PREGAME: It just has to be better tonight right? Fewer errors. Fewer baserunning mistakes. More big hits with runners on base. No plunking in a run? Does that sound good to everybody?
Armando Galarraga will try and build on his last start, which was his only quality start in the month of May. He faced Boston once last year and wasn’t good, but he managed a no decision despite allowing 5 runs and not getting out of the 6th inning.
Meanwhile the Tigers will face Josh Beckett. Beckett faced the Tigers once last year and destroyed them with 8 K’s, no walks, and just 1 run in 7 innings. And Beckett is rolling with 5 quality starts in a row and his last 2 starts he has allowed 1 earned run in 15 innings with 13 K’s. Game on.
POSTGAME: Well, Josh Beckett was really good. The Tigers offense has had their share of struggles lately. But this is one of those tip-your-cap games. Beckett was nasty and worked the edges of a big strike zone masterfully. Tuesday the Tigers let Matsuzaka off the hook. Tonight was a pitcher on his game toying with a struggling offense.
But there is some good to take from the game. Armando Galarraga looks to be regaining his 2008 form with his second consecutive quality start. And the Tigers once again made the 9th inning way more interesting than it should have been with some good at-bats. And Curtis Granderson tripled.
Of course the bullpen proved to be awful with Zach Miner and Nate Robertson turning the game into a laugher. Leyland had no way of knowing that the Red Sox would forget how to field the ball in the 8th and how to throw strikes in the 9th and the Tigers 4 run deficit appeared insurmountable at the time. And conserving some bullpen in a lost cause isn’t a bad tactic. Still, those runs proved to be the difference.