Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Night of Loyalty and Longevity

Photo: AP

The first bit of news from last night was that Johnny Damon has elected to stay and ride things out in Detroit, which, if you read my post from yesterday, you’ll know I approve of. By the way, that sound you heard was the collective heads of the national and Boston media circuits all exploding. They can’t fathom why anyone would want to stay in Detroit. Politics abound, so there’s no way to be sure of Damon’s actual motivating factors, but I’m still glad he’s staying. And I am also glad for Rick Porcello’s strong starting pitching. To hold the Royals to two hits is no easy feat, giving their high team batting average (granted, Scott Podsednik and Jose Guillen are no longer with the Royals, and David DeJesus is out for the season). He’s been good since coming back from Toledo. Hopefully he can keep it up. It’s a shame that the shutout bid was ruined by Kila Ka’aihue (I can say it; but spelling it is an issue), but 9-1 is nothing to sneeze at.

It was another really good night for the offense. This time, everyone in the starting lineup got at least one hit (Funny enough, Miguel Cabrera was the last one to join in on the fun). For that matter, every starter except Damon and Peralta had at least one RBI. However, Peralta led the hit parade with three. Will Rhymes and Brennan Boesch each had two RBIs, and Ryan Raburn homered again. After his 3 RBI performance on Monday, he was asked in a postgame interview why he was on such a hot streak and his response was “Well, my wife’s here. She’s got a lot of hits in her.” Needless to say, he phrased that really badly. Rod Allen cleaned it up a little bit last night by saying that Mrs. Raburn “brought a lot of hits WITH her,” (emphasis mine). However, the man of the hour was Brandon Inge, who only got one hit, but it was the 1000th of his career, and all those hits came with the Tigers (I happened to be in attendance for Carlos Guillen’s 1000th hit a couple years ago, but this is more special). And I hope he gets many more with the Tigers.

The Tigers wrap up the series and the homestand today with a day game (which I’m not happy about, since I have class). The Royals will start Sean O’Sullivan, whom they got from the Angels in the Alberto Callaspo trade. O’Sullivan has pitched in the big leagues for part of the past two years but none of the Tigers have ever seen him. He was really good in relief before the Angels moved him to the starting rotation just prior to his trade to Kansas City. He is 0-5 as a starter this year, but picked up the win in one of those extra inning games the Royals played over the weekend by pitching an inning of scoreless relief. Meanwhile, Armando Galarraga is coming off an absolutely brilliant performance against Cleveland. But there are some naysayers who are saying that he can only do it against the Indians. I’ve already gone over the stuff he needs to do to prove them wrong. He’s generally pitched well in his career against the Royals (although they didn’t have nearly the team batting average that they do now). He beat them twice in 2008 (one of which was the game where he was perfect for six innings). He also pitched well against them last year in three starts, earning a win and two no-decisions (the Tigers lost both those games; the latter of the two was a start he made a few days after he’d been sidelined by illness, and he was noticeably thinner). However, the last time he faced them was in a relief appearance in which things didn’t go so well. He only went a third of an inning and gave up a three-run homer to Josh Anderson, of all people (this was after he’d ‘fessed up that he had been hiding an elbow injury). I’m really hoping for a good pitching performance from him for all the obvious reasons, but also because I had a dream last night that he was claimed on waivers by the San Diego Padres (yes, it was that specific). I’m still depressed about it and it never even actually happened (although chances are something similar will happen one day; that’s the risk you take when you decide to passionately root for an underdog). On a positive note, the thought’s occurred to me that at the beginning of the season, no one (including him) could’ve guess that by the end of August, he’d become a trending topic on Twitter, be awarded a Corvette, make an appearance at the ESPYs, sign a book deal, and have a Little League team named after him. And I’ll be nervously following the action on Gameday during class today.

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