Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Well, I’m tired and maybe a little frustrated but not as angry as the rest of the blogosphere. As much as I hate to admit it (and getting shut out is one of my least favorite ways to lose), you might have to give the opposing pitchers some credit. More on that later. I wonder when the last time was that Dontrelle Willis had a tough-luck loss. It certainly wasn’t as a Tiger. At any rate, he had himself a pretty damn good start. The strikeout total was a little low, but other than that, it’s a line I would take from any of our starting pitchers. He had some issues in the third (when the two runs scored) and in the fourth (when he got bailed out by a nice catch from Magglio), but looked really strong in the other innings. Hell, the Jeff Mathis double that started things for the Angels wasn’t that well-hit.

And then there’s the complaints about stranding baserunners. To be honest with you, though, I’m not sure how you would go about doing things differently. It looked to me like most of the guys had a good approach when there were runners in scoring position. They weren’t swinging wildly at pitches out of the strike zone or popping stuff up. They weren’t trying to do too much, just take the ball up the middle. The problem was that they couldn’t get it past the pitcher. And therein lay some bad luck. With runners on first and second and one out, Alex Avila hit a scorching line drive that Piñiero caught and turned into a double play. Then in the eighth, with runners at second and third and two outs, Carlos Guillen there were a few instances of guys hitting balls well but right at defenders. I just wish they hadn’t made it so easy for Rodney, after being so used to the adventures he used to put us through.

If I may indulge my own eccentricities for a moment, I watched last night’s Rockies-Nationals game while waiting for the Tigers to come on (I wasn’t sure who to root for in that game, since I like the Rockies as a team better than the Nationals, but my favorite player ever is with the Nats). And yes, I was pretty much only watching that game because I was able to see both Carlos Gonzalez and Pudge Rodriguez (and besides, my only other choice was a Blue Jays-Royals matchup). During the game, Pudge had pretty much the exact same dropped ball issue that Gerald Laird had in that game against Kansas City (So indeed it happens to the best of them, so you can stop harping on Laird). Later on he really flaked out when Carlos Gonzalez struck out on a pitch in the dirt and Pudge started frantically scrambling around looking for the ball (and he was looking all over the place), only to finally discover it had been in his glove the whole time. Considering how long it took him to realize that, I’m amazed he was able to throw to first in time, because CarGo can really run. And what would that have been ruled if he HAD made it to first? You can’t really call that a wild pitch or passed ball because it never got past the catcher. On the flipside of things, I knew Pudge had gotten off to a good start with the bat, but I didn’t realize he was leading the National League in hitting. And here I only drafted him for my fantasy team out of sentimentality. I’m not sure he’ll keep it up (after all, he IS a 38-year old catcher), but it’ll be fun while it lasts.

Next up on the late-night docket: Rick Porcello against Scott Kazmir. The Tigers have not seen Kazmir since before he got traded to the Angels (as a matter of fact, they might not have seen him at all last year). His career numbers against the Tigers aren’t all that great, but most of those numbers must’ve been put up by those who aren’t with the Tigers anymore cuz most of the current crop are probably dreading facing him right now. Magglio’s 1-for-11, while Guillen is 0-for-7. Miguel Cabrera is 3-for-11, with all three hits being for extra bases (a double, a triple, and a home run). The only Tiger who has hit him well is Ramon Santiago, who is 2-for-3 with two home runs (both of which came in the same game, I believe). Gerald Laird will likely be back in the lineup, as I don’t think Leyland would want to start Avila against a lefty (should’ve stuck with the switch-hitting there, Alex), but I’m not sure Leyland will be doing Laird a favor (1-for-12 with five strikeouts). Johnny Damon is also under .200 against Kazmir and Inge is just at .214 (though his three hits off Kazmir were two doubles and a triple). My personal observation of Kazmir in the past is that he’s allowed quite a few baserunners but not many runs. It always seemed like the first two would get on (via hit or walk), and then he’d strike out the side. He has struggled out of the gate for the Angels, though. Much has been made about his slider not working right now. For the Tigers, Rick Porcello faced the Angels once last year, at Comerica Park. It wasn’t a very auspicious start. He gave up two home runs in the first inning (one to Chone Figgins, the other to Juan Rivera), but it was a game the Tigers won. The most ABs any of the Angels have had against Porcello is three, which is not much to go on. Porcello’s gonna have to keep the speed demons off the bases, though. Dontrelle Willis was able to do that. Your Mood Music for tonight: After seeing Ichiro in the last series and Hideki Matsui in this series, I guess I’ve gotten into sort of a Japanese mood. I don’t really consider myself a fan of anime, but when I was in college I had a lot of friends who were into it so it was fairly inevitable that I would get into a couple shows. This is the first season opening theme to one of them. I actually found out there’s an English version of the song (by the same group, by the sounds of things), but I’m used to the Japanese version (oddly enough, since I prefer watching the show dubbed).

No comments:

Post a Comment