Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Anticlimactic Memorial Day

I feel I must apologize for yesterday’s post. I didn’t write a whole lot, and then I proceeded to include both a picture and Mood Music, and as a result, the post looked really crappy. I know I’m capable of better. Just like the Tigers. Justin Verlander was only out of sync for the span of about two batters to start the game, but that was enough to do him in (I still can’t figure out how Daric Barton hit that double. That pitch would’ve been ball four, and it was up around his eyeballs. I thought lefties liked the ball low). There was some arguing over the strike zone later in the game. Gameday would indicate that Verlander had a beef, and I’m amazed that neither he nor Leyland got ejected, since both of them were trying their hardest to get tossed (Remember, Verlander’s only career ejection came in a game that he wasn’t even pitching in). I’m more disappointed in the fact that the bullpen has given up runs in five straight games now. That’s a trend that needs to stop now. By the way, those white hats (which aren't as bad as the red ones from last year, but still thumbs down) made all the Tigers look like painters.

I’m not sure what to make of the offense’s performance against Cahill because it seemed like the swings they had should have had better results. Maybe not enough to win the game, but certainly more than one run. It’s kind of like that game they had against Joel Piñiero in Anaheim. With runners at second and third with two out, Magglio hit a ball hard, but right at Rajai Davis in center. With a runner at second and two outs, Brandon Inge hit a single to left but Brennan Boesch was thrown out at the plate. You can’t really complain about the bottom of the order, either. The 7-8-9 hitters combined for five hits and two walks. The 2-3-4 hitters went 0-for-12 (though as I alluded two, there were at least five lineouts included in that). Other than that, I really have no insight. Judging by his postgame comments, Leyland seems to think that it is something that they can control, but I don’t know what that is. One positive thing to note is that Brandon Inge’s bat perked up in the series, as he hit .429 in the four games.

Or was it just a case of hot pitching? We may soon find out. The Indians are coming in for three to round out this homestand, and they certainly haven’t really lived up to my “don’t count them out” instincts, as they are wallowing in last place in the AL Central (remember, though, they tend to have much better second halves). Then again, my instincts probably didn’t take into account that they’d have so many injuries. Grady Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera will both be out for a very long time. Shin Soo Choo is apparently in a deep slump. Travis Hafner is hitting better but he’s not getting much help around him. The Tribe just lost three of four to the Yankees in the Bronx (though keep in mind that the one game they won was a game in which the Yankees led 9-3 at one point and it ended up a 13-11 final, so an offense outburst is hardly out of the question). Tonight’s matchup is Jeremy Bonderman against Jake Westbrook. Bonderman has been very good in his last few starts, but only one win to show for it. It looked as though he’d win his last start, but the bullpen blew the lead. He did not have such good results against the Indians last time he saw them, but thanks to a rainout, none of that is on the record. Jake Westbrook had a somewhat rocky outing against the White Sox, and (not that I’ve been paying much attention) has been up and down pitching-wise, but he’s healthy. The Tigers saw him the first weekend of the season and eventually won that game though they didn’t score against him until late (Cleveland’s bullpen imploded big time; the tying run scored on a bases-loaded walk and the winning run scored on a wild pitch). And please make tonight a win, because I won’t see much of the rest of this series.    

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