Sunday, April 17, 2011

Banged Up and Confused

This is going to be a short post because I only saw the last two innings and nothing happened during them. Going into a four-game series on the road, your goal is to split, but the worst way of accomplishing that goal is to win the first two games and then lose the last two. Truth be told, I was prepared to lose this game on the pitching matchup alone, since expecting to win all four games is unrealistic (Before this trip started, my plan was for the first and third games to be wins, the fourth game to be a loss, and the second to be a tossup; having the A's hit five doubles off Verlander was not part of my plan). It's almost like Brad Penny is the antithesis of Brayan Villarreal in that while Villarreal continues to pique my interest, Penny continues to not impress me. I can't get into detail, since I didn't see his outing, but I will give him credit for being forthcoming when he doesn't pitch well. Brad Thomas, Al Alburquerque, and Daniel Schlereth all had uneventful outings, so there's no point in commenting on them further.

The offense couldn't do anything against Trevor Cahill, which, again, I expected. The lone bright spot was a home run from Casper Wells, but other than that, the Tigers didn't strand anyone in scoring position because they never had a runner in scoring position. I knew nothing about who would and would not be playing (other than I knew Magglio would be out of the lineup and I remembered Leyland saying something last night about giving Inge the day off), so when I got home from work and saw that Victor Martinez's name was not in the boxscore, I was puzzled but figured it was Leyland being stubborn about giving guys a break. I was in a feisty mood so I went over to Bless You Boys and made up a story about Martinez being injured, only to learn that he actually WAS injured (apparently he suffered a groin strain in his last at-bat last night). And then MLive had some throwaway line about Brandon Inge trying to play through a quad injury that no one else seems to know about.

The Tigers now head up to Seattle to take on the Mariners, who are off to a rough start this year (having gotten largely steamrolled by the Rangers, Indians, and Royals; it sounds wrong to mention two of those teams as having steamrolled anyone). The good news is that the Tigers will not have to face reigning Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez (although he hasn't been pitching well so far) or very talented rookie Michael Pineda. Their first opponent is lefty Jason Vargas, whom I've actually seen in person (the Tigers scored a bunch of runs off him in that game; they didn't score nearly as many when they saw him in Seattle earlier that year). One thing to note is that Leyland has said that Victor Martinez will not be able to catch this game (he might DH, depending on the injury), so Alex Avila will be pressed into duty against the lefty. Meanwhile, it feels like it's been about two months since I last saw Max Scherzer. He's coming off a decent start against the Rangers where he was in trouble a lot, but managed to keep the damage to a minimum. He did some good work against the Mariners last year.

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