Game 20: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME Armando Galarraga takes on Shawn Marcum as the Tigers look for their first matinee win of the season.

Marcum has been the Jays best pitcher this season with 20 K’s and only 5 walks in 20.2 innings.

Galarraga has been the Tigers best pitcher this season with 6 K’s and no walks in 6.2 innings.

DET @ TOR, Monday, April 21, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 12:37

I was listening to Danny Knobler on WDFN this afternoon and he was talking about how the highs and lows have become so much more pronounced because of the 0-7 start. It’s a pretty astute observation. The Tigers today salvaged a split of the series and a 3-3 road trip which is nothing to sneeze at. Yet the losses of the last two days were such a downer it hardly felt satisfying.

Still, going into the weekend I had said I’d be happy with a split so who am I to complain? The Tigers finally capitalized on walks and miscues to take an early lead which was more than enough for Armando Galarraga. He wasn’t quite as efficient as his 1st start. Only 54% of his pitches went for strikes and he walked 4. Still, he pitched out of his self inflicted jams so there was no damage.

Pudge Rodriguez led off the offensive attack from the 2-hole on a day when Jim Leyland challenged his big boys to step up. But he’s likely to be dropped in the order as the news on Placido Polanco’s back was encouraging and Polanco could return to the lineup tomorrow.

Tigers 5, Blue Jays 1

88 thoughts on “Game 20: Blue Jays at Tigers”

  1. I’m sick of Pudge and Jones batting above Renteria. It’s nonsense. Galarraga is going to need another spectacular outing for us to squeak out a .500 road trip.

  2. You guys see those stats on the TV broadcast? 15 walks in 3 games and only one run off of those walks…

  3. I wonder if the ‘regular’ starters get peeved that this ‘rookie’ gets all the run support?

  4. Yeah I guess I never thought of that, but couldn’t you say they would be able to relax and pitch better if they knew the offense was behind them?

    Sorry I meant to say offence as the game is in Toronto

  5. “I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now,” Steinbrenner told the Times. “There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”

    this is hank steinbrenner talking about joba. i still wonder about zumaya as a starter (if he is ever healthy again).

  6. i like galaraga already. he’s barely had any time under Chuck ‘Don’t Throw Strikes’ Hernandez, which is a good thing.

  7. if he only wants joba to pitch for a few years, yea start him. I can’t imagine a human arm could sustain throwing 100+ pitches every 4 or 5 days.

  8. 24 hours for 1 inning of work, though.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me? It makes sense. Zumaya is practically Mr. Glass as a setup man, how could he be a starter?

  9. If a guy can hit 100 and has 3-4 pitches, think about starting him. If a guy throws 103 and has 2 pitches, he’s a set-up guy (Zumaya).

    To be a starter, Zumaya has to totally change his game. Not saying he can’t do it, but you KNOW he’s capable of throwing 25 pitches every other day.

    Galarraga is looking very, very good. Nice movement and location. Throwing strikes and letting his teammates help him get outs.

  10. Call me crazy, but from his look on the mound and slow, deliberate delivery, Galaraga reminds me of Chein-Ming Wang. Obviously he doesn’t have the turbo sinker.

  11. Steinbrenner kills me. Always nice to know the Boss is behind you, especially so early in the season.

    I always felt that Joba and ZuZu were born to be closers. They are both intimidating in ability and appearance. As it stands now, Joba’s dealing for the Yankees while Joel is busy trying to nail “Through the Fire and the Flames” on GH3.


  12. Also, look at Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens, they were hard throwers. Roger may have had the benefit of some “B12”, however.

    EDIT: There are just as many names that threw hard and never amounted to anything. You can start right in the tigers organization for some. Matt Anderson is the one that I think of first. I still have that guy’s autograph.

  13. “Any truth to the rumor zuzu hurt his shoulder falling upside down off of a keg?”

    Ha Ha Ha! I had to laugh when I pictured this in my head.

    I have a feeling we will never know the truth.

  14. I think billfer posted some pictures where Zuzu (sidenote is that what we’re calling him?) was doing a kegstand and playing Guitar Hero, but no date on when those pictures were taken.

  15. Watching Ingey turn that doubleplay, I thought of how quick he got rid of that ball… Cabrera is a hell of a hitter, but man oh man is there a difference playing the corner.

    Gallaraga’s still looking pretty good — not wilting when he puts a couple guys on base.

  16. scotsw I can’t tell you how many times this year I have mumbled under my breath, through my tears: “Brandon would have made that play”

  17. Any truth to the rumor that ZuZu injured his shoulder when he unwisely picked a fight at the bar with an Australian soccer player?

  18. I’ll say it again, we’ve got to send scouts to Venezuela and find more members of the Galarraga family. Brothers, cousins, heck, even sisters! I envision an all-Galarraga rotation.

  19. Cabrera: Nice arm, good reach. But none of the hand quickness or agility. I’m sure he’s got fair speed over distance, but not the best first step. Looks like a good left fielder to me.

    Inge: No shortcomings as a 3B, really.

    Somebody explain to me how Jones in left and Cabrera at 3rd is better for the Tigers than Cabrera in left and Inge at 3rd.

  20. Remember in ’06 when Maroth went down? Zach Miner took his spot in the rotation and, despite low expectations (I remember saying “who the hell is this?”) was great for 3+ months.

    Galarraga is this year’s Zach Miner.

    Conversely, it’s looking like Zach Miner is this year’s Jose Mesa.

  21. I’ll add that Cabrera has always looked more at home at first than at third, too. He’s actually looked a lot better there than Guillen.

  22. Scotsw,
    I with you Cab in left and Inge at 3B. Jones in Pawtucket.

    I heard Zumaya injured his shoulder when on a secret mission to Afganistan searching for Osama bin Ladin…..

  23. Inge won’t bat .220 again this year, if we keep him at 3B full time.

    Why? Uh, because he didn’t start the year in an 0-20something slump that got into his head.

    I’m gonna go with .260/.265 with 400+ABs. Not bad for a 3B.

    Jones, however, I don’t see breaking the Mendoza line. Therefore, SOMEONE has to play left. Uh. Miggy.

  24. LOL Scotsw,

    You want someone who is slow, in LF we need a good defensemen out there not just somebody we dont want at 3B. He is too slow and would be a god aweful LFer. He looks great at 1B give him some time, and he will be good since this is the first time he has ever EVER played 1B. He needs time to adjust to the position. He looks like a natural.

    Talking about naturals, Galarraga looks like a natural in there right now. nice 5.1IP. Good game Galarraga, better then I can say for the other pitchers in the rotation god……..

  25. Let’s have a round of applause for Galarraga… Too bad he couldn’t go 6, and get the “quality start.”

    If Leyland wants guys to go deeper into games, uh, he has to leave them in.

    Wasn’t quite as sharp as last time, but pitched pretty well and painted the corners.

  26. I could care less about Brandon. He’s a great defensive 3rd baseman. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve called him every name in the book while he stands at homeplate check swinging, k’ing or standing there like a house by the side of the road and watching it go by.

  27. Hmmmm…pitch count was at 81, I thought he had one more inning in him. Bullpen by committee is the call apparently.

  28. um…why not clete thomas in left ( he is still hitting over 300 and has good range)…dh/first between cabrera and guillen? thames can back them all up

  29. ok, I’m at work and can’t watch the game. Guillen is in left? Galarraga pulled after 85 pitches? Do I have all this correct? Leyland WTF?

  30. Lol. No, everyone’s just saying “Let’s put ____ in left.” I voted Guillen, since everyone forgets about him.

  31. Dan and Jim said before the game started that the Tigers have the least number of quality starts in the MLB at 2. The next fewest by a team was 8.

    Today would’ve been a good day to get the 3rd. But Rapada/Lopez works too.

  32. I wonder if the tigers have been ‘working with the hitting coach’ all of our hits are up the middle and the 2 extra base hits were in the left center power alley

  33. good job denny.
    all the talk about the pen,always about the pen…that’s not the problem of the day, even miner was good in his last outing. if/when cruceta, zoom, rodney get back we will be trading relievers for starters.

  34. Bautista didn’t give up a run, they say T. Jones has taken him under his wing, taught him the ‘art of pitching’ and how to get more face time on TV, by unnecessarily extending your time on the mound.

  35. OK, phew, thanks for clearing that up Adam. I was worried, Leyland lost his mind and put the one guy that can’t run in the outfield.

    Looks like Bautista had a rough time in the 8th. It’s hard to criticize too much, he’s been good so far this year.

    Let’s get Jones some work in the 9th and come home with a split on the road trip.

  36. good, solid win. let’s just hope they don’t turn Vicente Padilla into Walter Johnson tomorrow night.

  37. Our team ERA is now 5.45, which is no longer last in MLB thanks to the Cubs putting up 50 on the Pirates over the weekend. We have still allowed more walks than any other staff, however and have a .790 OPS against. So it’s not like we’re good or anything.

  38. Holy cow!!! I just cought up with the game on my lunch (here in Venice beach, CA) and what a game by Galarraga. So far, he’s our ace. And way to go Pudge.. I’m pretty pleased to see that we got a split

  39. No, we’re no where near good (yet). I like how the bullpen has come together (for the most part). The hitting still needs to be consistent.

    The biggest issue is our starting pitching. They’ve been way worse than anyone could have dreamed (in their nightmares).

    Nice to head home from a road trip with a ‘W’

  40. I just came across the following on

    Willis’ return would be a major boost for a Tigers starting rotation that has fallen on tough times. Heading into the beginning of the season, the starting staff was supposed to be one of Detroit’s strengths…

    I don’t even know where to begin correcting that paragraph.

  41. What happens if Armando Galarraga keeps pitching well and Willis is healthy but still has control issues?

  42. Chris,

    Good question. Knowing Leyland, Galarraga goes back to Toledo and Willis goes into the rotation until somebody else has to miss a start. That’s my guess anyway. Willis is still at least a week away from returning, which will give Armando another start. He’s been terrific so far, but let’s see how he does once teams get a scouting report on him.

  43. We need to beat up on the Rangers this homestand. Verlander needs to step it up.

    Rod and Mario were saying he’s going to try throwing from a higher arm slot, which should make him pitch faster.


  44. Good call Adam, let’s talk about the Rangers. To say they are struggling would be a mighty compliment. Anything less than 2/3 would be a disaster. We’ve got our 1-3 going, and we’ll miss Millwood.

  45. Well it doesnt matter if the Rangers are slumping, they are HITTING and we need to win with high scoring, can we do that? We should be able. Will we sweep-no, will we win series – should. will we lose series-possible. it depends on if the offense steps up along with JV being an ACE.

  46. We should win But forgive me don’t we have the SAME record as the Rangers, God i hope Granderson lights a fire under these guys,

  47. Also Remember how every one was saying that we have to get quality starts from the rotation to save the bullpen for the second half, Every thing i have read says we have enough guys coming up from rehab,passport trouble, etc to just replace them when they get tired. replace the starters in the forth let the pen win games? Whatta think 🙂

  48. I like what Leyland said about the big boys and himself taking responsibility. Watch the Tigers roar now.

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