Saturday, June 13, 2009

No DH? No Problem

Photo: AP

I’m sure there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth about 60 miles north of here (I thought I heard screaming around 11:00 last night), but I felt pretty good, because the Tigers beat the Pirates. Actually, Rick Porcello almost beat the Pirates all by himself. He pitched a damn good game and got lots of ground balls. The only Pirates with consistently good swings against him were the LaRoche brothers, and just about every ball they hit Cabrera was able to make a nice play on (Miggy was also moving around first base pretty well, so hopefully that hamstring is better). And at the plate? Well, the Tigers’ offense has been struggling, so I guess Porcello decided to take matters into his own hands and drive in two of the three runs himself. Brandon Inge provided the third run on a solo home run off Jon Grabow. And it was nice for Rodney to bounce back from that disastrous outing in Chicago (By the way, if the “numbers” graphic on Fox Sports Detroit is accurate, Yahoo Fantasy Sports is wrong and Rodney has NOT been charged with a blown save).

With the Red Wings coming up one win short, the Tigers are now the last men standing, so to speak. The lone torchbearer for Detroit’s honor, if you will (Well, the Shock’s season has just started, but I get the feeling that the WNBA doesn’t stir the emotion of a lot of sports fans in Detroit, fair or not). Armando Galarraga (whose spot in the rotation is safe for the foreseeable future) gets the start tonight. He’s still not quite all the way back, but he’s pitched well enough to win in his last three or four starts. He hasn’t gotten a lot of run support, and last time, Zumaya gave up a game-tying home run to force Galarraga to settle for a no-decision. I’m pretty sure he won’t be able to duplicate Porcello’s performance at the plate. I mean, he did have three walks last year, and he never really looked like he was flailing that much as a hitter, but let’s be realistic. Besides, his performance on the mound is much more important. The Pirates seem to be a group of fairly aggressive hitters, so if he gets ahead of hitters (and doesn’t throw any more hanging sliders), he should have a good chance of success. However, he should not expect much run support, because the offense will be up against a good lefty in Zack Duke, who has an earned run average just slightly over three. I’m personally hoping for a well-pitched game from Galarraga and a Tiger win, because it’s going to be a long day for me as I work a nine hour shift today (and I close, which I don’t like doing on Saturdays).

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