Monday, April 19, 2010

Miguel Cabrera: Defying Gravity

Photo: Otto Greule, Jr (Getty Images)

Wicked was awesome. This game was also awesome, except for the rash of uneven pantlegs that drive symmetry lovers crazy (On a related note from a different game yesterday, I learned definitively that alternate-color jerseys and white shoes offset quite a significant amount of boxiness. However, the underlying reason remains a mystery. But I digress). I finally got to see a little bit of Max Scherzer pitching as a Tiger. And he pitched decently, for the most part, as did the bullpen. Ryan Perry in particular got himself out of a big-time jam.

The offense had some issues with stranding runners, but every time that happens, I keep thinking of something Lou Pinella said when he was serving as a color analyst for the 2006 ALCS. And this is something I actually remember from watching the game in 2006. I did not get it from watching the archives later. He said that if you keep getting baserunners, eventually you will score them. I don’t know why, but that stuck with me ever since (of course, he was talking about the fact that Nate Robertson kept getting into a lot of jams against the Oakland A’s, but Pinella was wrong in that instance; Still, if that series had gone to Game 5, who knows? Besides, the Cardinals didn’t have any problem scoring runs in the World Series that year). At any rate, Miguel Cabrera hit a 3-run homer on his birthday. And it went a long way. Austin Jackson came up with a big RBI single late in the game to tack on an important insurance run. Of course, not all the stranding was really the fault of the Tigers. Both Guillen and Avila absolutely smoked balls right at Chone Figgins who, on both occasions, turned them into Web Gem-quality double plays. Speaking of Alex Avila, he finally looked like he had good swings for probably the first time all year. We’ll have to see if he keeps that up or not. On the flipside, Magglio went 0-for-5. It had to even out sometime.

Okay, this long and winding road trip has made its way to Anaheim for four games (yuck). Places don’t get much weirder than the Big A either. And the Angels are hot right now. They just swept the Blue Jays and they got some really good pitching in that series (Rodney is now the closer, by the way). They’ll lead things off with Joel Piñiero. He’s pitched well so far this year, and apparently he used to dominate the Tigers, but has lost his last four decisions to them. The only one I remember is the last one, when he was with the Cardinals last year (I don’t even remember him ever being in the American League). The Tigers scored four runs against him in the first inning but nothing after that (It was a game the Tigers won, though). No current Tiger has homered off him, but Maggs and Guillen both hit over .400 against him. We might see Alex Avila behind the plate again, only because Gerald Laird has not hit Piñiero well in the past (only 2-for-13), and I’m not sure what they’re gonna do about shortstop because neither Everett nor Santiago has a hit against him. Meanwhile, Dontrelle Willis will start for the Tigers, and I’m still not sure what’s gonna happen. He hasn’t really imploded yet, but he hasn’t exactly instilled confidence in the fanbase, either. Earlier today, Tom Gage pointed out on Twitter that Dontrelle is 0-3 in nine career road starts for the Tigers (He does not mention ERA, which I would imagine would be quite high). I’m not surprised by the fact that he’s winless. I’m more amazed that he’s somehow ended up with six no-decisions out of the nine starts. At any rate, he hasn’t faced the Angels since 2005, which was the year he almost won the Cy Young. Obviously, a lot’s changed since then. As a matter of fact, only three current Angels have ever faced Dontrelle: Bobby Abreu (who wasn’t even with the Angels in 2005), Juan Rivera, and Maicer Izturis. Get ready for a long night. Really. That’s not a knock on Dontrelle at all. The game starts at freakin’ 10:00 at night. I’m not getting to sleep before 1 AM likely. And I have to get up at 7:00. So yeah.

No comments:

Post a Comment