PREGAME: Is this where the team finally builds momentum? They have walk off wins under their belt and their ace on the mound tonight. They also have a chance this weekend to to essentially take one team out of contention with a sweep. Of course the Mariners have that exact same opportunity.
Justin Verlander is coming off a 10 K, 1 run performance in which he threw 129 pitches. Velocity will be something to keep an eye on early tonight.
Miguel Batista takes the bump for the Mariners tonight and he’s also coming off a strong start where he went 7 innings and allowed just 1 run on 5 hits while fanning 7 Blue Jays. He picked up a win in his only other outing against the Tigers this year when he went 6 innings with the only run coming on a Curtis Granderson lead off homer.
Lefties have a 299/376/473 line off of Batista, so plan on seeing his Timo-ness in the lineup tonight.
POSTGAME: Woo hoo, 3 in a row. And this one wasn’t even really in doubt, except for the rain delay. And really, you call that a rain delay? (as i wistfully think back to the last Friday home game…)
Justin Verlander breezed through the lineup. The Mariners swung early and often and were kind enough to hit the ball gently to Detroit defenders. Even the one inning where the Mariners loaded the bases, they weren’t really ripping the ball. At only 92 pitches after 8 I’m surprised that Leyland didn’t let Verlander finish the game.
I thought going to Zumaya was a bit of overkill, but then when he threw 7 straight balls visions of Oakland started dancing through my head.
The offense got hits in bunches, and once again the struggling players Pudge and Inge were in the middle of the action. And of course there was Timo again with 2 hits.
But among the various hits and rallies was Curtis Granderson lining a 3-1 pitch into the right field tunnel for his 20th homer. That makes him one stolen base short of the quad-20 with 20 steals, 20 dingers, 20 triples, and 20 doubles. With his next stolen base he’d join Willie Mays and Frank Schulte as the only players to accomplish the feat. As it is he’s one of only 5 players with 30 doubles, 20 homers, and 20 triples. But that’s kind of arbitrary since he’s one of only 5 players with 30 doubles, 20 triples, and 19 dingers – so other than achieving a round number his peer group doesn’t change.
Then again, I just checked and the same is true of the quad-20, or tri-20+19. He’s still with only Mays and Schulte, so the same round number argument will apply when he gets his next steal.