I’ll admit I didn’t see a lot of this game (just the ninth inning, though I was able to listen to the eighth inning on the radio). The assessment of Edwin Jackson’s performance seems to be different with every source I check. I’ve heard or read everything from “he threw a gem” to “he was damn lucky.” He did have huge problems throwing first-pitch strikes and he fell behind a lot of hitters, but he still pitched seven shutout innings, so I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. And, from what I’ve heard, his defenders helped him out greatly. Things got a little ugly in the eighth, when Bobby Seay gave up two hits and Brandon Lyon gave up two walks (one of which forced in a run). And it’s not like Brandon Lyon to walk people, let alone two in a row. However, there were complaints all evening that the strikezone was very erratic for both teams (If you trust Gameday, check out Lyon’s pitches to Jamey Carroll and you’ll see what I mean), and that might have been part of Jackson’s problem as well. So you could imagine that everyone was a bit nervous to have Fernando Rodney on the mound with this wacky strikezone, but he actually did a very good job. And by the way, if the name Paul Schrieber sounds familiar, he’s the umpire that was involved in that whole business with “nudging” Magglio Ordoñez toward the dugout a few months ago. Meanwhile, the offense wasn’t exactly tremendous against Aaron Laffey (though by the sounds of things, there were some balls hit hard right at people; same for the Indians against the Tigers), but they scored just enough to get by. The two insurance runs came against an abnormally wild Chris Perez. By the way, I chose today’s photo on the sole basis that Miguel Cabrera looks like he’s dancing and that’s funny.
Tonight, the Tigers send Rick Porcello to the mound. He’s coming off a loss in his last start in which he pitched reasonably well but took the loss against Minnesota. They brought a somewhat stunning fact during that game: Rick has not had a road win since June 24th. I did not realize that. He’s been good against the Indians this year, and the last time he faced them in Cleveland he pitched eight superb innings. He’ll be opposed by Justin Masterson, one of the big pieces in the Victor Martinez trade. The Red Sox had Masterson working out of their bullpen, but the Indians have converted him back into a starter. He’s pitched reasonably well for them up until his last start where he gave up five earned runs against Oakland, but has been plagued by poor run support. However, there is a reason why he is highly regarded, and you’d have to think that’ll show up sooner or later (Hopefully, “later.” Much later). Then there’s this: He has pitched 3 1/3 innings against the Tigers this year, all in relief. In that span, he has given up only two hits and one walk, and he has struck out six (though three of those strikeouts belong to Adam Everett). And, oh, by the way, last night at work we were out of Z-Packs, Cipro, and Vicodin, so you can imagine things’ll be rather busy tonight.