I think the assumption for most people was that Justin Verlander would start and make the world right again. Well, that only works if the offense manages to score some runs against the opposing pitcher. JV did his part, but I wish he’d manage to put away hitters more quickly in order to spare the pitch count. That’s being nitpicky, though, and I’ll gladly take eight shutout innings from him on any night. As for Ervin Santana, well, I had heard that the velocity on his fastball was only topping out at around 90 and that he couldn’t command his offspeed pitches, and yet his first pitch of the night was at 96 and he threw several breaking balls for strikes in hitters’ counts. But I would like you’d still be able to make the adjustment. By the way, was anyone else getting tired of seeing the bloody piece of cotton shoved up Ervin Santana’s nose all night? And how do you have a nosebleed for TWO HOURS without passing out or something?
At any rate, now that the Verlander card has been played and trumped, it’s time to see if Edwin Jackson can do any better. He’s had one start against the Angels this year, and it was probably his worst start (and one of the few where walks became a big issue). Meanwhile, the offense will have to find its groove against a good pitcher in Kelvim Escobar. Escobar is ostensibly the Angels’ #2 starter, but he had shoulder surgery and hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since ’07. Obviously he’s been on a rehab assignment and has pitched well in it, and he’s dominated Detroit over the years (8-0 with an ERA under three). Meanwhile, after seeing Cabrera clutching the back of his thigh numerous times during his pinch-hitting appearance last night, I’d be surprised if he played tonight. No Mood Music this time, as I’m going to be late for work if I go searching for some.