Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Photo: AP

I only saw the late innings of this game, but it certainly went from being a frustrating pitching duel to being a dramatic see-saw affair at the end. Edwin Jackson apparently had some control problems, but he battled his way through seven innings and only gave up two runs (both of which came on outs). I was at work during most of the game, including the go-ahead 2-run homer by Brandon Inge (though that happened right before we closed). I got to listen to most of the top of the eighth in the car on my way home. Derrek Lee’s single happened sometime while I was en route from my car to the house/TV, and the Hoffpauir home run occurred when I left the room for minute to change clothes. I do want to discuss that a little bit, though. If you believe the Comerica Park radar gun, Zumaya blew away Milton Bradley with a 104 MPH fastball (if that’s true, then that’ll break Zoom’s own record for the fastest pitch thrown). Hoffpauir really had no business sitting on a changeup, but at the same time, Zumaya really had no business throwing it. I usually don’t get into things like pitch selection, but it seems to me that it’s not a good idea for a reliever to take a chance on his third-best pitch in a one-run game with a runner already on base. With a three-run lead? Sure. But not when you have no wiggle room, especially when you throw harder than anyone on the planet and you have a somewhat decent curveball. At any rate, what I was referring to in the title is that the Tigers hadn’t had a walk-off win this year, and it’s kind of late in the season to not have one. Ryan Raburn took care of that, and made Jim Leyland look like a genius in the process. This game also featured the return of Magglio to the lineup. However, he was out of the game by the time I got home, so I can’t really comment on how he looked at the plate. He went 0-for-2 with a walk, though Leyland said after the game that he liked his swing better. More (bad) news on Magglio later.

Tonight is Game 2 in this series. Rick Porcello’s last start brought an end to a four-game losing streak, and the Tigers haven’t lost since. He maybe battled some control problems, though. At the same time, he’s tied for the team lead in wins with Justin Verlander. The Cubs will send Rich Harden to the mound. I haven’t seen him pitch this year, but I’m just going to ignore the 5.27 ERA, because I know he’s a much better pitcher than that. And now for the (bad) news (at least, it’s bad news for me and every female Tigers fan I know): We have advanced warning from both
Jason Beck and MLive that Maggs is in the lineup…sans long hair. ¡Qué lástima! indeed (Of course, I would imagine the male fans are thrilled, as this topic had kind of stirred up a mini-battle of the sexes on a BYB game thread one night). Kurt has posted a link to a picture, and basically he looks like how he did in the old video I’ve seen of his pre-2006 days, which is, to say, not real distinguishing (And I’m praying that neither John Keating nor Mickey York have anything to do with the pre- or post-game show). Well, I had a feeling it’d come to this eventually. Damn superstitious bastards. Just for that, I’m going to punish you by having no Mood Music tonight.

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