Thursday, May 21, 2009

They Come In Threes

Photo: AP

I’m running out of original things to say about Justin Verlander’s outings (I’m definitely not complaining, though). Justin continues to pitch like the pitcher I knew he could be. I felt like he was fighting his control a bit this time, but six innings of one-run ball is strong nonetheless. His only bad inning was the fifth, in which he gave up that one run and threw forty pitches. He seems to think the abrupt ending to the bottom of the fourth kinda threw him off his rhythm. Speaking of which, I want to open up a discussion: Should a triple play like the one the Rangers turned really be considered an example of defensive wizardry? I mean, they always make the Web Gems, but it seems to me that if you have runners at first and second, you start the runners, and the guy at the plate hits a line drive right to the second baseman, a triple play is kind of a foregone conclusion. Now, there are other types of triple plays that do fall under the “defensive wizardry” category, like if it was a much closer play involving one of the baserunners. Unassisted triple plays are always worth a mention in terms of defense just because of their extreme rarity. And around-the-horn triple plays probably belong in that category as well because the timing of everything involved has to be perfect for it to happen. Whatever you want to categorize it as, triple plays are unusual enough in themselves that it’s worthy of mentioning them in their own story regardless of how it was turned (along the same lines as striking out four in an inning or someone hitting for the cycle). But as it turns out, it didn’t really hurt the Tigers that much, cuz they hit three home runs. Does anyone know if that free Arby’s thing is good in Ohio? Wilkin Ramirez displayed two of the things he was apparently known for in the minor leagues: Striking out a lot and hitting for power. I didn’t know he had THAT kind of power, though. And after being cold and not playing well for a long time, Ryan Raburn has been on a tear recently. Brandon Inge provided the game-winner.

Last night was Country Night, and the people at Fox Sports Detroit decided to celebrate by putting up a badly Photoshopped picture of Mario and Rod wearing cowboy hats (head on over to
Bless You Boys to see for yourselves). Then for most of the night they kept showing us the footage of Trevor Thompson trying to ride the mechanical bull while holding a microphone at the same time and falling off after about two seconds. Meanwhile, I don’t know who is in charge of creating the graphics and chyrons, but they need a refresher course in grammar and spelling.

Today, the Tigers go for the sweep as Edwin Jackson goes up against Kevin Millwood in a rematch of the Easter Sunday game. Jackson’s been good this year but one of his few “bad” starts was against the Rangers (in hindsight, though, it wasn’t THAT bad; four runs in six innings). Kevin Millwood has been pitching very well this year for the Rangers. He shut out the Tigers for seven innings before the Tigers came back against the bullpen in the eighth and won the game. Nate Robertson has been activated from the DL, by the way, and Luke French has been sent back to Toledo.

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