PREGAME: After a decisive victory last night, the Tigers look to put another nail in the coffin of the White Sox and stave off the Twins. To do it they’ll send out a stacked lineup with Sean Casey batting 3rd and another night of Neifi Perez. If I could type that confused sound that Scooby Doo makes I would.
Omar Infante has once again been relegated to the bench as Perez makes his 3rd start in a row.
Now I know that Jim Leyland likes to look at batter-pitcher history when making his lineup. Somehow Neifi’s 2 for 13 is more impressive than Infante’s 5 for 25 with 2 homers. And Chris Shelton’s 7 for 19 with 2 homers doesn’t warrant a start either. Harrumph.
Hopefully Justin Verlander will be in Rookie of the Year form instead of Rookie form and it all becomes a moot point.
POSTGAME: As the Tigers did to the White Sox Monday, the reverse took place last night. The White Sox homered the Tigers to submission while Freddy Garcia was simply awesome. After the first 2 batters reached base for the Tigers, Garcia only allowed a walk for the remaining 8 innings. Essentially it didn’t matter how good Verlander was, the Tigers weren’t scoring.
And as for Verlander, he was erratic with his control. This was exemplified when a hit batter and a walk (followed by a tweener single) led to the Pierzynski grand slam. In Verlander’s defense, that pitch that AJ hit out was really a pretty good pitch. It was a curve ball down in the zone. As much as I hate to compliment Pierzynski, because, well, he’s Pierzynski, that was a great piece of hitting.
The Twins won, as you’ve probably heard. The Tigers lead is down to a half game, and Thursday morning we could be looking at a new division leader.