PREGAME: Okay, let’s just take this game so that the series is in hand. Enough rubber games. Let’s just win the series. Deal?!
Tonight it will be Paul Byrd and Justin Verlander doing battle. Verlander should be over the flu, which should help. He gutted out 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees but only fanned 2 and threw 119 pitches.
Paul Byrd can be hittable with a .302 batting average against, but he usually does a good job of preventing those runs from scoring. He’s been all over the place in his last 3 starts which include a complete game 4 hit shutout, a 7 run 2 inning affair against the Yankees, and a 6 inning/8 hit/1 run game against the Devil Rays.
Game Time 7:05pm
POSTGAME: Take the walk Pudge! I’m not blaming the loss on Rodriguez, but twice he swung at ball 4 to end the game when a walk would have brought the winning run in the form of Marcus Thames to the plate.
So much for momentum.
- Verlander has hammered. Even in the first when he escaped allowing one run, the outs were even hammered. This trend continued until it caught up with him in the 4th. He was sitting at 91/92mph very rarely hitting 94. The velocity and overall hit-able-ness are very troubling.
- The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Zach Miner turned it into a blowout allowing a 3 run homer.
- Chad Durbin actually pitched pretty good. He came into a 2nd and 3rd 1 out situation and got a pop up and a ground ball. Unfortunately the grounder went through the box scoring a run, and a muff by Granderson made it 2 runs.
- At least those that thought the team hadn’t been showing life can’t really complain. They knocked the ball around and repeatedly chipped away at sizable leads.
- Another strong Venezuelan 1-2 punch between Ordonez and Guillen who both homered and added another hit apiece. And both put together good at-bats in late inning situations (Maggs in the 7th and Guillen in the 9th) but without anything to show for them.
- Cameron Maybin misplayed the first ball hit to him (leading to the first run). He did look more comfortable after that though. Let’s hope this is a real quick learning curve.
- He did have 2 doubles, and his last at-bat was pretty impressive. He took several close pitches and then went with a pitch on the outer edge. He also showed off an unusual running style with his right arm actually waving
Indians 11 Tigers 8