Friday, July 2, 2010

When a Fire Alarm Malfunction is the Most Exciting Part...

Here’s a fun fact for you: The Tigers have actually scored first in six of their last seven games (and even in the one game in which they didn’t score first, they had the lead at one point), but they’ve only won three of them. Lead protection is apparently an issue right now. At any rate, it’s hard to determine what to make of Andy Oliver in this particular game, mostly because I had to listen on the radio for a good chunk of it. I think defensive lapses cost him as much as bad pitches. And one of those defensive lapses was his own on the bad throw after fielding the bunt. And a lot of the rest was Johnny Damon (and I was warned he would do stuff like that, but with Maggs needing to DH, they didn’t have much choice but to put him in the outfield). Meanwhile, there was not a whole lot going on with Kevin (not Kyle) Slowey, who is another Minnesota pitcher who pitches better at home. On a side note, just when I thought Miguel Cabrera had built himself a nice little cushion in the RBI lead (he has 66), Vladimir Guerrero proceeded to have a 5-RBI game to overtake him. Miguel’s gotta get busy again.

I can’t say it was a great road trip but a 3-6 mark let them survive it without too much damage in the standings (and they were a bad call away from possibly going 4-5). But that means it’s now time to take care of business at home for the next nine games. First up is the Seattle Mariners. They may be very much in last place in the AL West, which most people weren’t expecting), but that doesn’t mean they’re an easy team to beat. And the reason is that they can pitch. And they’ve played a bit better overall recently (They had a .500 June and just took two of three from the Yankees at Yankee Stadium). Tonight they send Doug Fister to the mound. At one point, Fister was at (or near) the top of the AL in earned run average. As a matter of fact, the Tigers faced him at that point. He gave up three runs (two earned) in seven innings in a game the Mariners eventually won. In his next start, he got roughed up by the Twins for five runs. He went on the DL after that. This’ll be his second start since coming off the DL. In his first, he gave up four runs in four innings against the Brewers. Every Tiger who has faced Fister has at least one hit off him (though for a lot of them, it’s just one hit). Max Scherzer will start for the Tigers. He pitched well against the Braves in his last start, although he battled control during the later innings. He beat the Mariners back in April (the only win the Tigers have against the M’s so far this year, and this is a team they’ve had a good amount of success against the last few years). I will be at tomorrow’s game, but it’d be nice to have a victory tonight for a warm-up act.  

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