PREGAME: The Tigers welcome the Seattle Mariners into town. The Mariners, like the Tigers are 6 games above .500 and rely heavily on their defense and pitching to overcome anemic offenses.
The Tigers will send out Rick Porcello for the first time since Michael Jackson died. Will he be rusty? Will he have extra giddy-up? Will he hold down the Mariners the way he did when he faced them on the left coast?
The Mariners send out Garrett Olson. Olson has a tendency to give up the long ball with 12 homers allowed in just 59 innings this year. He has a 4.53 ERA and strike out and walk rates that are unremarkable. The Tigers faced him twice last year and plated 5 runs in each game. So things should look good for an offense that is struggling, but I’m far from confident.
Tonight’s hopefully first place maintaining ineup:
POSTGAME: The Tigers got themselves some offense. When the first 5 batters score, things should be a laugher. But the Mariners kept coming back as they launched 4 homers and this game was way more stressful than it should have been.
Rick Porcello looked to have a ton of movement on his breaking balls. That was the good. The bad was that there were too many balls being put in the air. Porcello is normally an extreme ground ball pitcher, but 5 of the 11 outs in the field were in the air. And then there were the balls that flew out of the park.
But the offense, the offense, oh the offense. Magglio Ordonez seems to be taking to this platoonery as he cracked a grand slam picking up that long awaited “hit with RISP.” And the fact that were RISP was also refreshing. Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera later went deep making it an Arby’s night.
The pen wasn’t bad. Fu-Te Ni and Bobby Seay both gave up homers, but both had been pitching well of late so I can’t hate on either of them. Brandon Lyon did his 2 out job, and Fernando Rodney made things interesting, but didn’t pitch badly. The 1-2 plunking of Branyan was clearly a mistake, but he was ahead of the count the whole inning, he didn’t nibble, and he followed the HBP with a couple grounders, a K, and a routine flyball.