PREGAME: The Tigers have now scored 500 runs on the season – exactly. That’s only 19 games later than expected by many. The Tigers also come into today’s game at 2 games over .500. That’s been their highwater mark for the season. It’s a mark they first reached on July 2nd, and they’ve gone 9-9 since then. Their playoff odds as calculated by Baseball Prospectus are at the highest (10.9%) they’ve been since that same day. Can the Tigers break through and move to the coveted 3 games over .500?
To do it they’ll have to get by Zach Grienke. Grienke has been inconsistent of late. He was hammered for 7 runs by the White Sox his last time out, but in his last 7 starts he’s also had 4 outings where he’s given up 2 runs or less. He still has great K and BB rates, but he has allowed 18 homers already this season.
Armando Galarraga threw strikes his last time out. He fanned six and walked none, but 3 of those strikes found themselves in the bleachers and he ended up surrendering 5 runs in 6.2 innings.
Game Time 2:10
POSTGAME: I was the idiot blogger arguing that Armando Galarraga couldn’t keep it up – and that was back in May. I’m thrilled he keeps proving me wrong.
A potential no hitter/perfect game is so damn exciting that I don’t know how these guys can settle down and throw a pitch. I was listening at work and I was getting nervous/excited with each pitch. Dan Dickerson by the way did a great job painting the scene and his excitement was evident in his signature “and he GOT HIM ON STRIKES!”
Meanwhile it sounded like Zach Grienke was pitching a heck of a game but had some of the worst luck ever as bloops and ducks found safe harbor between the infield and outfield and a couple of well timed hits staked the Tigers to an early lead.
This was a heck of a bludgeoning that the Royals took and it should quell the jokes (which had been warranted) about the Tigers inability to beat Kansas City.
Things are set up for a monster series with the White Sox. Fortunately for the Tigers things are positioned such that as long as Detroit isn’t swept, things will still be okay. Of course anything the Tigers can do to cut into the White Sox lead – especially while playing in Comerica – would be quite the boost.