With all the swinging and missing that was going on by Tiger hitters, you’d probably be sufficiently cooled off at the ballpark last night (by the way, if they tried, I’m sure they could come up with a longer name than “Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum”). Fourteen strikeouts make for an excellent imitation of the hometown Mud Hens (who, as a team, have struck out over 700 times, including a game where Ian Snell struck out 13 Mud Hens in a row recently). Contact was elusive, for some reason. I just don’t remember Brett Anderson throwing that hard back in May (and Comerica Park’s gun tends to be a little hot). He IS highly thought of in their organization, and he’s obviously got a really good fastball (or so it would seem), but he HAS struggled this year, and the Tigers beat him before (though, as I said, it’s tough to say that he pitched horribly in that start, given the sheer number of errors that the Oakland infield committed behind him; still, he did give up nine runs). I suppose we’ll make the final judgment on this when we see what he does in his next start. Meanwhile, Rick Porcello started off okay, but with him not lasting deep into games in his recent starts, you figured something like this was coming. This game also featured the debut of Fu Te Ni, who seemed to impress just about everyone on the blogosphere, despite the long home run he gave up to Ryan Sweeney. As usual, the BYB Game Thread was jumpin’, but this made me laugh. Sad, but funny. Not to mention a terrific Photoshop job.
Tonight’s another late night for Tigers fans (which is fine, since I work and normally would miss the first few to several innings, but tonight I’ll be able to work a 5-hour shift and not miss a pitch should I so choose). Armando Galarraga, well, didn’t have a by-the-book quality start his last time, but he did win, and could just as easily be around a .500 record right now if he had gotten more run support in his starts. Now, during that stretch, he had had somewhat promising outings, only to follow them up with more struggles, so winning his last time out doesn’t guarantee anything. However, the last start was more encouraging to me because of the reasonably low hit totals, only one walk, and five strikeouts, and he threw several good-looking pitches (also some more of those different-looking pitches that aren’t effective, so he’s still got a ways to go). He did not have a good start at all against the A’s last month, as he got charged with five runs in only 2/3 of an inning. He’ll be opposed by another lefty, Gio Gonzalez, who, like Brett Anderson, is highly thought of but has struggled. The Tigers saw him once last year and hit him pretty well (including a grand slam by Gary Sheffield for the 250,000th home run in MLB history), but at this point, I have no idea what to expect. Your Mood Music for tonight: I thought that Styx’s “Just Get Through This Night” would be fitting, considering that it’s both a late night for us fans and because this is a big start for Galarraga. And you’ll notice that I’m the one who uploaded the song, but that’s because I couldn’t find it on YouTube. This is NOT the slideshow I’m planning for Friday. Also, bear with it, because the beginning of the song is really quiet.