Friday, August 21, 2009

Rain Delay Turn of Momentum

Photo: Duane Burleson (AP)

Once again, things looked dim, but somehow that home field mojo found a way. I don’t really know what to make of Jarrod Washburn’s outing. I mean, it wasn’t good, by any means, but six runs on five hits, one walk, and a hit batter is a really strange final line. Okay, Russell Branyan hit a BOMB, and Jose Lopez’s home run was a line drive, but the other two home runs, though hit well, were definitely wind-blown. And in between all those home runs, he got some really easy outs (and Brandon Inge made two sensational plays that only netted him #3 on the Web Gems list). This game also featured some really good, crucial, scoreless innings from Zach Miner and Bobby Seay.

Meanwhile, once the rain stopped, the Tigers’ swings got a whole lot better, and apparently Leyland pushed the right buttons at the right time, cuz all three pinch-hitters he used came through with some sort of contribution, from Huff’s RBI groundout to Avila’s 2-run single to Guillen’s walk leading off the ninth. After the eighth inning, it looked as though any win the Tigers would have was snatched from them by the Seattle defense. But then David Aardsma had some control problems in the ninth. Give credit to Brandon Inge, who hit a fly ball that was just deep enough to score Guillen (collision or no) and to Clete Thomas, who hit the game-winner.

Tonight, the Tigers begin their final west coast swing of the year (thank goodness). First stop: Oakland. Since they last saw them, the A’s have pretty much traded away or released every veteran on their roster, save for Mark Ellis and Nomar Garciaparra. They’ve gone from being what I would term an “underachieving” offense to an offense that you’re probably as much as can be expected from (for the record, I DO term the Tigers’ offense as “underachieving”). Still, the last time I checked in on them, they did score quite a bit of runs against the White Sox. And the Tigers generally don’t play well at the Coliseum, no matter what the name is. At any rate, they’ll face lefty Gio Gonzalez tonight. He struggled for most of the year (including a loss to the Tigers, although they only scored three runs off him), but had put together a really good stretch prior to his last start, when he was shelled by the White Sox. Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson could use a good, stress-free start. He won his last start and only gave up three runs, but it was a bit of a struggle. I know. I was there. However, as I've said numerous times, strange things happen on the west coast. It’d be nice if the Tigers could get a nice, quick win, as well, because I have to get up at 7 AM tomorrow morning.

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