The only reason I’m using this picture of Austin Jackson is that it was probably the best picture I got all night, otherwise I’d use one of Verlander (no offense to Jackson; and I got a TON of pictures of Verlander and Cabrera, but they weren’t as good). Justin Verlander was much better than the last game of his that I was in attendance for. The ten strikeouts will attest to that. Even in the one inning where the Mariners scored their lone run, it’s not like Verlander got knocked around. That inning featured a lot of infield singles and bloops (Plus one hard-hit double by Kotchmann). The rest of the game featured a lot of swinging and missing from Mariners hitters. This game was also the first time I saw Ryan Perry in person and the second time I saw Jose Valverde. Both of them had some issues throwing strikes (though in Valverde’s case, he hadn’t pitched since Monday), but they got the job done.
It was fun to see the Tigers get to a guy who had pitched very well this year in Jason Vargas. It was a big game for Brandon Inge, who had two hits and three RBIs (By the way, he seems to have gone back to his pre-2009 batting stance, at least in terms of how he holds the bat). This game is notable because it’s the first game I’ve been to (Tigers or Mud Hens) in which no home runs were hit. It’s usually home run derby when I go to Tigers games. However, my Ryan Raburn streak continued. He has been in every Tigers game I’ve been to (I believe the same can be said for Brandon Inge). By the way, I can’t help but want to clear something up that Jason Beck said in his blog yesterday. It turns out that Miguel Cabrera’s back pain was due to a kidney infection (or, as we in the business call it, pyelonephritis). Beck said that “a round of medication cleared it up.” That’s actually not how it works. A kidney infection is not going to go away after one round of medication. Miguel’s going to be on antibiotics for the next two weeks (likely Cipro or Levaquin; those are the drugs of choice for pyelonephritis). I’m surprised he didn’t exhibit any other symptoms (Fever and general malaise are pretty common), but I suppose he could have had those symptoms and not said anything. Indeed, last night he looked like he was moving around with some discomfort (one of the reasons I took a ton of pictures of him was that I was convinced he wasn’t going to be around for the whole game). However, as long as he’s not bedridden, you might as well play him. You can’t exactly aggravate a kidney infection like you would a muscle strain. And it didn’t really affect him at the plate. He hit a double and the out he made was a hard liner to center (He also walked twice).
The Tigers attempt to go for the sweep today on Independence Day. They’ve got a huge roadblock named Cliff Lee standing in their way. Lee has thrown four consecutive complete games and his ERA is very, very good, and I am really hoping he gets traded to a National League team and not the Twins. Now, he is beatable. The Tigers beat him three times last year, although they didn’t exactly knock him around in any of those games. He mostly just got outpitched. That said, there are a few Tigers with good numbers against him. Cabrera is .348 with a home run, Maggs is .375 with a home run, and Inge is .385 with three home runs against Lee (Granted, he has also struck out 12 times). There are also Tigers with not-so-good numbers (Damon, Laird, and Raburn). In the meantime, the Tigers will start Jeremy Bonderman, who didn’t really have it in his last start but still managed to beat the Twins. He has made one good start and one bad start against the Mariners. Also, we will be learning who our Tigers All-Stars are shortly, and I’ll be at the Mud Hens game tonight, hoping to break their nine-game losing streak. Your Mood Music today: The 1812 Overture. Happy 4th!