This is going to be a short post, because I have some errands to run before today’s game starts. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that I haven’t had to use the “too many walks” meme since the 2008 season, but that’s not the case in last night’s came. There were WAY too many walks. Max Scherzer pitched well enough to win, but the fact that he was mysteriously unable to throw a strike to Dan Johnson came back to haunt him. The ninth inning was just plain ugly, because neither Robbie Weinhardt nor Enrique Gonzalez could throw strikes (all of the runs ended up on Weinhardt’s ledger, though). Meanwhile, the papers and the other bloggers have finally figured out what I knew several days ago: Miguel Cabrera is in a slump. And he didn’t show any signs of breaking out of it last night. He was at the plate during the Tigers’ only real scoring opportunity. Even the pitcher Jeremy Hellickson admitted that all he did was through a fastball down the middle, and all Cabrera could do with it was hit into an inning-ending double play.
The Tigers wrap up the season series with the Rays today, and with Justin Verlander on the mound, it’s their best chance of winning (mostly because he’s the starter most capable of throwing a shutout). He lost his last time out after wobbling early but finishing strong. He just didn’t make the adjustment fast enough. He pitched a complete game loss against the Rays a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Tigers have an opportunity to exact revenge against the guy who no-hit them, Matt Garza. Again, the strange thing about that game was that he threw about 85% fastballs. That’s not how you’re supposed to no-hit a team. Still, his career ERA against the Tigers is not all that good, and Jhonny Peralta (who hadn’t been traded to the team yet when that happened) has the best numbers of any Tiger against Garza (9-for-19 with a double). Unfortunately for Miguel Cabrera, he’s only 1-for-9 against him (that one hit was a home run, though).