Monday, June 28, 2010

Bats Finally as Hot as the Weather

Photo: AP

Perhaps a short post, because I didn’t really see this game (okay, I watched the archived game later, but that doesn’t exactly have the same impact). Justin Verlander was perhaps not as dominating as you’d want him to be, but he did give seven innings. And he did make a nice adjustment that allowed him to go those extra two innings. Meanwhile, the offense (which did not include Verlander, and that means that the pitchers did absolutely nothing at the plate this year) pounded out 17 hits, 16 of which were singles. But there were a lot of hard-hit singles in there (as well as a few bloops and seeing-eyed singles). The only extra-base hit was Brennan Boesch’s two-run homer. I know this kid is going to slow down sometime (probably sooner rather than later), but as I’ve said before, might as well milk him for all he’s worth. And it’s nice to see Cabrera had a few multi-hit games on this road trip. His slumps may not usually last long, but they can be crippling for the rest of the team. And so the Tigers finish Interleague play this year with a 11-7 mark, which is one game better than they did last year.

And now the Tigers are once again a half-game behind Minnesota, and that’s where they are going next, so this could be a huge swing for one of these two teams (they’ll have to worry about the White Sox later). The good news is that the Tigers will miss Carl Pavano. The bad news is that they will still have to face Francisco Liriano. Liriano’s not been as lights-out as he was when the Tigers last saw him, but that hardly seems to matter, since he always looks dominant against Detroit. Magglio’s been bothered by the sore side, but he’s got some of the best numbers on the team against Liriano (.333 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, and 8 RBIs). Cabrera’s done good work against him as well (.333 with 2 doubles and a home run). The rest of the Tigers have not fared as well against him. They’re all batting lower than .250 against him. Meanwhile, Jeremy Bonderman will get the start for the Tigers. He was decent against the Mets, but ultimately took the loss. The three Twins he needs to watch out for in particular: Michael Cuddyer (.310 with a double and three triples), Joe Mauer (.348 with two doubles and a home run), and Delmon Young (.444 with a double). Justin Morneau’s actually fared quite badly against Bonderman (only .185 with nine strikeouts, but he has homered off him). And I’m excited because I’m going to see nearly all the games this week.

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