Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Thanks to class, I pretty much missed this one (with the exception of listening to the ninth inning in the car on my way home). I’d say that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing except that Gameday doesn’t really give you a feel for what’s going on outside of bare bones play-by-play. Something about the White Sox always brings out the worst in the Tigers. Judging by how the game shook out, I’d say there might be something to the theory that the rainout made Rick Porcello “too strong.” I know it’s an old cliché that sinkerballers tend to not do as well on extra rest because the extra strength causes them to throw too hard and therefore their sinker doesn’t sink. But just because it’s a cliché doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true. And once Porcello got a few innings in (i.e. tired down a bit), he started getting more ground ball outs. However, the damage had already been done. Still, while it wasn’t a great start, it wasn’t horrible, either.

The Tigers left a lot of runners on base, and here’s where not seeing the game makes it hard for me to determine anything. On three separate instances they had a runner at third with one out and that run didn’t score. On two of those occasions, the batter grounded out to an infielder. I would think that in and of itself should be enough to score the run (in a small ball kind of way), and yet, it wasn’t. Now, apparently one run didn’t score because Brennan Boesch made a rookie mistake of staying at third base, thinking that Paul Konerko was going to throw home when in fact he would’ve scored easily and Konerko was just trying to get the out at first. But in the other situation, it was Brandon Inge at third and Laird grounded out to short, and I’m not sure why Inge didn’t score on that play (Speaking of Laird, he was apparently robbed of an RBI hit in his next at-bat). Miguel Cabrera in particular stranded a lot of runners, but I’m not sure if he’s in a slump, or perhaps he just hit the ball right at someone. However, some remarks from a couple bloggers have indicated that Cabrera will forever be cursed with the notion that if he fails to deliver against the White Sox, there will be whispers that he was out partying with them the night before. Maybe that’s fair, maybe it isn’t. But I don’t think it’s true in this instance.

The Tigers embark on their second (and final) road trip of the year starting tonight (and with a 6 AM wakeup time, it’ll be not much sleep for me). Tonight’s game will feature somewhat of an intriguing pitching matchup. You have a guy who pitched a perfect game going against a guy whom I want to pitch a perfect game someday (Just…maybe not tonight. If Justin’s going to pitch a perfect game, he probably will only do it once so therefore I’d rather he do it at Comerica Park). This’ll be Dallas Braden’s first start in Oakland since that perfect game. He was not perfect in his last start, but he did have a complete-game loss against the Angels, giving up four runs. He’s 2-2 lifetime against the Tigers with an ERA of over seven. They last saw him in the middle of last year, and he beat them with a strong pitching performance (I think he might have outpitched Verlander, if I’m not mistaken). Magglio was scratched from the lineup with a sore heel (day to day), which is a shame since he’s .308 against Braden with two home runs (and the only Tiger to have homered against him). Casper Wells takes his place in the lineup. Meanwhile, Verlander is 3-3 lifetime against the A’s, but he’s only won in Oakland once (late 2007). He has not faced many of the A’s hitters before, but both Jack Cust and Kurt Suzuki bat .273 against him (Cust has the only home run).

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