Game 2009.046: Tigers at Orioles

PREGAME: When Detroit travels to Baltimore things seem to get interesting. There was the game where Dmitri Young had 2 homers and 2 triples. Or the time that Craig Monroe hit a grand slam in extra innings. Last year there was the game the Tigers put up a 6 spot in the first only to find themselves losing 8-7 after 3 before falling in extra innings 11-10. So no matter what happens it should be interesting the next 4 days.

It will be especially interesting for David Hernandez who makes his big league debut tonight. He posted some very nice numbers for the Norfolk Tide with a 60/13 K/BB ratio in 45 innings. He hasn’t been ranked on the O’s top prospects lists the last 2 years, but Baseball America has rated his slider the best on the O’s farm in both 2008 and 2009.

Armando Galarraga sports a slider too. It just hasn’t been so effective as of late. It’s been a miserable month for Galarraga. I’ll leave it at that.

Detroit vs. Baltimore – May 28, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday


POSTGAME
: It would be easy to focus on the offense’s inability to score the simplest of runs (runner on 3rd, less than 2 outs) on 3 separate occasions. Sure it is tremendously frustrating, but the Tigers have actually been pretty good at coming up with big hits this year, so I won’t dwell on it and chalk it up to “one of those things” or “that’s baseball.” Instead I’ll focus on a much improved outing from Armando Galarraga.

Galarraga wasn’t great, but there were times when he had his slider back. There were other times he hung it, but this was definitely progress, and the fact he pitched into the 8th meant he was nibbling nearly as much as he had been. He did allow 10 hits and he was helped by 3 double plays (the last one turned by Inge was awesome), but definitely a step in the right direction.

49 Comments

  1. Ryan P

    May 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Hmm. Has Leyland completely abandoned Curtis in the leadoff spot? Clete is leading off tonight…

    1. Clete Thomas LF
    2. Placido Polanco 2B
    3. Magglio Ordonez RF
    4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
    5. Curtis Granderson CF
    6. Brandon Inge 3B
    7. Jeff Larish DH
    8. Gerald Laird C
    9. Ramon Santiago SS

  2. Matt

    May 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    After Miggy clears the bases with a grandslam, it’s just like Curtis is batting leadoff.

    ;)

  3. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I’m fully prepared to lose by a 5+ run margin.

  4. Ken in Vegas

    May 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I’m fully prepared to win this game and keep this behemoth rollin right along.

  5. Mr. X

    May 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    He escaped it somehow. It’ll get ugly if he keeps walking guys.

  6. Coleman

    May 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    The Tigers have been a terrible 1st inning team this season, probably the worst in the league; and in 1st innings Curtis has had all sorts of problems; high strikeout ratio, low OBP, being the front-end of the Polanco GIDP the few times he does get on base. He has scored a mere 4 1st inning runs so far this season (one on a HR, easily a low among leadoff hitters (Polanco has 7 1st inning runs scored). He has only been on base 10 times season-to-date in the 1st inning (3 of those he was erased with a GIDP, once caught stealing; his numbers are .162/.262/.270…I’m guessing Anderson can match that.

    It wasn’t always thus for Curtis–this is something that started last season. Here are his 1st inning OPS numbers:

    2006-.989
    2007-1.086
    2008-.616
    2009-.532

    Whatever it is doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

    By moving Curtis to the 5-spot I think Leyland is trying to get some better 1st innings going AND helping Granderson AND improving the odds of driving in the guy batting 4th who is on base more than any Tiger…

  7. Tbone

    May 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Big missed opportunity in the 1st. Two walks, a single and nothing to show. Ugh.

  8. Coleman

    May 28, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    That was a nice DP in the bottom half of the inning though…

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm

      Wow, maybe I can just copy and paste this every inning…

  9. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Yikes. The Larish and Laird at-bats were horrible.

    Armando seems to be locating the fastball, but the slider continues to float.

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm

      Larish has struck out 7 times in his last 9 AB…perhaps he needs a day off or so?

  10. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Armando isn’t getting any help from the umpire. Just because he misses the catcher’s target, that doesn’t mean it’s a ball.

  11. Tbone

    May 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Larish over the last week, including tonight:

    1 for 15, 9K’s, 7 LOB

    Brutal.

    • Mr. X

      May 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm

      Just a few days ago, someone here was ripping Leyland for not playing Larish more.

      • Coleman

        May 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

        I think he’ll be fine; I think his hat is just pulled down too low, impeding his vision. McClendon can show him how to tilt it up a little further, and he’ll get back on track..

  12. Coleman

    May 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Luke Scott and Joe Crede; twins separated at birth…

    • Brian P

      May 28, 2009 at 7:49 pm

      The last thing we need is for Luke Scott to be a Twin.

  13. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    The slider was breaking 9-10″ this inning, compared to 6-7″ in his last few starts. Promising.

    • Mr. X

      May 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm

      .

  14. Nick S

    May 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Those were some very close balls that Laird got on that walk.

  15. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I think the strike zone is tight on both sides.

    Galarraga is working the lower part of the strike zone. Huge difference from his last several starts where everything has been up.

  16. Nick S

    May 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Does Maggs still have a hitting streak going? If so how many hits is it now?

  17. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Well, we have a third try with a runner on third with 1 out. Time to score one.

    • Brian P

      May 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm

      *sigh*

  18. Dave

    May 28, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Once again making a pitcher you never heard of look like Cy Young……

  19. Steve

    May 28, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Wow we need to cash these in…………

  20. Tbone

    May 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    A night of missed opportunities. So far.

  21. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Ick. We couldn’t hide Magglio.

  22. mcb

    May 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Magglio needs to just DH. He’s a liability in the field.

  23. David G.

    May 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Uh, yeah. I was at that “6 Spot in the First inning game” last year. Only to punch the Club Level door on the way out after Scott’s HR. Be there Saturday night as well.

    I will never understand why Gallaraga came out for this inning, or at least why he wasn’t yanked after the Huff double.

    • Brian P

      May 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm

      Armando was only at 70-something pitches, and he’s been okay so far. He was in a jam this inning only because of Magglio.

  24. mcb

    May 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I was at that game too David.

  25. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I’d pinch run Anderson for Thomas here in the seventh.

  26. mcb

    May 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Miggy needs a hit

  27. Steve

    May 28, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    GIDP, lets get hats made.

    Man we cant keep giving up these ops.

  28. David G.

    May 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    27 Runners LOB between the two teams.

  29. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 28, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Laird 1st pitch prior to that last GIDP: .250/.308/.417/.725

  30. mcb

    May 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    We at least got a quality start from Gallarag.

  31. Brian P

    May 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    haha. Why even pitch to him after 2-0?

  32. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    That’s okay, I’m glad that Armando may be back on track. I still like our chances for the series.

    • Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

      May 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm

      Well, as back on track as 10 hits in 7 IP can be.

      • Mr. X

        May 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm

        This was the 1st time Galarraga has ever given up more than 9 hits in a game.

  33. Mr. X

    May 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Galarraga sure could use some run support one of these days. In his last 6 starts, the Tigers have scored only 5 runs while he was on the mound.

  34. Chris

    May 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    OK… Here’s how it should be: the Tigers should never-ever-ever pitch to Luke Scott. He should immediately get an intentional walk in all situations except for the one where Tigers are up by 7 runs and Scott is up with bases empty. The guy just has the most incredible luck against this team. Also, DD should be on guard of one of the AL central teams trying to acquire him. He may want to try to negotiate a three way trade with the objective to get him in the NL. I see the evil Twins trying to make a trade for him.

    • jb61973

      May 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm

      BS. I’d like to see one of our guys throw up and in to him. I have a feeling Leyland doesn’t believe in that because otherwise dye and Konerko would have been sent a message at some point over the last couple of years.

  35. Brenden

    May 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    We need to play better against the East… 2-6 against the east…

  36. Jerry

    May 29, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Ok, so I was at the game tonight (and I have been at all of the games that Billfer mentions in the preview). Galarraga looked pretty good, except for the two meatballs (at least one had to have been a hanging slider) hit for homers. Other than that, the Huff double was the only thing that was hit hard that fell in. The defense played well behind him. His opposition also looked good, but there were a couple of hitters (Larish, in particular–I just about died when he swung at a eye-high fastball) who were helping his cause. Both pitchers were getting squeezed hard by the umpire. Bottom line, the pitching was there the hitters left their bats in KC. Hopefully things will turn around tomorrow, and I hope to god the weather is better!