Friday, June 4, 2010

The Day After

Photo: Getty Images

I am writing to you from the campus of Denison University, where I am attending my 5-year class reunion, and I’ll be here all weekend. But let’s save that for later. I did not see the beginning of yesterday’s game, but class ended early so I was able to watch quite a bit of the end. As such, I missed the pregame ceremony where Armando Galarraga was awarded a Corvette. Alas, the call will probably not be overturned, though it should be (On Countdown last night, Ken Burns posited to Keith Olbermann that eventually it will go into the history books as a perfect game, but it may be many years before that happens; Olbermann himself provided a good many arguments for overturning the call in terms of precedence). And I’d like to note that I’ve been through similar, albeit much smaller-scale, circumstances (I was the unofficial salutatorian of my high school graduating class; unofficial because the placements were decided at the end of the first semester rather than the second and at that time there were two people tied for first and it was school policy that if there were co-valedictorians, no salutatorian would be recognized, and as it turns out, at the end of second semester I placed between the two). However, the entire baseball world (myself very much included) continues to admire the classiness with which Galarraga is handling this, and it’s won him a lot of love and respect. Why am I going on about this? Two reasons: First, we’ll be discussing this at least through Galarraga’s next start anyways. Second, I really have nothing to say about the pitching yesterday (since I honestly have no opinion of Rick Porcello, as there were a lot of errors that I didn’t see and you can’t really get a feel from the Gameday play-by-play, though Dan and Jim say that in the inning he gave up five runs, only one ball was hit hard), except to say that there was some good work out of the bullpen.

The offense certainly woke up. Like I said, I missed just about all the damage they did to David Huff, but I was around to (sort of) see the damage done to the Indians’ bullpen. It was a big day for Magglio, who had 5 RBIs and finished a single shy of the cycle (denying him a Corvette, according to Leyland, but Magglio’s got so much money he could probably buy ten of them if he wanted to). Miguel Cabrera also had a big day. He still has the lead in RBIs, he’s third in batting average, and he’s now tied for the lead in home runs. Finishing out the Venezuelan quartet (since I discussed Galarraga earlier), Carlos Guillen finished with a couple of doubles, but left the game with a “great toe contusion” (front office’s words, not mine).

And now, like me, the Tigers have hit the road. They’ll be in Kansas City for three, followed by Chicago for three more (and up until yesterday, I kept skipping over the Chicago trip in my head; I honestly thought that after KC, they would be coming back home to face the Pirates). They haven’t been in Kansas City since the first series of the year, and the last time they saw the Royals, which was at Comerica Park, things didn’t turn out so pretty. Maybe all the hits the Royals got against Tiger pitching wasn’t that much of a fluke, though, as they are still second in the league in team batting average. At any rate, Max Scherzer struck out fourteen batters in his last start. We’ll see what he can do for an encore. This year against the Royals, he’s had one good start (which came at Kaufman Stadium) and one bad start (which came at Comerica Park). The Tiger hitters, meanwhile, will face lefty Bruce Chen, who replaced Gil Meche in the rotation when he went on the DL (I still say they caught a break by not having to face Greinke, even though Greinke’s 1-7 right now). Chen is one of those “crafty” lefty types. The Tigers saw him some last year (in fact, he pitched in the game I went to, and gave up a home run to someone, and looking at the individual matchups, that someone had to have been Cabrera, cuz he’s the only one of the four who hit home runs in that game who has homered off of Chen; in fact, he’s done it twice in addition to batting .889 against him). The other Tiger with good numbers against Chen is Johnny Damon (.563 with two home runs). Everyone else has either horrible or pedestrian numbers. I will try my best to watch this game tonight. It depends on how much pressure my old roommates put on me to be social. This will also be the first time I’ll be entirely dependent on to watch the game, so that’ll be something new and different.

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