Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Walkoff Wrapped in a Big Bow

Photo: AP

I finally got what I wanted for my birthday. The Tigers always seem to lose on August 3rd, so I’m glad they turned that around (One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that I have the exact same birthdate as Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, and all he did yesterday was hit two home runs and come up with a Web Gem). It didn’t look good at first. After one third of an inning, Justin Verlander had given up five runs. However, that whole business just seemed so alarmingly random to me. I was not under the impression that he was struggling (Usually when he struggles, he’s walking guys and throwing a lot of pitches). Therefore, I felt like he had to improve. And improve he did. And the offense showed some fight, especially Miguel Cabrera, who drove in three, including himself as the tying run. And Clete Thomas sent all the fans home happy, parking one into the center field shrubbery.

Tonight marks game 2 in this series, and it will feature the Tigers debut of Jarrod Washburn, who faced the O’s earlier this year and threw a complete game one-hitter against them (And with the good offense the Orioles have, that’s impressive). Hopefully, the adjustments he made and lessons he learned in Seattle will carry over. On the other side, Brian Matusz will make his Major League debut for the Orioles. This guy’s numbers in the minor leagues are outstanding: 11-2 with a 1.91 ERA with 121 strikeouts and only 30-some walks. Yikes. Starting today, I will be working every day from now until next Monday, so I’m going to miss a lot of the beginning of games. And as it’s bound to be a stressful week at work, I’m hoping the Tigers can put up a really good homestand.

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