Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old Demons Return

Alas, Armando Galarraga’s struggles against the Twins continue. The Twins came out of the chute very aggressive against him, which certainly surprised me (I think it surprised him, too), because part of his problem in the past had been the inability to throw strikes to Twins hitters. This time he was much better with throwing strikes, but the two walks he did give up cost him (and sometimes you can have games where you only walk one or two and all those walks score while the other team walks six or seven and none of them score). I had also said that the two big problem players for him were Mauer and Span. He was able to neutralize Mauer for the most part. He still had no answer for Span, and neither did anyone else on the pitching staff. Span either scored or drove in the first five runs of the game. The killer for Galarraga was the walk to Nick Punto ahead of Span. Galarraga sounded rather frustrated with Punto after the game (Who wouldn’t be?), as well as angry at himself. At least Punto had to work him for that walk (and the full count pitch sure looked like a strike to me). Fu Te Ni came in next inning and walked him on four pitches. I’m thinking Galarraga was yanked a little too early. At the very least, I maintain he would’ve done a better job in that inning than Ni did. Things got totally out of hand once the bullpen came in. And so we never did find out what would have happened if a save situation arose.

I had said that Nick Blackburn was struggling, but I failed to look at his game logs. If I had, I would have qualified that more strongly that he was actually just living up to his normal tendencies of pitching well at home and struggling on the road. In his lone home start in June, he pitched very strongly, giving up only two earned runs in seven innings against the Braves. All his bad starts this month had been on the road, so the fact that he didn’t give up a whole lot to the Tigers’ offense really isn’t that surprising. They had the one inning where they scored three, and they tacked on kind of a meaningless run later, but that’s it.

Today is the day game rubber match of the series, and Andy Oliver will make his second big league start. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do now that there’s at least a bit of a scouting report on him. Also, the Twins’ lineup is dominated by lefties, but a lot of them can hit left-handed pitching real well. The Twins will start Kevin (not Kyle) Slowey. He beat the Tigers back in May despite giving up three home runs (they were all solo shots). Two were to Miguel Cabrera and the other was to Alex Avila (which makes me kind of surprised that Avila’s not in the lineup today, but I’m not going to make a big fuss over it). Magglio is the DH today, and that’s probably a good idea because he wasn’t moving real well in the outfield last night. Other than that, it’s a fairly regular lineup.

No comments:

Post a Comment