Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rookie Rally

Photo: AP

This is one of those games where I think Rick Porcello pitched better than his line would indicate. He gave up four runs, but a lot of those came on hits that were not hit hard. The Royals just somehow managed to get them in the right spot and string enough of them together to score runs. Even the home run from Kila Ka’aihue seemed to just be flicked down the line (I wish he wouldn’t feature so prominently in these games, mostly because typing his name is annoying).

However, the offense was once again up to the challenge. It was so nice to see Miguel Cabrera back in the lineup, and it looks as though the biceps tendinitis isn’t affecting his swing anymore because he laced a two-run double in his first at-bat that nearly cleared the wall. He also had a line drive single later in the game. The rookies really came through late. The heartwarming story of the night was Max St. Pierre, who not only got his first major league hit, he started the rally that ultimately got the Tigers the lead. Will Rhymes followed with a single, and Austin Jackson (who had a big night with three hits) knocked in the pinch-runner Boesch with the go-ahead run. Will Rhymes would later score on a passed ball. And props goes to the Royals fans who gave Max St. Pierre a standing ovation when he got that hit (I actually talked to the Baseball Guru last night and he thought it was a wonderful thing that the Tigers were doing for him). He looked totally in awe of the whole thing. And thumbs down to the AP for not getting a picture of him.

The series and the road trip concludes this afternoon. Armando Galarraga has been very good in his last three starts, which included his last start against the Twins, who are normally his own personal hell. One word of caution is that both Bonderman and Porcello didn’t pitch quite as well against the Royals as they had back at Comerica Park. Hopefully Galarraga does not suffer that same fate. I’m also noticing he runs into a wall a little bit once he gets to 85-90 pitches. Other than that, it’s the same pointers I always give when he starts. The Royals will start Kyle Davies, who has an ERA approaching six, but I’ve seen occasions before where he’s shut the Tigers down.

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