Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Stars Have Better Luck In Extras

Photo: AP

For the second night in a row, the starting pitcher was gone by the time I got home. However, this time it was because Rick Porcello was amazingly efficient with his pitches. I can’t tell you how he looked, though I did follow the game on ESPN’s GameCast, but 91 pitches in eight innings is incredible for any pitcher. If it had been anyone other than Porcello, I’m convinced that Leyland would’ve had him back out there for the ninth. But with them watching Porcello’s every move, you knew that Porcello’s night would be done after eight innings. And as far as Rodney goes, well, it had to happen sometime, didn’t it? I’m sure we were all hoping for a Brad Lidge-type season, but that was pretty unrealistic (And what is it with the number 22 being so elusive? Bobby Seay had 21 straight scoreless appearances and then gave up a run, and Rodney had 21 saves before blowing his first). Oddly enough, as Rodney started to rack up the saves, I started developing gut feelings about what his first blown save would look like, and it pretty much met my expectations: 1) It came at a very inconvenient time; 2) It was NOT a spectacular pitching meltdown (Rodney was actually quite sharp and throwing strikes; pretty much the only bad pitch he made was the changeup that went for a triple, and even then I think Clete could’ve played that off the wall better); and 3) There was a particularly cruel twist involved. Not only did it deny Porcello a win, but after Rodney made good pitch to Peralta that broke his bat and caused him to pop up, Granderson made a spectacular diving catch, only to have that go as a sacrifice fly because Granderson couldn’t get back up in time to throw. Still, as long as Rodney gets back up on the horse next time, I have no problem with it. The rest of the bullpen pitched fine, although Zach Miner demonstrated that he will never be a closer. The offense had more issues with stranding runners, but according to some of the commenters on
Bless You Boys, it had a little bit more to do with bad luck this time than anything else, as there were several lineouts and the Indians made some great plays of their own. And with that, they finally had a throwback uniform win.

Today marks the end of this road trip before the Tigers get to come home for quite a spell (They have a lot of home games in August, as a matter of fact). And Armando Galarraga NEEDS to give the Tigers some good innings today because the bullpen is taxed. He had a really strange start against Texas. He was cruising along before the Rangers all of a sudden put up four runs against him, and then he settled down again after that. He has alternated “good” and “okay” starts. Last time was an “okay” start, so he’s due for a good one, and he dominated the Indians last year. However, this year has been a different story, and he’s been mysteriously gun shy when it comes to the Tribe. However, like most of the Tiger pitchers, he has not gotten a lot of run support. He may not get a lot of run support today, either. Carl Pavano has beaten the Tigers twice this year, and both times it was against Galarraga (And if his postgame comments are any indication, Rod Allen remembers none of this).

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