Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Big Inning

I wish I could give you some insight on Max Scherzer, but I never saw him last night, since he was gone by the time I got home from work. I do know that one trend that is starting to take shape is the big inning. It happened in Cleveland and it happened last night. Outside of those two innings, he hasn’t been bad. I do not remember the big inning being a real issue when he was in Arizona. Kudos go to Brad Thomas for throwing three scoreless innings of mop-up duty (I’m also going to give kudos to Alex Avila’s fiancĂ©e for “suggesting” that he get rid of the mohawk).

I was able to listen to the bottom of the third during work, and at that time it sounded like Buchholz’s pitch count would get to him before long, as he threw nearly fifty pitches in the first two innings. He must’ve gotten really efficient after that because he made it into the seventh. Leyland described him as “effectively wild” because he walked five but didn’t give up a lot in the hit column. The Tigers had five hits all evening and Magglio had three of them. It looked like they had a comeback brewing in the eighth inning, but Scott Sizemore’s baserunning error kinda fizzled that (Is it just me or has there been a lot of bad baserunning this season?).

The Tigers and Red Sox go right back at it tonight in a battle of lefties. Dontrelle Willis was still very sick as of a few days ago, but nothing further’s been said so I guess he’s good to go tonight. As I said last time, this is the longest period of consistency he’s had with the Tigers. However, he pitched one game against the Red Sox last year and had a meltdown with five walks in less than three innings (plus a hit batter that kind of caused the meltdown). As such, it’s hard to decide what to make of the opposing numbers against him, but Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre have put up some gaudy numbers against him (.667 and .778, respectively, and with power). The Tigers have only seen Jon Lester once. It was in 2008, and they beat him. In fact, it was their first win of 2008 after going 0-7 to start the year. However, that was in April, and Jon Lester tends to get off to slow starts, kind of like Justin Verlander. The rest of the year, he’s flat-out dominant, and he’s been that recently. Tonight will feature the major league debut of Casper Wells, who will either play left field or DH, giving Johnny Damon the night off (a little bit strange, because Damon’s numbers against Lester aren’t bad at all: .292 with two home runs).  I’ll be at work until 9:00, but that’s the last time I’ll have to say that on a Saturday. Our Saturday hours are changing in two weeks, so all I’ll miss of night games on Saturdays from now on is maybe the first inning.

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