Friday, June 19, 2009

Bittersweet Victory

Photo: AP

At last, some offense! And better yet, it didn’t have to come from Rick Porcello (which is a good thing, because he didn’t get a hit). He had to battle through it a bit (and his defense let him down at times…can we now definitively classify Busch Stadium alongside Angel Stadium and the Metrodome as Ballparks Where the Tigers Don’t Play Good Defense?), but pitched well enough in the end, and the combination of Bobby Seay and Brandon Lyon made sure the lead held up (and created no end of bad puns on the BYB GameThread). Fernando Rodney made things way too damn interesting, though I thought it was a bit odd that the only guy he retired before the Rick Ankiel double play was Albert Pujols, of all people. Meanwhile, the offense was kind of like a pair of bookends, in that there was a bunch of scoring in the first and the eighth, but absolutely nothing in between (okay, there was a single by Brandon Inge, but that’s it). The Tigers caught a break when Joel Piñiero’s calf cramped up, because otherwise they probably never would’ve seen the Cardinals’ bullpen. We had home runs from a likely source of power (Thames) and an unlikely source of power (Polanco). Miguel Cabrera went hitless, but that was mostly because he needs to hit his line drives somewhere other than right at (and off) the pitcher. It happened to him twice.

I suppose I have to discuss the Magglio Ordoñez situation, don’t I? It’s sad that it’s come to this. It really, really is. If you’re interested in my feelings on the matter, I suggest you read Old English D’s take on it, as I pretty much echo her sentiments. By the way, I don’t think last night’s offensive perk-up had anything to do with Maggs being on the bench, because Ryan Raburn didn’t really contribute anything in his place. Reading last night’s game thread on BYB, I was somewhat amazed at the gender dichotomy. Most of the guys were applauding the move, even taking it pleasure in it or finding it funny, which I found to be kind of the wrong response (though in his game wrap today, Ian responded with a much more appropriate ¡Qué lástima!). Meanwhile, the women, while not disagreeing with the move, all seemed to be saddened by it. I will say this, though: The Tigers need Magglio to come back, or they’re not gonna make the postseason. There is no realistic alternative (either on the roster or in the trade market) who can match the production levels that he’s capable of.

Tonight, the boys return to Comerica Park (and the DH) to take on the Milwaukee Brewers and their powerful offense. I daresay that Armando Galarraga will be pitching for his very life tonight. I imagine that if he struggles, it will indeed be the final straw (though if that were to happen, I would hope the Tigers would have the good sense to send him to the minors or the DL, rather than trade him or release him). For his sake and mine, I hope he pitches well, because this has already been a tough week for Tigers I like (first Verlander loses, then the situation with Magglio, you get the idea). Meanwhile, for the Brewers, this was supposed to be the spot for the struggling Manny Parra, but they had an off-day yesterday and have an off-day on Monday, which eliminates the need for a fifth starter, so Parra has been sent down to the minors and instead the Tigers will face Braden Looper, who is probably the Brewers’ #2 or #3 guy (depending on what you think of Jeff Suppan). He’s been with the Cardinals for the past couple years, so the Tigers have seen him in Interleague play before. In ’07, they pounded him en route to a 14-4 victory. Last year, they couldn’t figure him out (the same can’t be said for the Cardinals’ hitters against Kenny Rogers in that particular game). One minor note: Dusty Ryan has been called up to take Dontrelle Willis’s spot on the roster. This has led to speculation that it’ll be Dane Sardinha who will be sent down to make room for Alfredo Figaro tomorrow. I’ll be at work tonight until 9:00, so it’s likely just the late innings for me. However, they are expecting storms in Detroit, so a rain delay is not out of the question.
UPDATE: For some reason, Blogger decided to remove all the hyperlinks I created in Microsoft Word, and as I had to dash off to work, I didn't notice it until I got home. They have been fixed now, so I apologize to anyone who may have felt slighted.

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