Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fantastic Follow-Up

Photo: AP

Well, this game wasn’t quite as fast as the last one. This time, on my way home, I listened to Rafael Betancourt strike out Polanco to end the top half of the seventh inning, so I at least got to watch everything from the bottom of the seventh onwards. A day after Justin Verlander was masterful, Edwin Jackson looked pretty good himself, as did Zumaya. Rodney was a bit shaky in the ninth, but he didn’t allow a run to score and he hasn’t been quite as good in non-save situations anyways.

I missed what would have been the excruciating pitching duel part of the game, which I don’t entirely mind. The offense hasn’t exactly been on fire during this road trip, but they were able to manufacture a few runs last night, which was nice to see. They even got a couple of two-out runs off Betancourt, who, up until that point, was starting to look like the Betancourt of 2007, which would not be good for the Tigers.

Surprisingly, this is the Tigers’ first opportunity at a sweep since the Texas series in early April. Rick Porcello will be under some good-natured pressure to keep the scoreless streak going for Tigers’ pitching. Actually, he already shut out the Minnesota Twins. Now we’ll see if he can build off that. The Indians will send out Anthony Reyes. Remember him? He’s the guy who stymied the Tiger hitters and outpitched Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series a few years ago, thus giving birth to the term “Reyes Effect.” The Tigers saw him the following year in Interleague play and roughed him up pretty good, but they haven’t seen him since. Maggs is back in right field, and Jeff Larish gets a start at DH. It’s Mother’s Day, which means that it’s the annual pink bat game. I’m not going to make the same mistake I did two years ago, when I boldly proclaimed that every Tiger was going to use the pink bats. That wasn’t the case, as I apparently misunderstood the promotion. I’m pretty sure Inge and Granderson will use the pink bats, but beyond that, I don’t know. The pink bat game got rained out last year. Anyways, Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there.

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