Monday, August 9, 2010

Rick Porcello to the Rescue

Photo: AP

After so many close games, followed by Saturday’s ugliness, it was nice to have a relatively laidback win. Rick Porcello did a very good job. It looked like he had a very good slider yesterday. His outing was a nice bounceback from being lit up by the White Sox (and by the way, they are his next scheduled opponent). Meanwhile, it was nice to see the offense score a bunch of runs for a change (By the way, Trevor Bell is the grandson of the original Bozo the Clown. How much did he get teased about that?). There still wasn’t a whole lot of extra-base power, but they managed to string together enough singles together to make it not matter. They also manage to work around a couple of bad baserunning mistakes (Avila getting picked off, Kelly trying to take second on an airmailed throw, etc). It was a big day for Alex Avila and Johnny Damon in particular.

It’s now time to face the Rays again. They are currently on a five game losing streak that has seen their pitching staff give up eight home runs on Saturday and striking out seventeen times while coming to within an out of getting no-hit again yesterday. Still, I don’t really have a good feeling about tonight’s game. I really like Armando Galarraga, but I know full well that he can’t outpitch David Price, and therefore he should not try to (Granted, I get really paranoid that every start that Galarraga makes will be his last start, so perhaps this is clouding my judgment). My baseball guru actually gave me a little bit of a catcher’s insight on Galarraga the other night. He likes the movement on Galarraga’s pitches, but says that he’s seemed distracted in his last couple starts (he phrased it as “not quite there”). His theory was that Galarraga was still upset about having been sent to Toledo last month, but I don’t really think that’s the case. I told him my theory about Galarraga’s primary weakness (He’s a very smart person, and smart people have a tendency to overthink things when they’re in trouble; the subsequent advice was that his catcher needs to get him back on track and make him throw whatever sign gets put down). Another thing is that from the quotes I’ve read from him in recent starts, Galarraga is getting increasingly frustrated at giving up home runs. The thing is, he’s always been prone to giving up home runs (which I don’t have a problem with so long as they are solo shots or, at worst, two-run homers). I’m worried that the frustration will cause him to come unfocused should he give up another home run. He’s made three starts in his career against the Rays. One was a good start, one was a decent start in which he got charged with five earned runs after giving up a three-run homer to straightaway center field with two outs in the eighth inning, and the last start (which came late last year) was an unmitigated disaster after trying to rush himself back from an elbow injury. Meanwhile, David Price has not given the Tigers a whole lot. The only Tiger in the lineup with decent numbers against him is Ramon Santiago (he also possesses the only extra-base hit in the group). Both Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta are 0-for-7 against him. Still, it would be nice to see Cabrera at least get an RBI in this game. He’s gone seven games without one (and in a slump update, he did hit two loud outs in his last two at-bats yesterday).

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