Sunday, July 11, 2010

Home Run Derby Starts Early

Photo: AP

I did not see much of this game, so the recap will be brief. It looked early like this one was going to be a slugfest, but Jeremy Bonderman managed to dig deep and give the Tigers six good innings. And one thing I’ve noticed with Bonderman is that his velocity is slowly creeping back up. I’ve seen him hit 93 MPH several times in his last few starts. Meanwhile, four different Tigers homered off of Nick Blackburn: Cabrera, Avila, Maggs, and Damon. Speaking of Cabrera, it looks like he’s feeling a lot better, judging by his body language. And that’s a good thing, because Justin Morneau has bowed out of the All-Star Game due to a concussion, which means Cabrera is now the starting first baseman. And he deserves it (even though I had started to fantasize about him being the late-inning hero).

The reason I missed a lot of the game was that I was at the Mud Hens game. If you’re wondering, I did not see Armando Galarraga at all (though he could’ve been in the dugout later), and I didn’t get any autographs because I was outdone by a bunch of pushy kids and I didn’t want to be seen as the “obnoxious adult.” However, Rick Porcello pitched very well. He threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts and plenty of groundouts. I noticed he got a lot of swings and misses on his changeup in particular. At any rate, Porcello was in line for the win, as the Mud Hens led 1-0 going into the top of the ninth, but Jay Sborz gave up a three-run homer to Jonathan Van Every to erase that lead and send the Hens to a loss. By the way, remember former Tiger Wilfredo Ledezma? He’s now pitching for Indianapolis.

Today’s game wraps up this series as well as the first half. Hopefully the Tigers can go out on a high note. They’ll have Andy Oliver starting for them. He’s coming off a very rough outing against the Orioles. I’m not sure what the Tigers plan on doing with him for the second half, but I know they wanted the lefty against the Twins. This game is the entire reason why Galarraga is in the minors right now (even though I can’t find him). He had an okay start against the Twins a couple weeks ago, but was done in by defensive lapses (one of them his own). Meanwhile, the Twins will start Carl Pavano and his porn ‘stache (usually I like facial hair, but that thing looks fake). Pavano’s turning into the Tigers’ personal nemesis, except this year he's beating other teams at a high rate (though he did stumble against the Blue Jays in his last start), but they have beaten him the last two times they saw him. One was late last season, the other was earlier this year, when he got outdueled by Dontrelle Willis. And I should be able to see the whole game as long as it doesn’t go too long, but I am going to try another Mud Hens game tonight (It’s their last home game before the 20th, so it’s my last chance).

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