Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brandon Inge Secures the Sweep

Photo: AP

Maybe it’s because Milwaukee used to be in the American League, but the weekend mojo returned from its Interleague hiatus, at least temporarily. Any thoughts of another no-hitter for Justin Verlander were quickly dispelled. Like, in the second batter of the game. But I suppose if he wasn’t going to throw a no-hitter, it’s best that the first hit of the game should happen early to kill off any suspense (though it does take some of the mystique out of the no-hitter). However, the Casey McGehee home run did make the next six innings all the more excruciating to watch until Brandon Inge got to Yovani Gallardo for the three-run homer, which is all that Milwaukee pitching would give up, but Verlander, Seay, and Rodney made sure it held. And because the sweep took place on Father’s Day, I’ve got a blue broom for you:

Tonight, the Chicago Cubs come to town (marking the return of Alan Trammel for the first time since his days as the Tigers’ skipper). They haven’t been doing as well as they were expected to, mostly because their offense has been mostly underachieving. They did perk up over the weekend with a sweep of Cleveland, but they got shut out by Atlanta last night. Tonight is also the last time (at least for now) that Edwin Jackson will follow Justin Verlander, as Leyland intends to use the off-day to stick Alfredo Figaro in between them (this’ll likely make the bullpen work less lopsided). He got the loss his last time out, but didn’t pitch horribly. He’s never faced the Cubs before. The Tigers will take on Carlos Zambrano, who is a good pitcher in his own right. He’s been pretty dominant since coming off the DL a few weeks ago (he pulled a hamstring while bunting for a base hit). The two things that amaze me about Zambrano are that he’s only 28 (He looks like he’s 35) and that his shoulders are so big that they make his jersey look like a blouse (the sleeves look kinda puffy). He’s also got a very short fuse (I’m sure we all saw the video of him taking a bat to the Cubs’ Gatorade machine after being ejected). Also, it’s probably a good thing that the Tigers are facing him at Comerica Park and not Wrigley Field, because Zambrano is arguably one of the best hitters on the team (the whole team, not just the pitchers). Jim Leyland has said that Magglio Ordoñez “might” return to the lineup tonight, but he also admits that this is a tough pitcher to face in the best of times. However, the Tigers are in a stretch where they’re going to face good pitchers for the next several days, so easing him back in might not be an option. Your Mood Music for tonight: Well, I’ll go with another James Bond theme, this time Paul McCartney with “Live and Let Die.” By the way, the song is pretty much the only good part of the movie. Roger Moore is easily the worst of the James Bonds, and the rest of the movie is pretty lame as well, including a speedboat chase that lasts about 20 minutes longer than it should (and I’m in a position to know, both from my film background and because my dad and one of my best friends both claim to be the world’s biggest James Bond fan).

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