Sunday, May 23, 2010

Casey Blake is Still a Pain in the Ass

Ah, I was afraid of this happening. I would gladly have exchanged the two wins in Oakland for two wins in LA. At any rate, Casey Blake was a Tiger-killer when he was with the Indians, and apparently that hasn’t changed. It doesn’t matter who is pitching for the Tigers; he will hammer them. It doesn’t matter who is at the plate for the Tigers; he will come up with some sparkling defensive play to kill a rally. Armando Galarraga was just his latest victim. Galarraga had his fastball working pretty well, but he had some issues with hanging sliders and the Dodgers made him pay. At the time, I thought it was bad pitch selection, like he was trying to throw the slider for a strike and the Dodgers were sitting on it, but according to him, that’s not what it was. Combined with his words and Jim Leyland’s words, it sounds like a mechanical issue and those can be fixed. I appreciate the fact that he was not timid and kept attacking the strike zone, and I appreciate the fact that the Tigers, at least right now, are not inclined to give him the quick hook, so to speak. The bullpen (Ni and Zumaya) did a nice job.

I guess that I misspoke when I said John Ely was a hard thrower (either that or the gun in Arizona was really hot). Still, if he can be successful in the majors, I see no reason why Armando Galarraga cannot be (and I daresay Armando has slightly better stuff). At any rate, he shut down the Tigers for the most part (first inning notwithstanding), and the Tigers attempted their rally against the Dodgers’ bullpen. Things got scary when Austin Jackson was hit in the head with a 92 MPH fastball. It appears he’ll be okay, but understandably, he won’t be playing today. The Tigers had Jonathan Broxton right where they wanted him in the ninth, getting the first two on, but pinch-hitter Alex Avila (the last position player on the bench) struck out, then Cabrera hit a bullet that was headed into left field, but Casey “There’s-that-bear-again” Blake snared it and turned it into a fielder’s choice. Boesch got one run in (and the fact that it was a ground-rule double probably cost the Tigers a run), but Broxton painted the outside corner with a 98 MPH fastball to get Brandon Inge looking.

Would it be too much to ask for a game today that I can watch Vin Scully do later? As in, I want the Tigers to win? Rick Porcello had an “in the middle” type start last time, which was a loss to the White Sox. He’s never faced the Dodgers before, but apparently he’s 0-3 in three starts made in California, which is probably one of those stats that mean absolutely nothing. Jamey Carroll and Nick Green have faced him before, but that’s not a big sample. The Dodgers will counter with Japanese righty Hiroki Kuroda, who has done a lot of good work for the Dodgers since he signed with them a couple years ago. Vin Scully describes him as a control artist. None of the Tigers have seen him before, and Kuroda’s no picnic. This is going to be a hard game to win. I would love to see it, but someone called off work on my day off and I got called in. Boo.

1 comment:

  1. I was plotting various ways Blake might have an unfortunate "accident."