Friday, June 11, 2010

I Still Feel Shortchanged

As it turns out, I finished my exam early enough that I was able to get home in time to watch the game, although it didn’t exactly bring the thrill I was looking for. Max Scherzer had an outing very similar to Jeremy Bonderman’s last week against Cleveland. He looked real good, but his downfall was the inability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Then there was the matter of the squeeze play pitchout that he didn’t pitch out on (Seriously, I knew the squeeze was coming there. Scherzer should not have been caught off guard by the call). However, his outing was real encouraging (and to tell you the truth, Omar Vizquel’s home run probably would not have reached the warning track at Comerica Park).

I was a little surprised by the fact that John Danks had not beaten the Tigers since 2008, since he usually pitches well against them. That was certainly the case yesterday. There were only three hits, singles from Guillen, Laird, and Inge. There were quite a few walks, however, but nothing ever came of them. I mean they had Miguel Cabrera in the right situation, with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth with a 3-2 count, and he struck out on a changeup in the dirt. Cabrera only ended up with one hit in the entire series (and again, for his sake, he needs to do better against White Sox pitching). I think the absence of Magglio from the lineup hurt them a lot, especially yesterday, because he had insane numbers against Danks. The last report on him was that he was going to be examined by the team doctor once he got back to Detroit. And according to Mario and Rod, this all started back in Kansas City, where it was really hot and he didn’t drink enough fluids. And dehydration is bad for muscles. Sadly, all this trouble could have been avoided with some simple Gatorade.

And so now the Tigers head home and Interleague play starts up again. First up are the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates. They seem to be in the midst of another losing season, but the Tigers will face their best pitcher in the series. That’s tomorrow, though. Tonight they’ll see Ross Ohlendorf, who has pitched reasonably well recently but still has yet to get his first win of the season. The fun fact they like to spread about him is that he’s smart (I still say that Galarraga is the smartest Tiger pitcher, though I have no definitive evidence to back that up). He did beat the Tigers last year. And the individual pitcher vs batter matchups aren’t all that encouraging. Granted, no one has more that five at-bats against him, but only two Tigers have hits against Ohlendorf. Miguel Cabrera has a single, and Don Kelly has a double. It looks as though everyone else got outsmarted. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander was sensational against Kansas City, and he’s been sensational in Interleague play to the tune of a 9-1 record. He has never faced the Pirates before. He has seen three of their hitters, all of whom spent time in the American League: Akinori Iwamura, Bobby Crosby, and Ronny Cedeño. Your Mood Music for tonight: It seems that the World Cup is starting and there are more American soccer fans than there should be, leading Tiger fans everywhere to utter such blasphemies as opining that soccer is better than baseball. To me, soccer merely exists, though it was kind of fun to play on my friend’s Super Nintendo when I was a kid. Nevertheless, I’ll be nice and play “Cup of Life,” which I’m pretty sure is about soccer, even though you really can’t tell from the music video (and the song is different from the mp3 I have of it, oddly enough).

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