Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Matter the Name...

Photo: AP

It was an exciting game as the Stars downed the Crawfords in extra innings. I thought Jeremy Bonderman did a real nice job in his seven innings of work. Joel Zumaya got hung with the blown save, though that was more a direct result of getting outhustled by Jose Tabata, who showed a lot of guts in that inning. The rest of the bullpen was pretty much smooth sailing, with Jose Valverde especially looking impressive by striking out the side.

For most of the night the offense had issues getting runs home. Some of it was due to inconvenient strikeouts. Some of it was not their fault. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Gerald Laird crushed a ball to deep right center that got run down by Ryan Church. It scored a run, but Guillen got thrown out at third. So after kind of killing that rally (and hitting into a double play with the bases loaded later), Guillen ended up the hero with his walk-off shot (good timing, because I had just mentioned the walk-off home run he hit against the Yankees at 3:30 in the morning).

Back to being the Tigers and Pirates, the boys in the home whites will try to go for the sweep this afternoon. Armando Galarraga makes his first home start since his perfect game, and I’d imagine he’ll get a really warm reception. He certainly pitched well enough to win his last start. He came away with a no-decision, but it was a Tigers victory. He also provided the most entertaining moment of last night’s game, after the Tigers scored the two runs on the error (jumping up and down and pounding Jeremy Bonderman on the head). He faced the Pirates last year, and it wasn’t pretty. He gave up four runs on eight hits in just two innings of work. It looks as though most of the guys that did the damage in the game are now gone, because there aren’t many current Pirates with hits against him (The most anyone’s seen him is six times, though). But, as usual, I’m nervous for him, because again, I want him to do well. The Pirates counter with righty Jeff Karstens, who had the dubious distinction of going up against Steven Strasburg in his debut. Karstens actually was in line for the win until he gave up some late runs to the Nationals. I don’t know much about what he features, but I do know that he’s just about a complete unknown to Tiger hitters. The only Tiger he’s faced? Max Scherzer. And I’m pretty sure we will not be seeing Scherzer in this game. There’s a very good chance that Magglio will not be in the lineup again, as the current plan is to rest him until Tuesday. I would imagine Alex Avila would be back in there (which isn’t all bad, since he and Galarraga have worked very well together). Oh, and by the way, I AM GOING TO THIS GAME! Your Mood Music for today: Well, I can’t have the Pirates come to town and not play this. Enjoy!

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