08/14/07 12:05 AM ET
Notes: Polanco sets all-time record
Monday's errorless game gives infielder milestone
By Paul Harris / Special to MLB.com
"This game has been around for a long time," Polanco said. "And nobody ever did it before."
Monday night's 7-2 loss to Oakland was Polanco's 144th game without an error. It broke the prevous record, which had been set by Luis Castillo.
Polanco had to handle only one chance the entire game. That came in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out. Dan Jonson hit a sharp one-hop liner on the shortstop side of second base. But it deflected off the glove of shortstop Carlos Guillen to Polanco, who then gunned the ball across the diamond to third baseman Brandon Inge for a force out at third.
"They didn't hit the ball to me. ... Our pitchers kept the ball away," Polanco joked.
But that did add to a record he already owned, the mark for most consecutive chances without an error by a second baseman, which now stand at 707.
Before the game, Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis said that Polanco was one of his favorite players to watch.
"That's a pretty impressive feat," said Ellis about the errorless streak. "He can be in the outfield making a relay throw and make an error. To go that long without making an error, it shows his consistency. You know how consistent an offensive player he is, but that shows he's consistent defensively, too."
Polanco, 31, has been Detroit's everyday second baseman since June 8, 2005, when the Tigers obtained him from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Ramon Martinez, and Ugueth Urbina.
"I want to congratulat Poly publicly for a tremendous feat," said Tigers' manager Jim Leyland. "I could tell after the game that he wasn't very happy it came in a loss. I congratulated him."
Long one of the most respected players in the game among players, managers and coaches, the 10-year veteran didn't get noticed much by fans until the Tigers' trip to the World Series last season. He was a big reason for that by being named the MVP of the American League Championship Series, after hitting .295 with four homers and 52 RBIs during the regular season.
Polanco was voted the starting second baseman for the AL in this season's All-Star Game, and is hitting .344 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs.
Starter tabbed: Leyland has named right-hander Jair Jurrjens as his starter for Wednesday night's game in Cleveland.
It will be Jurrjens' Major League debut as he takes Kenny Rogers' place in the rotation. Jurrjens was 7-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts at Double-A Erie, where he struck out 94 and walked 31 over 112 2/3 innings.
"[Jurrjens has] been throwing well and he's pitching Wednesday," Leyland said. "Don't ask me what's going to happen after that because I don't have a clue."
Leyland did say, however, that keeping 13 pitchers on the roster would be better than 11.
Rogers throws: Rogers, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow, played long toss on Monday. The left-hander is expected to pitch a side session on Wednesday and could come off the DL as early as the end of the week.
This is the 42-year-old Rogers second stint on the disabled list this season.
He missed most of the first half of the season because of a blood clot that had to be removed from his left shoulder. It was discovered during Spring Training.
Briefly: Justin Verlander wasn't feeling well on Monday.
"He's got a bad bug," Leyland said.
On deck: The Tigers open a two-game series in Cleveland on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET against the Indians, who Detroit is battling for first place, with a matchup of two of the AL's best pitchers as Detroit sends right-hander Jeremy Bonderman (10-5, 4.75 ERA) against left-hander C.C. Sabathia (14-6, 3.52).
Paul Harris is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.