Game 44: Angels at Tigers
PREGAME: The Tigers welcome in the AL West leading Angels for a 3 game series.
The Tigers will send out Mike Maroth, who missed his last turn in the rotation with the flu. He was still recuperating this weekend so I don’t know if he got in his regular throwing. The last game against the Angels, Maroth wasn’t able to get the win despite a ton of run support. He was lifted in the 5th inning after amassing 105 pitches.
The Tigers will face John Lackey who has been one of the best pitchers in the AL to date. He has a 2.43 ERA and it’s not the product of luck. He’s fanned 54 and walked 14 while allowing only 3 homers over 59 1/3 innings. There aren’t any Tigers with an established track record of success against Lackey.
So the pitching match-up looks to favor the Angels, but that hasn’t always mattered for the Tigers this year.
Game Time 7:05pm
POSTGAME: Long time readers know that I’m a stat guy. They’re objective and largely do a good job of describing what took place between the foul lines. Unless there is a “spectacular play” stat, numbers won’t tell the story from this game.
Sure you could look at Lackey’s line of 3 hits and 1 run over 5 innings and say he owned the Tigers. It was actually the other way around. Detroit routinely hit the ball sharply only to have it swallowed in Angel leather. Whether they were at ‘em balls or diving grabs, the Angels made play after play. They took away extra base hits, run scoring hits, and pretty much everything.
So it was ironic when the Tigers staged a 9th inning rally on a tweener and a snort along with some walks. But fitting to see the game end on another spectacular play.
The offense was quite good tonight without much to show for it. They worked pitchers, they earned walks, they hit the ball hard. What are you gonna do except tip your cap to the other team for making the plays?
And I’ve hammered the middle relief, but Jason Grilli and Jose Mesa did their jobs tonight and made the 9th inning rally possible.
And speaking of the rally, the Tigers haven’t seemed overwhelmed by Francisco Rodriguez. They’ve faced him twice this year, and pushed runs across both times. I was hoping he would throw a few more pitches though tonight to rend him unavailable on Wednesday.