Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tigers Represent!

Photo: Getty Images

That is actually not the picture I wanted to use, but the picture I wanted to use somehow got screwed up in the 24 hours since it was posted to Daylife, and there weren’t any other good pictures of the game itself, at least, not any that featured any Tigers. And so you get a picture of Miguel Cabrera in the Home Run Derby. But as I alluded to in the title, the three Tiger All-Stars did their fans and their league proud. Miguel Cabrera went 1-2 and got the American League’s first hit. Justin Verlander pitched a scoreless, though adventurous, inning, and was actually in line to win the game. Jose Valverde had a 1-2-3 ninth inning and struck out the side, though it was not a save situation.

Unfortunately, the rest of the AL Central totally stunk it up (Well, with the exception of Fausto Carmona and Joakim Soria, neither of whom made an appearance). With Verlander on the mound, David Wright (who had hit a leadoff single) took off for second base. A good throw would have gotten him. Instead, Mauer uncorked an absolutely terrible throw that sailed into center field. Verlander and Mauer were lucky that Wright didn’t advance to third. Mauer then committed a huge baserunning error and got thrown out at third in the bottom half of the inning (Two other AL All-Stars, Elvis Andrus and David Ortiz, also made crucial baserunning mistakes). Matt Thorton was the big goat of the evening. He was brought in to defuse a first-and-third, one out situation and it started out promisingly enough with a popup. And then things collapsed. He walked Marlon Byrd to load the bases, but still had a chance to get out of it by going after the lefty Brian McCann (who isn’t all that proficient at hitting lefties). Instead, McCann ripped a bases-clearing double into the gap. The other AL Central rep who made it into the game was Paul Konerko. Konerko took over for Cabrera in the sixth and went 0-2, both times stranding runners. This is why I had mixed feelings about Cabrera being bumped up to starter. The prestige that came with starting was wonderful, but at the same time, could you imagine what he could have done in the late innings?

And so now begins the wait for baseball to start up again. In case anyone’s interested, Armando Galarraga will be starting for the Mud Hens tomorrow night at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (after taking a flight in from Los Angeles). Minor league Gameday Audio is free, and the link should appear on the Mud Hens’ website sometime shortly before the game starts. Unfortunately, I’ll be at work, so I won’t get to listen, but I’ll be fretting for him as usual. In the meantime, I’ll have a small “halfway report” either tomorrow or Friday for you.

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