly larger baitfish that eventually feed top predators like salmon, steelhead and lake trout. The fisheries' experts keep close tabs on water quality, because one reason Lake Michigan's salmon fishery is so good is that over the past 40 years or so we've vastly reduced the number of toxins and other undesirable chemicals we put into the lake. Which is why it flies in the face of common sense for the State of Indiana and the feder al Environmental Protection Agency to allow a BP refinery to increase the pollutants it dumps into the nursery grounds that support a sport and commercial fishery worth an estimated $2 billion a year. Michigan officials have had little to say about it, but Chica go Mayor Richard Daley, one of the most environmentally aware mayors in the country, has threatened a lawsuit over what he says "is an issue that goes to the heart and soul of the Midwest." Daley told reporters last week, "Our great resource is Lake Michigan. The idea of dumping now into the lake again is really unacceptable." The Indiana permit will allow BP to dump more treated wastewater into the lake, including 54 more ammonia and 35 more solids. The Chicago Tribune says its anal ysis shows that the company will be allowed to put off until 2012 a reduction in the amount of mercury it dumps into the ake, though Indiana regula tors have already predicted that BP won't be able to meet the 2012 date and will simply make another request for more time. ERIC SHARP OUTDOORS There's no point in expecting the Bush administration to help on this one. The EPA has already ignored requests by members of Congress from both political parties to stop the increased dumping, saying that it's within legal limits. It's time for every congressman and senator from Michigan, our state representatives and senators and all of our other elected officials to stand up and be counted. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick needs to understand that poisons dumped into southern Lake Michigan eventually flow past his doorstep. A few days ago, I gave a talk to the Friends of the Detroit River about the problem of invasive species in the Great Lakes. I was able to tell the group that their voices are being heard. Bills in Congress blocking meaningful efforts to solve the invasive species problem have been blocked themselves, largely because so many people contacted their representatives and senators to express outrage. So this is not the time to lose heart or give up. It's time to increase our clout. Go on line to and type in your zip code. That will give you the e-mails and addresses of your federal and state officials. Let them know that after we've spend decades of effort and a fair chunk of our tax dollars to clean up the Great Lakes, any plan to reverse that is absolutely unacceptable, no matter whose bottom line will benefit in the short run. Contact ERIC SHARP at 313-222-2511 or esharp( Order his book "Fishing Michigan" for $15.95 at www.freep.combook-store or by calling 800-245-5082. 7 Days 10 a.m. Sauna - Shower BEST MASSAGE 11 p.m. Massage (734) 782-4655 26614 S. Telegraph Rd. Flat Rock. 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