Short post today, as I did not see much of this game at all and I have to go to work in a couple of hours (meanwhile, I have a slideshow to finish). I was able to watch the first inning and a half or so, and I managed to sneak away from work a couple times for a quick listen on the radio, and what I heard was Giambi’s home run and the last couple outs of the ninth inning. So basically, not much. I know Verlander feels like he pitched into some bad luck, but the Tigers still need to get a better performance out of him than 4 runs allowed. I know I’ve warned that lack of offense will eventually cause the pitching to crack under pressure, but he can’t crack yet. By the way, what’s up with Verlander and balks recently? I can’t really comment on the specifics of the offense, although you’d think that with five doubles, they’d get more than one run (from what I understand, only one led off an inning, and while the Tigers were able to get them over efficiently, they couldn’t get them in). Maybe it’s just me, but it looks as though Gerald Laird’s bat seems to have perked up recently. Meanwhile, Magglio continues to descend into the depths of superstition (which to me is kind of a sign of desperation, because he never struck me as one who is overly superstitious; I could be wrong, though). Yesterday, he attempted the Sock Rally, and that didn’t work (not surprisingly), although it made him look a lot like Cabrera, which doesn’t make any sense (since they don’t look alike with long pants, even with Magglio’s short hair). I’d normally give him a harder time about it, but I find myself not having the will to do so (either because I didn’t see much of the game, or I already lashed out after he cut his hair, or because he’s just struggling THAT much).
Well, you wanted excitement? Probably not, but you’re going to get it, because the Tigers’ recent offensive issues has made the Central race a whole lot more interesting, like it or not, and now it’s time to head to the Metrodome. You think they could channel 2007, when they only lost one game there? Por favor. Most of the blogosphere expects the Tigers to be swept in Minneapolis and be in a tie for first place come Monday morning, but I appear to be the only one who realizes it may be worse. Detroit and Minnesota are both off today. The White Sox, who are in a tie for second place with Minnesota (thanks to their offense suddenly catching fire), are not. They are playing the Royals in a four-game series, and if they sweep that series, and Detroit gets swept by the Twins, it will be Chicago in first place by half a game, and the Tigers and Twins will be tied for second. Of course, there’s a simple method to avoiding this outcome: WIN SOME OF THESE GAMES AGAINST THE TWINS (it may also help that the White Sox WILL have to face Zack Greinke tomorrow; unfortunately, that also means that Greinke’s next turn in the rotation will come against us). For the Tigers, Luke French will get the start in place of Alfredo Figaro. Jason Beck speculates that the Tigers wanted to have a left-handed pitcher start in this series, although, as Jim Leyland points out, both Mauer and Morneau hit lefties pretty well. However, Mauer and Morneau are not the only lefties in the Twins’ lineup, so if French can tame them, then you increase the chance that you’ll face the big boys with the bases empty. French was up briefly with the Tigers in May and does not have an earned run average yet, although his walk totals were kinda high (though he is supposedly a strike-thrower in the minor leagues). Meanwhile, the Tigers will be up against Kevin (not Kyle) Slowey, who allowed a ton of baserunners the last time they saw him, but only one run (that coming on a Jeff Larish solo home run). By the way, I guarantee you that I will call him Kyle at least once during the game. My brain is convinced that his name is Kyle, and will not be persuaded otherwise. I’m planning on having a post tomorrow (brace yourself, cuz it’s full of deep thoughts), so I’ll hold off the Mood Music until then (hopefully…I still have to finish this slideshow).