Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Follow-Up

Photo: AP

Any thought of a repeat of last Wednesday’s performance vanished with the first batter of the night for Armando Galarraga, but I thought he more than held his own in this game (By the way, I'd like to congratulate the AP for getting a decent photo of him, because that doesn't happen very often). It’s a shame he couldn’t go one more inning and get himself the win (And he certainly pitched well enough to win). I think the 10-pitch at-bat by Mark Kotsay that resulted in the two-run homer took a lot out of him, because after that he wasn’t quite as sharp and his pitch count got up quickly. He gave up seven hits, but I’d say only about three of those were hit hard. All in all, I’d say it was a good start. And I don’t think the hoopla over his perfect game is done just yet. I’m guessing he’ll get quite a reception when he makes his next home start (speaking of which, I give lots of props to the White Sox fans who gave him the standing ovation when he took to the mound). And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the good work put in by the bullpen, which had started to slide a little in recent weeks. Brad Thomas, Joel Zumaya, and Jose Valverde all did their part in this Tigers win (And the pitchers used certainly represented a multicultural affair: Venezuela, Australia, the United States, and the Dominican Republic all made an appearance).

True to form, the Tigers didn’t really do a lot against Gavin Floyd. I mean, I can’t remember many times that they did get to him. But things changed once the bullpen was brought in, and all of a sudden it was like we were back watching the beginning of the season. Things weren’t looking too positive before the game once Magglio Ordoñez was scratched with a sore oblique, but Ryan Raburn came up big, hitting a double off Floyd (one of the few Tigers with good numbers against him, as I pointed out) and scoring the first run, and then knocking in the game-tying run and setting up the error which scored the go-ahead run. After that, Boesch and Guillen teamed up to pour it on. Boesch has been impressive in that a lot of his best swings have come against hard-throwing lefties. I remember him doing damage against Jon Lester and CC Sabathia and now he’s touched up Matt Thornton.

Tonight the Tigers will turn to Rick Porcello as they attempt to take the advantage in this series (and assure themselves of at least a .500 road trip). Porcello got into the six inning in his last start but he had given up six runs (though only three were earned). His sinker is still not sinking with consistency, but he has been better recently at pitching around the extra baserunners. He has not had much success against the White Sox in his career, though this will be his first time pitching at the Cell. The White Sox will counter with Freddy Garcia, who has actually been their most reliable starter recently and whom the Tigers rarely solve at the best of times. No word on whether or not Maggs will play tonight, and I’ll be at work so I’ll have to find out once I’m home.  

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