Friday, April 8, 2011

Not Stopping the Bleeding

I know the Tigers struggled on the road last year, but most of those struggles were from an offensive standpoint. There were some ugly blowouts, but for the most part, the pitching staff gave up one extra run, maybe two. Not five or six. I'm not going to get into Brad Penny's performance because I didn't see it, other than to say that it looks like it was better than his first outing (though that's not saying much). To tell you the truth, I was mostly upset that the bullpen blew what would have been a win for Brayan Villarreal (who, by the way, has a REALLY nice slider). Earlier in the day, the Tigers placed Ryan Perry on the DL with an eye infection. I'm hoping it's not pinkeye, which is extremely contagious, but from what I've heard, it doesn't sound like pinkeye. I guess the problem is that there's inflammation and he can't wear his contact lenses. Anyways, until he gets back, they need someone else to handle the seventh inning. Apparently back in spring training Leyland said he'd give Brad Thomas and Enrique Gonzalez the first crack at it should both Zumaya and Perry go down, and that didn't really seem to work. From what he said last night, I gather that he was prepared for the possibility of Brian Roberts getting a base hit, because he said that the killer was the walk to Nick Markakis. And really, the ball that Vladimir Guerrero hit to get the Orioles tied was not that bad a pitch and it wasn't hit well at all but it found a hole (I'm surprised none of the reporters asked Don Kelly what happened in the outfield, because I've never seen him make a throw like that).

I'm also not really going to talk about the offense much, because I didn't see most of that, either. It appears that Alex Avila and Austin Jackson are looking better at the plate (although in Jackson's case, most of his at-bats have looked good; he just wasn't getting any results out of them). With all the griping about the bullpen, I'm surprised that no one questioned why Magglio didn't pinch-hit for Raburn (only reason being that Magglio's more likely to put the ball in play). I'm not saying he should have, but it's not like fans to not question something like that. 

And so it is finally time to open up Comerica Park. It'll be good to see those home whites again. The first opponent on the home schedule is the Kansas City Royals, who are off to a decent start this year. They took three of four from the Angels and then split with the White Sox (although the Royals held a three run lead in the ninth inning with two out and nobody on in their last game, and Joakim Soria proceeded to give up four runs. They tied it in the bottom of the ninth but eventually lost in extras). They have played a lot of extra-inning games already. They'll start Kyle Davies today, who either gets beat up by the Tigers or completely shuts them down. Max Scherzer will have the honor of starting Opening Day. He's looking to bounce back from giving up six earned runs against the Yankees (but still getting the win). And for your Mood Music: It's the traditional home opener song (apologies if the sound is wrong; I can't turn the sound on the computer right now so I have no way of checking). 

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