Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fever Swing

Photo: AP

The Tigers have been good this year at giving us victories that don’t entirely feel like victories, although this one comes from the front office. Armando Galarraga seemed to be fighting himself the entire time he was out there. Fastball command wasn’t quite there, as he fell behind a lot of hitters. He dealt with multiple baserunners pretty much every inning, but managed to make good pitches when he needed to, and he was helped out by his defense (Avila throwing out a couple runners, Cabrera making a heads-up throw to third, Kelly’s diving catch, etc). I really don’t think he should’ve gone back out for the seventh, and I was right in thinking that, because Nick Markakis finally touched him up for a two-run homer. The Orioles have not been known for getting that many baserunners in a game, but when you take into consideration the fact that nobody else on this pitching staff so far has been able to keep them off the bases either, Galarraga really wasn’t all that bad. And he gets rewarded by being sent down to Toledo after the game. I understand the logic (they won’t need him again until the 20th, so they might as well go with an extra reliever while he gets a regular start for the Mud Hens), and were it not for the fact that the Tigers are playing the Twins this weekend instead of any other team in the league, Andy Oliver probably would’ve been the odd man out. It is the right tactical move, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I can only hope that Dave Dombrowski will keep his word and that Galarraga will be back on the 20th. In the meantime, the Tigers have called up Robbie Weinhardt, who I just met on Sunday.

In the meantime, there were a lot of offensive heroics late. Miguel Cabrera told the Free Press that he had a fever before the game. Combine that with the heat and that had to suck. And all he did was finish a double shy of the cycle, including a game-tying moonshot in the bottom of the ninth. Of course, Johnny Damon played a really big role in the win. He drew a leadoff walk in the ninth and scored on Cabrera’s home run, and he delivered the win with a walk-off home run of his own. Also of note are runs that were driven in by Alex Avila, Brandon Inge, and Brennan Boesch.

Tonight wraps up this series. Max Scherzer is coming off a very strong start against the Mariners where he went eight innings and only have up one run. Only three Orioles have seen him before. Miguel Tejada is 2-7 off him with a walk. Cesar Izturis is 0-1 and Corey Patterson is 0-2, so there’s not a lot to gauge there. The Tiger hitters will face Brad Bergeson, who has an ERA of over six. He’ faced five of the Tigers before, and it looks like it was just one game, because the most plate appearances anyone has against him is four. Magglio is 3-4, while Cabrera is 1-3 with a double.  

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