Well, unlike Galarraga, there was nothing tough-luck about this loss. I didn’t get home until the bottom of the seventh, so I can’t really comment on Dontrelle Willis. He only walked two, but by all accounts he was “all over the place” and didn’t have a lot of velocity. He was, perhaps, victimized in the big five-run third by some bad decision-making on the part of Brandon Inge, who fielded a ground ball and decided to come home with it instead of starting what would have been an inning-ending double play. That’s not the first time I’ve seen Inge do that, though. He doesn’t do it THAT often, but every once in a while he’ll have a brain fart like that. In this case, he might have just delayed the inevitable, but a two-run homer looks better on a pitcher’s line than a grand slam. Still, I would be surprised if the Tigers didn’t let Willis make his next start. I’m not saying whether I agree with that or not. I’m just saying they’ll probably give him a chance to rebound. Nate Robertson was the first one to figure out how to pitch to Luke Scott: Just walk him on four pitches. Oddly enough, on a night where they gave up 12 hits, Tigers pitching was able to hold The Anointed One (Matt Wieters) hitless. By the way, if you’re sick of hearing about America’s Next Top Prospect™, just read last night’s game thread on BYB. Even though the Tigers lost, the digs at Wieters are hilarious. While there was a sharp contrast in the starting pitching the last two nights, the story from an offensive standpoint was the same: A whole lot of nothing. By the way, Brandon Inge has now grounded into double plays on consecutive nights. That’s normally not his MO. I mean, he doesn’t have “beat out double plays” type speed, but most of his outs seem to be made via pop-ups or strikeouts.
I’ve been doing some thinking about the whole Bonderman/Galarraga/Willis situation, and the thought popped into my head that Galarraga (assuming he does have minor league options, which I believe he does) may be the odd man out regardless of how he pitches in his next start. The Tigers play a day-night doubleheader in Chicago a week from this coming Monday. Galarraga is scheduled to pitch that day. Assuming Bonderman doesn’t get shelled or injured in his rehab start tomorrow, it would not shock me if the Tigers decided to activate Bonderman to start the other game that day. However, the Tigers don’t have an off-day after that until June 15th (the following Monday), and that’s too long to be carrying around six starting pitchers and be one man short either in the ‘pen or on the bench (especially when you consider how the Tigers typically pitch in Chicago). Therefore, Galarraga may lose his spot in the rotation purely on the basis of logistics. Which kinda sucks, if you ask me.
Tonight, we get to see if Luke Scott can do anything with a Justin Verlander fastball as the Tigers and Orioles play game 3 of this series. For the record, Verlander made two starts against the O’s last year and won both while keeping Luke Scott AND Melvin Mora in the ballpark (In fact, none of the current Orioles have ever homered against Justin). So there is indeed hope. On the flipside, Verlander can only do so much. The bats have gotta heat up again. They’ll be facing Jeremy Guthrie, who is probably considered the ace of the Orioles staff. He pitched for Team USA in the WBC (In fact, he beat out Verlander for the final spot on the pitching roster). He’s had a few issues this month, but his last start was apparently a good one. Another thing to be concerned about is that the Tigers haven’t seen a lot of him. The most that anyone’s faced him is five at-bats, but in general, those who have seen him have good numbers against him, small sampling or not. However, if I’m correct, it’s been a long time since anyone on our roster has faced him (except possibly Gerald Laird). I’m pretty sure the Tigers did not see him in either ’07 or ’08. Your Mood Music for tonight: It’s only a little mini-losing streak right now, but I still sense that the team and the fans are in need of a lift. Some positive vibes, if you will. And what’s better than another cheesy ‘80s song?