Friday, July 23, 2010

Verlander and Cabrera are Magnificent Beasts

Photo: Getty Images

This is the first Christmas in July where I haven’t titled the post “You’re Getting a Lump of Coal.” Justin Verlander gave up a couple runs and a lot of extra-base hits early, but had the wherewithal to see that the Jays were sitting on his fastball, and started to mix in his offspeed stuff which worked beautifully. And before you knew it, he was able to give the team eight solid innings. Offensively, it was kind of a pitching duel with Ricky Romero for most of the game characterized by a couple of baserunning blunders. Ramon Santiago got doubled up on a soft line drive to second that he should not have been. Magglio thought that a pitch Ryan Raburn had swung and missed at had gotten away from the catcher, but it hadn’t, and was a dead duck. Miguel Cabrera led off the sixth with a double but got thrown out at third on Raburn’s ground ball to first (although that wasn’t really a baserunning mistake so much as it was a heads-up play by Overbay). However, Cabrera came through twice for the Tigers, knocking in both the first run in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the eighth.

The series continues tonight. Rick Porcello will try to see if he can duplicate that great outing he had in Cleveland. Like Verlander, he’ll have to have his secondary pitches working, because we’ve already seen what the Blue Jays do to fastballs. He made his Major League debut against the Blue Jays way back in April of last year, and had a decent start against them in September. Both Aaron Hill and Adam Lind have hit home runs off him. The Tiger hitters will be facing Shaun Marcum, whom they have not seen since early 2008. He’s been out for more than a year with shoulder surgery. I remember him being a hard thrower with some really good stuff, but I don’t know how the surgery affected him. None of the Tigers have eye-popping numbers against him. Miguel Cabrera’s 1-5, but that one hit was a home run. That is the only extra base hit among all active Tigers against Marcum. At the same time, everyone who has seen him has at least one hit except Santiago, but in most cases it’s just that: One hit.

No comments:

Post a Comment