Friday, August 7, 2009

Youth Is Served

Photo: AP

While not as outstanding as he was against the Indians, Rick Porcello did do a good job against the Orioles. Thinking “no-hitter” after four innings is a bit premature, but sometimes you can’t keep the idea out of your mind, as evidenced by the multitude of news stories that mention it. He started hanging a few breaking balls about the fifth inning or so, and the Orioles pounced, so he probably got taken out of the game at the right time. Meanwhile, it was nice to see the power come back for Brandon Inge. Perhaps those knees are feeling a bit better? He also scored from first base on a double. On another injury front, I don’t know what the deal was with Cabrera, but hopefully it’s nothing major. Meanwhile, Alex Avila had quite a nice debut, which did a total 180 to the opinions on the blogosphere. One game is way too small of a sample size, but I did like how he was able to work the count and hit the ball hard. There’s still a few more things we need to find out about him, though. We have yet to be able to gauge his throwing ability, and we have also yet to see how he fares against left-handed pitching. There’s also the matter of how he’ll respond once the league gets a full scouting report on him and makes adjustments. Until that happens, though, I see no harm in milking him for all he’s worth.

Tonight marks an AL Central showdown as the Minnesota Twins come to town. They have been struggling of late, but you can’t count them out right now. Tonight it’s (presumably) Armando Galarraga against Anthony Swarzak. Galarraga is coming off a very rough outing in which he didn’t have a thing, but pretty much became the sacrificial lamb for a team with a depleted bullpen. And he knew it. He was able to stick around long enough to get the bullpen back in shape, at the cost of his dignity and his earned run average. His struggles against the Twins are well-documented. It’s up to him to stay aggressive and not get gun shy simply because of those past struggles. And not throw those bad different-looking pitches. I want the good fastball and the good slider. He’s in a rough stretch of starts right now, because his next start will be against Boston at Fenway before he gets a chance at a reprieve against the Mariners. Anthony Swarzak is in the Twins’ rotation because Kevin (not Kyle) Slowey had to undergo season-ending surgery. He’s done a good job for them up until his last start, which was against a red hot Angels team. The Tigers have never seen him. However, the Twins just acquired Carl Pavano today. Evidently, they must’ve seen what he’s done against the Tigers this season. Plus, he hasn’t pitched since Sunday, so it’s a fair bet that we’ll see him sometime this weekend. Could you imagine if it was tonight? Galarraga would be having nightmares about Pavano for the rest of his life. Your Mood Music for tonight: Given Galarraga wasn’t particularly good his last time and how the odds are kind of stacked against him, and yet at the same time, I can’t bring myself to dislike him, I figured Daughtry’s “It’s Not Over” would be fitting. By the way, I apologize for using this particular video, because the person who provided the lyrics can’t spell to save her life, but it was the only one that allowed embedding.

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