PREGAME: It will be a rematch of Carl Pavano and Armando Galarraga tonight. The two hooked up on May 1st, and Pavano allowed just 2 runs in 7.1 innings while Galarraga was knocked out in the 5th after allowing 5 runs. That game is the only one the Tigers have dropped to the Indians in 7 tries this year.
Pavano has solid peripherals (71 K, 20 BB, 11 HR in 99 innings) but a 5.36 ERA. That was due in large part to a 3 start stretch in June when he lasted 13.1 innings and opposing hitters posted a 1.201 OPS against. He has rebounded in his last 2 outings though going 13.2 innings with 9 K’s and 2 walks and just 4 runs allowed.
Galarraga is someone also looking at his last 2 starts as a return to form. After kind of sucking for May and June, Galarraga has allowed just single runs in each of his last 2 starts (though he did walk a disturbing 6 batters against Oakland).
POSTGAME: This game was remarkably similar to the May 1st game. Pavano had an easy time of it. Galarraga wasn’t that good. The bullpen gave up an add-on run. The Tigers hit the Indians pen up to bring the game to within 1 run, but they fell short. Really the only difference was that last time it was 6-5 and this time it was 5-4.
Pavano was pretty good tonight, and he pounded first pitch strike after first pitch strike. His first pitch to Granderson was a ball, but his other first pitches went: strike looking, strike foul, strike looking, strike looking, triple, strike looking, strike foul, stike looking, strike looking, strike foul, strike swinging. That takes you to 2 outs in the 4th inning before he threw his next first pitch ball. The next one didn’t come until the 7th. There were no 2-0 counts while Pavano was on the mound. That was kind of the night.
Of course Detroit gave away a couple runs. A first and third, one out situation, resulted in a strike-em-out, throw-em-out 2-4-5-2 double play. Galarraga pitched scared in the third after a 2 out triple by Sizemore and walked the next 2 guys. That first walk then came around to score on a liner that Raburn dove on and just couldn’t squeeze.
The Tigers had their chances, didn’t take advantage of enough of them (they did okay in the 2nd plating 2 runs) and they came up on the short end.