Saturday, August 8, 2009

At Long Last

Photo: AP

What, you thought it was gonna be easy? Armando Galarraga’s night was done by the time I got home, but by all accounts, it was a battle. The five walks weren’t good, but with enough run support, he was finally able to get win #1 against the Twins. Maybe now he’ll settle down next time he faces them. And I feel I should point out that almost no one on the Tigers’ pitching staff has pitched well against the Twins this year. Rick Porcello shut them out back in May, and Justin Verlander had that 13 strikeout game against them, but that’s pretty much it. Why should Galarraga be any different? Even the walk to Nick Punto is par for the course, because just about everyone else has already done it, including Verlander and Jackson (I swear, “Don’t walk Nick Punto” is going to become one of my big rules of baseball, right behind “Throw strikes” and “Don’t pitch hurt”). Because I didn’t see him, I can’t really make any more educated comments on him, but my guess is that there were plenty of those bad different-looking pitches that I don’t like. But I suppose it somewhat makes up for those games in July where he pitched real well but didn’t win. And it’s not like Ryan Perry or Fernando Rodney fared much better. Galarraga got the win thanks to big nights from Cabrera and Avila. The thought had not occurred to me until I read an article about it yesterday, but Cabrera’s gonna have to go on a monumental tear in order to get to the 100 RBI mark, and that’s kinda depressing. Meanwhile, there’s still a lot we haven’t found out about Alex Avila, but he’s doing more than holding his own for now (And I like what he’s doing, but I don’t really like how the guys on the blogosphere went from “skeptic” to “mancrush” in the span of one game). Hell, the Tigers even got a run against Joe Nathan, although that might have been a bad thing. Do you suppose Rodney might have pitched better had he only been given a three-run lead?

Last night may have been somewhat ugly, but it was still a win and tonight the Tigers’ll look to get another one. I was originally planning to go to tonight’s game instead of next Saturday’s, but my dad had a previous commitment and then I was scheduled to work, hence the change in plans. It’s a shame, because all of a sudden, Justin Verlander gets the ball tonight instead of Luke French. Verlander did a damn good job his last time after having one really bizarre first inning where he gave up five runs. As I already mentioned, he struck out 13 Twins in his only start against them this year, but that meant he threw a lot of pitches, only making it a couple batters into the seventh, and the Tigers’ overworked bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Glen Perkins was scheduled to pitch tonight, but instead it’ll be Carl Pavano. I warned you. Not only is he 3-0 against the Tigers this year, he’s also 2-1 against the White Sox. You think the Twins were looking at that when they acquired him? At least Galarraga doesn’t have to deal with him this time. We’ll see how Verlander’s luck goes against him. At any rate, the Tigers just saw him last Sunday and didn’t do much against him. Not that you need a refresher course. Your Mood Music for tonight: It’s Fiesta Tigres at the ballpark tonight (another reason why I’m sad I can’t go, as last year was a lot of fun). There isn’t quite as much Latino diversity amongst the Tigers as there once was (just Venezuela and the Dominican Republic; Colombia and Puerto Rico are both gone from the roster), but it’s still a vital part of the team. And I’ve taken quite a liking to salsa music. So to mark the occasion, I’ve got Marc Anthony’s “Se Me Sigue Olvidando.” I’m not trying to convey any sort of specific message with the lyrics (and by the way, the title loosely translates to “You Keep Forgetting Me”). I just like the beat.

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