Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Was Starting to Wonder Where the Weird Was

What, you thought they would be able to avoid the strangeness that the west coast inherently seems to have? Unfortunately, it seemed to rear its ugly head during Verlander's start. I don't feel I was given a satisfactory enough explanation for why he gave up five doubles (other than being "ambushed"). They were all focused on that weird play where he made what looked like a left-handed pickoff throw to first, except he was facing toward home (obviously) and he threw home. His explanation was that he was going to do a pickoff throw to first, but he stepped backwards and couldn't turn, so he threw home in order to avoid a balk. It ended up eventually being called a balk, mostly because the umpires didn't know what else to call it.

The offense obviously didn't do much. They scored the only two runs on an error and a fielder's choice. Dallas Braden threw a lot of changeups and the Tigers mostly either took them for strikes or took really funky swings at it. The bulk of the highlights were a single from Magglio OrdoƱez, a double from Miguel Cabrera, and a single and a double from Victor Martinez (although he couldn't come up with another hit late when he represented the tying run). Jim Leyland said that they failed to "recognize scoring opportunities" and that "This isn't slow-pitch softball." I have no idea what that last statement is supposed to mean.

It's the final game of the series today, and Brad Penny is going for the Tigers. His last start was decent (even if he lucked out by being in his home ballpark), and the Coliseum is also a pitcher's park (though the ball does carry better during the day than it does at night). He'll be up against Trevor Cahill, who won 18 games for the A's last year and recently signed an extension. He used to be pretty easy to beat up on, but that obviously changed last year. The Tigers haven't scored an earned run off any of the A's starters in the series so far, so it would be nice to take that little factoid off the board. Just try to avoid the weirdness today.

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