I forgot to mention this in my preview last night, but I had a dream about this game on Friday. I rarely dream about specific games. The last time I had a dream about a specific game, it was back in May and it was about the second game against the Rockies. In my dream, the Tigers won 11-3. In reality, they lost 4-3. Apparently, “gut feeling,” which has served me well the past few years, does not translate into the subconscious. At any rate, in my dream about last night’s game, it wasn’t pretty. I don’t remember what the final score was, but in the dream, Galarraga only lasted two-thirds of an inning. While the real thing wasn’t nearly that bad, it was still a loss. One of the things that’s been haunting Armando Galarraga are those different-looking pitches I keep bringing up, and it’s tough to tell, but it looks like a few more of those returned last night. The third inning was kind of what doomed him. He got two relatively easy outs, then gave up a triple to Grady Sizemore (who hit Galarraga well last year too, so that’s not really anything new), and then I’m not sure if he was deliberately trying to pitch around Victor Martinez (who doesn’t have much of a history against Armando, but is the Indians’ best hitter) and Shin-Soo Choo (who does have good numbers against him) or if he was trying to be a little too fancy to get them to strike out, but if it was the former, you have to seal the deal by getting Hafner, and he wasn’t able to do it (By the way, Leyland’s postgame comments were pointed and relevant, but he got his facts wrong a bit, because Galarraga did NOT walk Sizemore). Ironically, on a night where the Indians made quite a few hard-hit outs, their runs against Galarraga scored on a sacrifice fly, a liner that bounced out of Ryan Raburn’s glove, and a very weakly hit ground ball that somehow found a hole. Meanwhile, was the ball carrying to right center field, or what? It seemed like every ball that was hit in that direction went to the wall. Too bad the Tigers couldn’t take advantage of that. Meanwhile, have I mentioned that I’m not real crazy about Freddy Dolsi? He gave up an RBI double to Jhonny Peralta to make the score 5-2 Indians. Miguel Cabrera would later hit a two run homer in the bottom of the ninth. You do the math. On a side note: That is the first time in what seems like the entire season that I’ve seen Cabrera homer to right, after doing so with regularity last year. In fact, that may be his first opposite-field shot this year. I don’t have a spray chart handy, so I can’t back that up. Also, you know who actually looked good in that Detroit Stars uniform? Adam Everett. I don’t know why, but he did.
Okay, this is your last chance to get your fill of Tigers baseball before the All-Star Break. With Rick Porcello being skipped, that means that Justin Verlander will start today’s game, which pretty much guarantees that he will NOT start the All-Star Game (and if you believe MLB.com’s Mike Scott, who is filling in for Jason Beck this weekend, he may not pitch at all in the All-Star Game, although Tuesday WOULD be his normal side session day). After being haunted by the Indians for pretty much his entire career, Verlander has beaten them twice this year, both times in impressive fashion. However, that was during that stretch in which he was flat-out dominant against everybody. He’s been a little more human recently, similar to Zack Greinke. He hasn’t really pitched THAT badly, but this is a team that has hurt him many times in the past. If doubt starts to creep in, trouble may not be far behind. Meanwhile, the Indians will send out Tomo Ohka, whom the Tigers have not seen since early 2007 when he was with the Blue Jays. By the way, I finished my All-Star Photoshop fun, and I will try to post those pictures later today.