Game 2009.050: Red Sox at Tigers
PREGAME: This is some stretch of games the Tigers are about to embark on. Three against the Red Sox and 3 against the Angels (who give the Tigers fits) before a 5 game series in Chicago. The Tigers will be getting back Marcus Thames in the near future and likely Jeremy Bonderman and that means that 2 players will likely get sent down or out, whether or not they really deserve it. The team and its outlook could look really different by next Friday. Or maybe not.
With that preamble out of the way the Tigers welcome in the Red Sox who have the 3rd highest OPS in the American League. So it will be no easy task for the Tigers pitchers. The Sox are known for seeing a lot of pitches, will makes tonight’s match-up with Rick Porcello interesting because he typically doesn’t throw a lot of pitches.
Random factoid of the night: Dustin Pedroia has grounded into 11 double plays this year.
The Tigers don’t typically see a lot of pitches with their 3.70 P/PA only a smidge more than Seattle’s 3.69 which is the fewest in the AL. But Daisuke Matsuzaka typically throws quite a few topping the 4 pitch per PA mark in each of his first 2 years and he’s at 3.8 this year. Matsuzaka is looking for his first and he missed a chunk of time due to injury. He hasn’t gotten out of the 6th inning this year and has allowed at least 3 runs in each of his 4 starts.
Bonus Random factoid of the night: Magglio Ordonez has fanned in half of his PA’s against Daisuke.
POSTGAME: It happens. The Tigers had a decent game plan against Matsuzaka. They were willing to wait him out (4.6 P/PA). They got some walks, they got some hits, but not enough of either and throw in some bad baserunning and that’s how you waste 9 baserunners in 5 innings turn into 1 run. Actually, part of the problem is that of the 6 hits none were for extra bases, and a couple other hard hit balls were right at people, but…it happens.
Cabrera, Granderson, and Polanco all hit multiple balls hard. Gerald Laird had good at-bats but the Tigers didn’t get enough runs early and then they were playing uphill against a good bullpen.
Rick Porcello wasn’t bad, but not as sharp as he has been. He was also singled to death, but the Red Sox did mix in 2 exta base hits and those led to the 3 runs he gave up.
The Tigers bullpenning was passable except for when Ryan Perry lost the strike zone. We saw this a little bit with Perry early on and fortunately it hadn’t happened for quite sometime. You hate to see a run plunked in, which is what Brandon Lyon contributed but in the end he came into a bases loaded, 1 out situation and allowed 1 run. Lyon pitched 2 more innings allowing only a double.
As for that rally off of Papelbon, let’s look at it for what it was. A broken bat, a check swing, and a seeing eye groundball. But I will give Josh Anderson a ton of credit for his 10 pitch strikeout .