Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Sweep is Twice the Fun

Photo: AP

Considering that a lot of us woke up yesterday with some degree of trepidation, we all went to bed a little bit happier. Eddie Bonine pitched about as well as you’d reasonably ask of him, mohawk and all (It seems that the Mud Hens are trying to employ the same rally tactic that the Tampa Bay Rays did last year; several of the Mud Hens are sporting them. In case you’re wondering, Jeff Larish is not one of them. Not yet, anyways). Considering that this is an offense that Tigers pitching routinely has problems with, three runs in six innings is not bad at all. And the bullpen did a tremendous job of ensuring that the score remained tied. Hell, even Rodney had a 1-2-3 inning (though, considering it was a one-run game, I’m surprised that Ozzie Guillen did not send in either A.J. Pierzynski or Carlos Quentin to pinch-hit). Meanwhile, it was not exactly an offensive barrage, but the boys managed to do just enough to pull away with a victory. Carlos Guillen homered. That’s great. Now can he keep it up? And there were a couple key hits from guys who’ve been taking a lot of flak recently. Dusty Ryan (who almost never plays at all, so he’s not able to get into any kind of rhythm, so you can’t really blame him for not hitting much) came up with a big RBI single (plus he threw out two runners). And while everyone online was making nasty, snarky comments about Magglio grounding into a double play in the eighth, he hit a double instead (turning on a 94-MPH fastball, I might add). That was huge, because it set up the intentional walk to Cabrera, which was eventually followed by the bases-loaded walk to Clete Thomas (Clete’s starting to specialize in that).

I wanted to add a couple of comments regarding some things in the game. First, one of the bullet points on the scouting report for Eddie Bonine was supposed to read “Peaking at the right time.” Instead, some intern can’t spell and it said “Peeking at the right time.” Also, did anyone else notice that there was a teacup in Ramon Santiago’s locker?

These last two victories are big because they ensure that the Tigers will come out of this weekend’s series no worse than tied for first place. But of course we want an even better outcome than that. Edwin Jackson is coming off a start in which he got outdueled by Joba Chamberlain. He typically does not get run support, and hopefully the five walks in his last start were just a fluke and he goes back to throwing strikes. He had a problem with that the only time he’s faced Chicago this year. He only gave up two runs, but he walked four and only lasted five innings. Meanwhile, Gavin Floyd never seems to give the Tigers much. They struggle to score runs against him in the best of times. And even on the rare occasion that they’ll get to him a little bit, our pitching absolutely implodes. I would have Mood Music for you, except I did NOT finish this post this morning and I subsequently ended up working an hour later than I was scheduled to, so I have no time to look for some.

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