Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Streak Had To End Sometime

Anyone else feel that this game kinda plodded along and lacked energy? In any case, I thought Galarraga did a little bit better than he has recently. Not terrific by any means, but not epic fail either. He was definitely inconsistent with his pitches, but he was able to limit the damage and not give up a big inning. And he only walked one. The home runs? Well, I think we can safely assume that even in the best of times, Galarraga is going to give up home runs. He gave up a bunch last year and he’s on pace to do the same this year. That’s definitely something you can live with as long as he limits them to solo shots, which he has, for the most part. Now, he should not have fallen behind 3-0 on Helton, and they made the wrong decision to just throw a fastball in there, but I can see what their reasoning was, and if I were one of them, I probably would’ve made the same mistake. Clint Hurdle has made no secret of the fact that he wants his hitters to be patient at the plate. In fact, he even benched Troy Tulowitzki a few days ago for not being patient and hitting into a double play. So with all this emphasis on being patient, I could see why they figured Helton would make Galarraga throw a strike before swinging at anything. It just turned out to be a bad decision. As for the other two runs, well, they were manufactured on the speed of Dexter Fowler, and both of those runs scored on outs. At any rate, it sounds as though Jim Leyland and Rick Knapp have picked up on some mechanical issues that are still going on, so I guess now it’s just a matter of tweaking and muscle memory. He is guaranteed at least one more start before Bonderman’s ready to come back. And with the rest of the rotation pitching well right now, the Tigers have the luxury of being patient, at least for the time being.

Meanwhile, I think the lack of energy was mostly due to the offense, which didn’t do much against Jason Marquis. When he was traded from the Cubs to the Rockies, the impression I got was that he was someone who never really lived up to expectations for Chicago, but I didn’t see any of that. Miguel Cabrera continues to hit him hard, but the top three hitters combined to go 0-for-12. That’s not gonna get it done. Granderson hasn’t even gotten a hit in this entire series.

Today marks the end of the homestand and the rubber game against the Rockies. Dontrelle Willis was tremendous in his last start, looking like the D-Train of old. Now, can he do it again? He’ll be opposed by Jason Hammel, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays. He hasn’t won yet this year, but his earned run average isn’t bad considering the ballpark he normally pitches in. The Tigers last saw him in 2007, and I think they scored, like, six runs off him. He must be fairly easy to run on, cuz Leyland’s got his speedster lineup in place, with Josh Anderson leading off and Granderson batting fifth. Polanco and Laird both get the day off. Leyland has said that Dane Sardinha may catch more than he has been because he’s worried that he’s “running Gerald Laird into the ground.” This from the man who had Brandon Inge catch seventeen games in a row last year. Your Mood Music for today: Well, we don’t know what we’re gonna get out of Dontrelle today, but for now, let’s celebrate his accomplishment against Texas with some more Styx (Hey, the lyrics fit that game beautifully).

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