Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Night at the Ballpark

Photos: ME!

Last night was a blast. When I went to my one game last year, the Tigers scored 10 runs and hit four homers. This year, the Tigers scored 10 runs and hit 4 homers. What a coincidence. However, I always seem to attend on a night where the starting pitcher has to battle. And I’ve yet to see a Tigers’ starting pitcher NOT give up a home run. Andrew Miller gave up a solo home run to Josh Fields and a grand slam to Juan Uribe. Justin Verlander gave up a two-run homer to BJ Upton. Armando Galarraga gave up a solo home run to Frank Thomas. Now, I have Edwin Jackson (who, if you will recall, I have seen in person before, albeit as a member of the Rays) giving up a two-run homer to Billy Butler and a solo shot to Brayan Peña. Suffice it to say, Jackson did not have the best command and he was hit pretty hard, but he made the pitch when he needed to. And now, our four home run hitters:

Never in my life did I think I would see Ramon Santiago hit a home run, although now that he has seven, you have to think about when you’re gonna stop saying that. For what it’s worth, I HAVE seen Sean Casey hit a home run before. By the way, this photo IS from the at-bat where he homered. Also, he’s got the best batting music of anyone in the lineup.

In the two games I went to in ’07, Guillen hit a triple in each one. I did not see him last year because that was around the time he developed back problems. This time, he homered. By the way, for someone who isn’t used to hitting left-handed against left-handed pitching, Guillen’s not been doing bad. This is NOT the at-bat in which he homered. He did get an RBI single in this at-bat, though.

I was a little bit surprised to see Alex Avila in the lineup, but considering that they made public that he was catching Edwin Jackson in side sessions, maybe I shouldn’t have been. Also, when did the pronunciation of his last name change? I noticed that when I watched part of the FSD replay after I got home last night. Also, the public address announcer at the ballpark says his name in a really annoying fashion (“Alex A-VEEEEEEEEEEE-la”). By the way, my Personal Baseball Guru is on my side when it comes to taking a wait-and-see approach with Avila. It’s too soon to know whether or not he is truly a “catcher” and not merely just a “hitter.” For what it’s worth, though, one of the things I was worried about was his ability to hit left-handed pitching. It’s a small sample size (and Ron Mahay doesn’t exactly shut down lefties), but so far, so good. Like Guillen, this is NOT the at-bat in which he homered.

For some reason, I ended up with more pictures of Cabrera than anyone else. I assure you, I did not plan that (Trust me, if Verlander had been pitching, I would’ve had, like, a hundred pictures of Justin). Miggy had himself quite a night, with four hits and three RBIs. This is probably the best photo I got of anyone all night (I’m not that great a sports photographer). It is of his first at-bat. I do have a picture of him right before he homered, but that shot came out kinda blurry (Ironically, right before he hit the home run, I was thinking to myself “If he homers here, I want to get a picture of him right before he does it”).

For more pictures, go to the album I set up on Flickr.

Today, the Tigers can go for the sweep. From what I hear, Armando Galarraga still isn’t back to full strength, but whatever illness he had seems to have passed, and he’s hoping for six good innings. He hasn’t done so well in August, but he’s put up two good starts against Kansas City this year. Still, given the fact that he was sick and didn’t eat for three days, I don’t think it would be fair to make any sort of conclusions should he stumble in this start. He’ll be opposed by Kyle Davies, whom the Tigers have scored lots of runs against this year. Leyland has loaded his lineup with righties, as Davies is actually more effective against lefties despite the fact that he’s a right-handed pitcher. Meanwhile, Galarraga’s not exactly going to have the best defensive alignment behind him. You’ve got Thames and Maggs in the outfield (not the best range for either of them), Raburn at third (Inge rests, although don’t be surprised if he makes an appearance should the Tigers have the lead late), and Guillen at first (with Cabrera DHing).

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