PREGAME: The Blue Jays come to town. Shaun Marcum is on the mound for Toronto. He struggled in his first 3 starts off the DL allowing 17 runs in 14.2 innings and 5 homers in those 3 games. But in his last start he got well holding Oakland to 1 run in 7 innings with 7 K’s and only 2 walks. Whether that means he’s back to the low 3′s ERA pitcher he was earlier in the year, or it was a product of facing the A’s remains to be seen.
For the Tigers it will be Justin Verlander. Verlander made progress in his last start before his line was blown up in his 8th inning of work. Oh yeah, and he threw 130 pitches.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: The weather was perfect. Outside of that, I’ll go bulleted list style:
- I have no idea if Verlander’s previous outing impacted the current one- at least in terms of performance. He was lifted around the 80 pitch mark and so that was probably a factor in not letting him pitch through it.
- Control didn’t seem to be a problem, with his first ball not coming until pitch number 15. I was at the game, and haven’t gone through the pitch f/x data so this is pure speculation, but I’d say he was just chucking the ball over the plate to try and get quick outs. I base this mostly on the knowledge of the length of his previous outing, and the number of scorched balls coming with 2 strikes.
- I’ve seen a decent number of homers to straight away centerfield at Comerica. They’ve all been well hit of course, but given the sheer vastness of the outfield, you never really know if they’re gone. Cabrera’s was a no doubter off the bat.
- The Sheffield situation wasn’t pretty. He was awful again today, and the boos just rained down in a grilli-esque fashion. I’d say it was probably even louder than Jason received.
- Jason Beck transcribed Leyland’s quotes in response to the Sheffield article. I agree completely with the skipper on this.
- I don’t get too worked up about guys not sprinting all the way down the line on every ball. A comebacker to the pitcher and you’re out before you get half way down the line. But Sheffield hit a groundball down the third base line. It wasn’t hit hard and it was fielded behind the bag. Chances are he would be out, but it wasn’t a given. Sheffield ran half speed. It should have been a close play but he was out by 3 steps. That is inexcusable from anyone, but especially the leader he fancies himself.
- The game seemed very blah, due in large part to Verlander getting rocked and the offense not clicking. But outside of Sheffield guys were playing hard. Renteria laid out and made a nice stop on a ball up the middle. Maggs made a nice diving play, as did Miguel Cabrera.