Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Kansas City Bullpen Comes Through Yet Again

Photo: Leon Halip (Getty Images)

Score one for rally lab practicals. Just before I started my exam, the Tigers were down 5-0 and Carlos Guillen had just struck out to begin the bottom of the seventh. When I finished, it was the top of the ninth and the Tigers were up 6-5. It’s hard to guage Dontrelle Willis. He obviously didn’t do as well as he had in his first start, but there’s even disagreement on the Tigers blogosphere about what to make of that. Depending on who you ask, he’ll almost assuredly have a meltdown next time or the fact that he hasn’t melted down yet is encouraging. Were it any other pitcher, the numbers he’s putting up are acceptable for a fifth starter, and you probably shouldn’t ask for more than that, especially since a lot of our better pitchers have also failed to contain the Royals’ offense (and if you’re wondering, Nate Robertson gave up six runs in five innings to the Reds last night, with all the damage coming on two 3-run homers, though only three of the runs were earned). Of course, he could go seven or eight innings with just one walk and there’d be people who would fixate on the walk. I suppose we’ll find out in his next start, since it’ll be against the Angels and they’re generally regarded as a better team than the Royals. I can’t comment further than that, because I was only able to listen to the first six innings on Gameday Audio, so I have no insight on the bullpen.

Likewise, I can’t give a lot of commentary on the offense because the offense didn’t show up until after I was in lab. I don’t know what more they could have done against Brian Bannister. I did have Gameday up and it looked like he just kept painting the corners. It was good to see that Laird finally got in on the action, as the Tigers basically doubled the Royals to death. There may be kind of a power outage in terms of home runs (with five, I’m sure that’s gotta rank near the bottom of the AL; after all, there are some players who already have five home runs all by themselves), they’re really racking up the doubles.

Today marks the last home game before a really long road trip. Rick Porcello gets the start for the Tigers. He wasn’t at his sharpest on Opening Day, but he pitched well enough to win, and did so. Again, Leyland wants at least six innings out of him (since Zumaya will probably be unavailable today). Rick actually kinda struggled against the Royals last year, going 1-1 but with an ERA of 5.00. Looking at the individual matchups, I don’t see anything that really stands out, though. He’ll be opposed by Kyle Davies, who’s had kind of a mixed bag against the Tigers. His record and ERA aren’t good (1-6 and 5.61), but for some reason, the games that stand out to me are the ones he’s pitched well against them. Several of the Tigers have really good numbers against him, especially in the extra-base hit category. However, have I mentioned that I am sick of day games? While you all enjoy the game, I’ll be learning about drug-induced nephropathies.

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