PREGAME: In the wake of the team’s disappointing season, Dave Dombrowski has been hammered for the moves he made or didn’t make this offseason. One move that did work out that never gets mentioned is picking up Armando Galarraga from the Rangers for nothing.
Galarraga returns to Texas tonight, but Jim Leyland doesn’t want him to make too big a deal out of it. Galarraga is content to let his performance, improved by Chuck Hernandez, do the talking. One thing to keep an eye on his Galarraga’s endurance. He went 121 pitches his last time out, farther than he’s gone this year.
The Tigers will face Vicente Padilla. The Tigers knocked him out after 7 runs in 3 innings his last time out. But he shut them down for 6 innings in 2007. He was pushed back due to some neck pain. He was rocked by the Orioles and Yankees in his last 2 starts.
The Tigers send out these 9 tonight:
Santiago doubled and homered off of Padilla back in April and is 5 for 9 lifetime off him. So I guess Leyland is playing the match-up.
Game Time 8:05
POSTGAME: Nice win and a 2 game winning streak. Woot. Armando Galarraga was dominant through 5.1 innings, but then got knocked around for 3 runs before getting out of the 6th. It was another quality start, and another win which should help his ROY chances.
Gary Glover is still perfect as a Tigers reliever making me look stupid again. At least I’m used to it. And Casey Fossum had a 1-2-3 9th. The only guy that struggled was Bobby Seay who I had been arguing to be the 7th inning guy.
The offense overcame some early futility to bludgeon the Padilla and the bullpen in the 7th. They had runners in scoring position in the first 2 innings with nobody out and didn’t score them. They were undermined by 3 double plays. But Matt Joyce’s 2 homers, made those early struggles irrelevant. Everybody had hits tonight except Miguel Cabrera who hit a couple of balls hard again with nothing to show for it.
There was some very slick defense for the Tigers. Ramon Santiago made a nifty play up the middle and Carlos Guillen started a quick double play earlier on.
And credit to the Texas scorer for ruling Matt Joyce’s flyball an error. Normally if the ball doesn’t get touched it’s ruled as a hit. This time they ruled it an error, but they gave it to the wrong guy. It should have been Hamilton’s error.
Good news everyone. The Tigers moved ahead of the Rangers in the wild card chase. Only 4 more teams to go! (that’s sarcasm).