Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Clete Thomas Show

Photo: AP

Is anyone else out there as exhausted as I am after watching last night’s game? I’m glad the Tigers won, but geez, it was a max effort type of performance. It really wasn’t easy for anyone in that game, offense or pitching. I mean, if Justin Verlander can’t slay the Luke Scott dragon, then who can? I almost advocated Joel Zumaya drilling Luke Scott in the ribs with a 100 MPH fastball, but I was afraid that it’d bounce off his body and sail over the right field wall. I will say this, though: The Tigers right-handers last night were all throwing heat. I think all four of them hit 99 on the gun, and Verlander and Zumaya both reached triple digits. Meanwhile, the offense DID perk up a little bit against Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Albers, and Jamie Walker (although they struck out ten times against Guthrie). Clete Thomas, with his two home runs and 3 RBIs, ended up being the difference in this game. By the way, the two home runs don’t really surprise me. I’ve seen him drive the ball the other way with authority and have it hit off the wall at Comerica Park. Camden Yards doesn’t have as big an outfield as Comerica Park. By the way, last night’s game thread on BYB continued the Matt Wieters razzing, but
this, courtesy of Tagne13, was absolutely hilarious (not to mention a very good Photoshop job).

Today marks the end of this road trip, and the last time we’ll have to see Camden Yards this year. Edwin Jackson was cruising through his last start against the Royals before he proved to be his own undoing with a pair of errors. He does not have good numbers against the Orioles in his career (and if you’re curious, yes, Luke Scott has homered off him before, so consider yourself warned). He won both of his starts against the O’s last year, but wasn’t exactly stellar (in his last start against them, he won, but gave up six earned runs in the process). Obviously, the Rays gave him a lot of run support in those starts, but run support is not something he’s gotten a lot of with the Tigers. Meanwhile, after facing a little bit of familiarity in Jeremy Guthrie, the Tigers hitters face another rookie in Jason Berken. The other two Orioles rookies have handcuffed the Tigers. Polanco and Cabrera both have the day off. Granderson is your cleanup hitter today.

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