Monday, August 10, 2009

Exhausting, From the Sounds of Things

Photo: AP

As I expected, I did was not able to see this game. I was able to listen to some of it on the radio during my lunch break, and I was able to find out that the Tigers had won, but that’s about it. I had mentioned before that none of the Tigers’ pitchers had pitched well against Minnesota this year, so why should Jarrod Washburn be any different? So far, he has not had a good time of it in a Tigers uniform, but as someone pointed out on
Bless You Boys today, Justin Verlander gave up almost the same number of runs and hits in HIS last two starts against the same two teams that Washburn faced, so it’s kind of hard to be ultra-critical. Another thing that complicates matters is that I still haven’t seen him as a Tiger. Therefore, until that happens, I feel that, out of fairness, I must withhold an opinion (It might be a while, as I’m scheduled to work Friday). Still, those home runs he’s given up in these two starts have been absolute bombs. Normally you think of hard throwers giving up home runs that long (It’s a physics thing). Washburn is not a hard thrower, so that doesn’t make much sense. And after being shut out the night before, the offense woke up again against Scott Baker and, of all people, Matt Guerrier. Cabrera and Polanco in particular each had a nice series against the Twins. Brandon Inge didn’t have a hit, but he did contribute a sac fly RBI and a Web Gem.

Just like the rest of the season series, it took pretty much everything the Tigers had to beat the Twins. You would’ve liked to have had the homestand wind down with some relatively stress-free games, but the wins are the most important. And I suppose the ‘pen is in relatively good shape, though it could be better. And it’s important to not have a taxed pitching staff, as the Tigers begin a four-game series at Fenway Park (ack). The Red Sox are kinda reeling right now. They were just swept in a four-game series by the Yankees, during which they had a 31-inning stretch where they didn’t score a run (and they only scored two runs last night). However, that was at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox tend to play much better at home, and the Tigers don’t score runs on the road. Plus, Boston’ll stress out pretty much any pitching staff. The Red Sox swept the Tigers back at Comerica Park in June, a series in which the Tigers neither pitched well nor scored many runs. At the time, a big excuse for why they got swept was that they didn’t have Verlander or Jackson pitching in that series. Well, both of them will pitch in this series, so that theory will be put to the test right away (on the flipside, the Tigers will not have to face Jon Lester, but they WILL see Josh Beckett). Edwin Jackson is coming off a very good outing against the Orioles. Obviously, having played for the Rays, he’s very familiar with the Red Sox, but he’s never won at Fenway Park. The Tigers will face Brad Penny, who has not been particularly good for the Red Sox (though he’s certainly better than John Smoltz was). The Tigers saw him last year with the Dodgers during Interleague play, and they beat him up pretty good. Still, he is a hard-thrower but I don’t really know a whole lot about him other than that.

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