ANY team can bite you on the ass if you let them. And that is exactly what the Tigers let the Royals do. The Tigers scored ten runs in this series. That’s obviously nothing to get excited about, but it’s certainly enough for them to have taken two of three. The problem is that Tigers pitching gave up NINETEEN runs to an offense that ranks either last or second-to-last (can’t remember which). I didn’t get home until the end of the fifth inning, so I can’t comment too much on Jarrod Washburn, but by his own admission, skipping a start didn’t help the knee any. He gave up a lot of baserunners, but only three runs (Leyland seemed to approve of the start). I missed the first four innings of the game entirely due to lab, so I can’t give much of an assessment on the early part of the game. I listened to the fifth inning on my way home from school, and watched the game on TV from the sixth inning on. The swings against Lenny DiNardo sounded pretty good in the fifth, and if he had stayed in there longer than five, he probably would’ve given up more runs. However, after rallying and taking the lead against Yabuta, that lead only lasted four pitches into the bottom of the sixth, when Zach Miner gave up a home run to Alex Gordon. And so continued the series-long trend of Tiger relievers not pitching well. Fu Te Ni and Eddie Bonine weren’t much help either. Meanwhile, the Tigers had fourteen hits, but five double plays kind of killed all the rallies. I didn’t see the first three double plays, the fourth was just a routine double play (nothing fancy), but the fifth was just downright bad luck. You can’t ask Cabrera to hit a ball any harder than that, but he hit it right at Billy Butler and Maggs had no chance to get back to first. Ironically, on this road trip, the Tigers tattooed the “good” bullpen (Tampa) but really didn’t do much against the “bad” bullpen (KC).
By the way, I apologize with the font being weird on yesterday’s post. I already knew that Office 2007 and Firefox didn’t mix. Now I know that Office 2007 and IE7 don’t mix either (though that combination DID let me post without having a hissy fit about formatting, which is more than I can say for Firefox). Luckily, today I am using Office 2003 and IE6, so that should not be a problem.
All told, the Tigers had a .500 road trip, which is pretty much what everyone wanted when the road trip started, but they did it in a way that left you unsatisfied with a .500 road trip. But if anything can get the Tigers out of this rut, it’s a homestand. If being at home can’t do it, I don’t know what will. First up is a four-game set with the Blue Jays, whom the Tigers haven’t seen since the four days of the season (and no, I STILL don’t know what a trap series is). They will NOT have to face Halladay in the series, but keep in mind the reaction you had when we found out that the Tigers wouldn’t see Greinke in the just-completed series in KC versus what actually happened. At any rate, the Tigers will see three lefty starters in this series, with one going tonight. Brian Tallet has bounced between the rotation and the bullpen all year, as the Blue Jays have suffered injuries to their pitching staff. Tallet got the win in his last start against the Yankees despite giving up five runs. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to see just how long we can keep milking Nate Robertson for all he’s worth. I haven’t seen him since he’s come back (outside of his brief appearance in Kansas City). He did a good job against the Indians, though. Nate’s teased us like this before, however, so it’ll probably be a few more starts before we know anything. Unfortunately, his re-emergence has come at the expense of Armando Galarraga, who has been moved to the bullpen for the time being. Personally, I don’t think this is a good move, because I don’t think he’s healthy. I would rather he be shut down for the season to focus on getting the elbow/arm better and getting back to the 2008 form so that he can reclaim his starting spot next year. Which brings me to tonight’s Mood Music. It’s slightly inappropriate, as I have no romantic feelings toward Armando and there are two Tigers that I like better than him, but I’ve increasingly become his lone voice of support in the online community (Someone had to stick up for him, and besides, Justin doesn’t need my help and Magglio’s got plenty of followers). However, I realize I’m just about out of ammo and “I like him” is not a valid argument. Hopefully he can get back to his 2008 self, though, because it would be a shame to have his story end like this. At any rate, I heard this on the radio today and it made me think of the situation. I promise I’ll return to the more upbeat/”get pumped” music in the next couple days.