Saturday, August 21, 2010

Que Bueno

Photo: AP

This is one of those wins that leaves a good feeling all around. I said that Armando Galarraga was not going to throw another perfect game, and I was almost proven wrong. He actually got past the halfway point before allowing a hit, which Don Kelly came within inches of snatching, and the other two hits he gave up were both bloop singles. Needless to say, he was spectacular. They said he made some mechanical adjustments to his leg kick after watching video of his 2008 season. Something did look a little different about his delivery, but more than that, I sensed an air of calmness about him that I haven’t seen in quite a while. That frustration that had been building up in previous starts was nowhere to be found. His pitches didn’t move quite the same way in the sixth and seventh innings (as evidenced by the Indians having longer at-bats), but they were still plenty good enough. Galarraga has shown the ability to retire long stretches of consecutive batters when he’s on. Of course, there’s the perfect game, but he’s had quite a few games where he’s retired ten or eleven in a row and a lot of people have forgotten that back in 2008, he had a perfect game through six innings against the Royals before David DeJesus broke it up with a leadoff single in the seventh inning. At any rate, last night was a big step in the right direction, and I hope he can build off it (And I really should have used a picture of him for this post, since he was the star of the show, but the only picture available of him is one where he’s in mid-pitch and making a dumb face).

The offense came out lively against Justin Masterson. From the first inning, the hit parade was on. Leading the charge were Don Kelly (with four hits; have a night) and Brandon Inge, who ended up a home run shy of the cycle and made a great defensive play to preserve what at the time was a perfect game. Five different Tigers had multiple hits and everyone had at least one hit except Peralta and Damon.

Tonight is Fiesta Tigres (which would have been more appropriate last night, since they had a Latin starting pitcher). Max Scherzer pitched pretty well against the Yankees, although he was behind in the count quite a bit. He has not pitched particularly well against the Indians this year (and he hasn’t been good against the other teams in the Central, either). The Indians will start rookie Josh Tomlin, who is only 1-2 but has pitched well in his four starts. It’s possible that some of these call-ups from the Mud Hens have faced him in the minors, but I have no way of checking that (well, I probably do, but it would take more time than it’s worth). By the way, I am going to be at this game, so I’ll have my excellent record on the line here. Your Mood Music for tonight: It’s Fiesta Tigres, so I have to play something Latin. And I have no other reason for playing the song other than I like it and it’s in Spanish.

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