Saturday, July 3, 2010

Back at Home Again

Photo: Getty Images

While the Tigers may all look like painters with those white hats, they sure did deliver. Max Scherzer turned in a very strong performance, the longest one of his career, in fact. The slider’s become a good weapon for him recently (and it’s an odd kind of slider, because it seems to move straight downwards rather than laterally like Bonderman’s or Galarraga’s). Phil Coke pitched a scoreless, though somewhat adventurous, ninth inning, although the hits he gave up to Ichiro and Figgins were not hit hard. The hardest hit ball of the inning was actually the one that Brennan Boesch turned into the double play.

Doug Fister didn’t really have it second time around against the Tigers. He kept leaving the ball up, but I’m not sure I can blame him for that because the strikezone was really high last night. The first big hit of the night was Don Kelly’s two-run double. The good thing was that it gave the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish. The bad thing is that he was in there because Miguel Cabrera was a late scratch with back tightness. They have not given very much of an update, but I don’t think he was even in the dugout last night, because I did not see a single shot of him, not even in the background. All Jim Leyland said was that he was “okay” and that he didn’t know if he was going to put him back in the lineup tonight or not. I’m guessing that means he won’t, which sucks because I’ll be at tonight’s game and I want Cabrera in there. Other big hits came from Austin Jackson, Brennan Boesch, and Johnny Damon.

Tonight’s the night of the big Bless You Boys meetup, and I finally get to see Justin Verlander in person again. I haven’t been to one of his games since 2007. He won his last start even though he gave up four runs to the Braves. The latest issue with him is that he tends to not pitch as well on extra rest, which is the case tonight. He keeps tinkering with mechanics, which at some point becomes a bad thing. He hasn’t beaten the Mariners in quite a while. He’s had a tendency to give up late runs to them which have cost him the game. The last time he faced the Mariners at Comerica Park he took a 3-1 loss. Ichiro hit a two-run homer off him in that game. He shouldn’t expect much run support tonight because Jason Vargas has been very good this year (How often do you get a matchup where the two starting pitchers have the same initials?). He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since his very first start of the year. The Tigers faced him once this year and scored two runs off him (They must’ve scored two more runs off someone else because that was the game that started trouble for Ryan Perry and they ended up losing 5-4). As I’ve said, I’ll be at Comerica Park for this game, so I expect a good show, boys.

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