Saturday, August 1, 2009

Long and Anticlimactic

For such a long game, I don’t have much to say (although, truth be told, I really CAN’T have much to say because I have to get ready for work soon). Edwin Jackson was gone before I even got home from work, which isn’t a good thing. As a result, I can’t give a first-hand assessment of his pitching, but from what I’ve heard, apparently when Victor Martinez was traded to Boston, the Indians got three pitchers and the Red Sox’s ability to foul off pitches in return. The big problem was that the game went for another 9 innings after that. For some reason, both lefties out of the ‘pen struggled and gave up runs. That turned out to be huge as well. After the first inning, the Tigers weren’t able to get anything else off of Carmona, but they got his pitch count up and drew a lot of walks. That’s probably the first time they’ve been able to follow through on being patient against Carmona. Carlos Guillen came up clutch in the ninth inning and tied the game, but that was all they could manage. There were a couple instances where they had runners on base and whoever was at the plate hit the ball hard, but it was always right at somebody. Still, when the offense scores five runs on a night when Edwin Jackson is pitching, that should be enough to win the game. They shouldn’t HAVE to score a sixth run.

The big problem with going 13 innings and using everyone in your bullpen is that Rick Porcello starts tonight, and he’s been having trouble getting through five innings recently. Up until his last start, his M.O. had been to cruise through the first few innings before struggling in the fourth and fifth. His last start was just the opposite. He had serious issues in the first inning and gradually settled down. He’ll need to be on his game tonight, because the Indians’ offense is red hot right now, Victor Martinez or no Victor Martinez. They scored a ton of runs on their recent road trip. The Tigers will face Jeremy Sowers, whom they’ve had success against in the past. However, Sowers won his last start (and pitched well in the process). He also beat the Tigers the last time he faced them, although it was last September. The Indians have also called up Jensen Lewis and Justin Masterson should arrive in time for the game, so in principle, the Tribe’s bullpen will be less of a sieve, which might pose a problem. By the way, according to the Indians’ website, tonight is THEIR Negro Leagues game, so presumably it’ll be the Stars and Buckeyes, Round 2.

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