Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's All in Your Head

I wish I knew more about psychology and that sort of thing, because then I might be able to give a little more insight into how to fix Armando Galarraga’s confidence problems (I am currently reading a book called The Psychology of Baseball, but so far it mostly deals with the unconscious processes that allow a player to hit, pitch, or catch a ball). At the very least, I wish I had a way to give him some words of encouragement or knock some sense into him. I talked yesterday about how he hated the fact that he keeps giving up home runs, and I think that played into what happened last night. He was generally around the strike zone and making his pitches up until the Matt Joyce home run. I think that got him all out of whack and he had control problems for almost the rest of the evening (though his pitches looked a bit better in the fifth, different sleeves or not). He’s generally a person who is not very emotional on the mound, and yet last night there were a couple of instances where he looked very frustrated, yelling a bit and punching his glove, which is uncharacteristic. I think he let his frustration get the better of him and he’s got to figure out a way to get that under control, because sooner or later he’s going to run out of chances, and I don’t want that to happen. Leyland didn’t sound too pleased with him. He also didn’t sound too pleased with Ryan Perry, who allowed two add-on runs right after the offense had cut the deficit to one run. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the good work done by Brad Thomas and Phil Coke, however. By the way, I did see the new Dr. Rahmani commercial featuring Armando Galarraga. I didn’t realize what it was at first, and when I did, it made me laugh probably more than it should have (It could have been worse. My mom saw the commercial and thought that he was one of Dr. Rahmani’s associates).

The Tiger hitters actually had a good approach against David Price, who had his own issues with throwing strikes. The difference with Price is that he has the luxury of being able to reach back and blow 98 MPH fastballs by people. After some hopeful signs on Sunday, Miguel Cabrera remained firmly stuck in his slump. And Jhonny Peralta seems to have inherited the curse of hitting the ball hard right at people. Still, Ryan Raburn has quietly been having some good at-bats recently (give credit where credit is due). Gerald Laird was 2-for-2 with a walk (same here). And Brennan Boesch is giving little signs of maybe breaking out of it a little bit, this time with an opposite field home run.

After feeling like something bad was going to happen last night (and it did), I don’t really get any strong senses about tonight’s game. Max Scherzer pitches against the Rays since his no-hit bid was so rudely interrupted by Matt Joyce’s grand slam. He did a nice job against the White Sox but came away with a no-decision. Meanwhile, the Rays were supposed to start the somewhat struggling Wade Davis, but he returned to St. Petersburg to have his shoulder examined, so the Rays are calling up Jeremy Hellickson to make the spot start. Personally, I would rather they take their chances with Davis, because Hellickson was very impressive against the Twins. Being a rookie, obviously none of the Tigers have seen him.    

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