This series has been strange so far, but not your typical west coast strangeness. This has been more subtle, so subtle that it’s hard to pick up when you’re sleep-deprived and moody. Monday night featured a good approach from the offense but nothing to show for it. Last night didn’t have quite as good an approach against Kazmir, but decent against the bullpen and they were able to score five runs, which on most nights would give them a win. However, this time Rick Porcello just dug too deep a hole. Plain and simple. I can’t really analyze anything he did in comparison with anything else (though he says he didn’t think his command was that bad) because most of the articles were all about the offense. On the flipside, there was some nice work done out of the ‘pen.
I’m not sure what Scott Kazmir was doing with that 90 MPH fastball of his, but apparently something about it was enticing because he was getting a lot of swings and misses on it, especially ones that were way out of the strike zone. And he wasn’t just getting swings and misses from the high strikeout and bottom of the order guys. Maggs and Cabrera fanned on that pitch as well. Regardless, the whole low RISP thing may have been a little deceptive. They cashed in on their opportunities in the sixth and the seventh, and there was at least one instance of bad luck (Laird hit a bullet right at the third baseman with Ryan Raburn on third) and two instances of blown calls (both involving Johnny Damon). They still need to score earlier, but when you score five runs, you should win.
And so the sleep deprivation continues. I wanted to take a nap today, but I’m running out of time so I don’t think that will happen (I even drank the UT equivalent of a frappucino this morning and I hate coffee; it had chocolate cookies in it, so it wasn’t too bad, but I kept jealously staring at a guy’s strawberry banana smoothie the whole time). It’ll be up to Jeremy Bonderman to stop the skid. To say he had issues his last time is an understatement. He can’t get himself flustered over errors or walks or anything like that. And he’s been hit hard by the Angels before, Abreu, Matsui, Hunter, and Izturis all hit well over .400 against him. Jered Weaver gets the ball for the Angels, and he seems to be trying to claim that ace position, because he’s pitched really well for them all year. His numbers against the Tigers aren’t so pretty for him. He’s 2-2, but his ERA is over seven. However, the one who led the charge in pummeling him is gone now (that would be Granderson, who seemed to homer off him every single game), so I would expect those numbers to go down. That said, the three Venezuelans all still have good numbers against Weaver (Cabrera’s at .375 and is the only current Tiger to have homered off Weaver, Guillen’s at .571, and Maggs is at .600). None of the rest of the Tigers have good numbers against him. The lineup is already posted. Alex Avila is catching again (Probably because Laird is only 1-for-15 off Weaver, but as I said before, Bonderman’s not going to hold runners on anyways so why should Laird’s defensive numbers have to suffer because of that), and one interesting development is that Scott Sizemore is batting ninth. Your Mood Music for tonight: Boom-de-yada. Because it’s stuck in my head right now. And you’re getting the Discovery Channel commercial of it because it was the only one on Youtube that wasn’t a fourth grade choir recital or someone sitting in front of a webcam playing a guitar and singing.