PREGAME: The Rangers have really been struggling and have won only 2 of their last 11 games for an awful 7-13 record. Err, umm, that’s the same record as the Tigers by the way.
Vicente Padilla takes the mound for Texas. He’s allowed 40 base runners in 26 innings, but still has a 3.12 ERA. He allowed 2 homers in his first outing, but none in the last two. Padilla will look to give his team a chance to snap a 4 game losing streak.
The Tigers will send out Justin Verlander who is searching for his first win, his first quality start, his fastball velocity, and his command. He allowed 5 runs in 5 innings against the Indians but it felt like so much more due in large part to 4 walks. In two starts against the Rangers last year he limited them to 1 run over 14 innings with 13 K’s.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: I actually had a lot of things I wanted to hit on from tonight’s game, but some late game control problems from the Rangers, excessive pitching changes from the Tigers, a slow ride home, and some kind of announcement about a switch conspired against me.
- In the first inning Verlander got ahead of Hank Blalock with 2 strikes and then bounced 2 breaking balls. I said to my friend, “last year Verlander just blows him away with a 98mph elevated fastball.” Next pitch was 96mph above the belt and a swing and a miss. The velocity seemed to be partly back last night. And the good news, like in his other starts, is that the velocity he had at the start of his outing was there at the end.
- It wasn’t a dominating outing by any means, but still effective and encouraging.
- Jason Grilli pitched an uneventful 9th.
- The fan who touched the ball was heartily boo’d if you were wondering.
- Ordonez’s homer was a blast, Cabrera’s was a bullet (seriously, who would try to catch that?), but Ramon Santiago? For real?
- Jacque Jones tried to join the party but picked the wrong part of the park to hit it to. We’ll see if his double-triple night is something to get him started or just a blip.