PREGAME: As much as I’d love to talk about the Tigers carrying over their offense from last night, that probably isn’t a realistic expectation. Felix Hernandez has been absolutely sick.
The last time Hernandez didn’t last through at least 7 innings was May 30th, when he went 6.2. He’s fanning a batter an inning and almost 4 batters for every guy he walks. Opponents have only taken him deep 8 times all season. RISP opportunities are going to be hard to come by, so the Tigers need to be efficient when they have an opportunity.
Armando Galarraga makes his first post All Star break start. There were a couple somewhat promising starts for Galarraga leading to some hope he had turned things around. But he was hammered for 9 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings by the Indians in his last start.
Your Brandon Inge-less lineup:
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Cabrera, 1B
- Thomas, RF
- Thames, DH
- Anderson, LF
- Raburn, 3B
- Laird, C
- Santiago, SS
The decision to bat Thomas clean-up is a little strange, but I’m guessing the thinking is the lefty may provide a little more protection than Thames for Cabrera. The stranger move is batting Anderson anywhere higher than 8th. And did Dusty Ryan evaporate?
POSTGAME: The Tigers waste another masterful pitching performance and drop a 2-1 game for the 3rd time in 4 games. This time Galarraga allowed 1 freakin groundball single through 7+ innings, and still can’t get a win.
Bobby Seay threw a meatball to Russel Branyan who punished it. Seay had 22 straight appearances without a run allowed, and has given up homers in each of the last 2 games. But you can’t blame it all on Seay.
Josh Anderson has become Neifi Perez. I want to make it clear that I’m not hating on Josh Anderson here and blaming him for the Tigers offensive woes. When I call him Neifi it’s because he’s a player of limited ability that is being vastly misused by Leyland. Anderson is what he is and expecting more isn’t fair of him. Expecting the manager to realize that he is an inferior hitter who has no place in a starting lineup is another matter.
Anderson should not have been batting 6th. He came up in 2 RBI situations and ended the inning. This should not have come as a surprise. He should not have had a bat in his hands in the 9th inning. Horrible. If Anderson is a late inning defensive replacement or a pinch runner I have no problem with him being on the roster. But if you give Leyland a limited NL player, he’ll find a way to play him way too much. Leyland has done a good job in total this season, but his continued use of Anderson is baffling.
- Miguel Cabrera needs to start getting some of those hits with runners on base. Pat Caputo posted some startlingly abysmal stats about Cabrera and his tendendcy to not drive in runs. It bit them again tonight.
- The Tigers were very aggressive tonight. Of the first 50 pitches they saw, they swung at 30 of them and only took 4 called strikes.
- Galarraga was tiring. His command and delivery wasn’t as good as it was earlier in the game. That and there was some kind of forcefield around the plate when Ryan Langerhans and Jack Hannahan were up. It was very nice to see Galarraga’s slider being a swing and miss pitch again.
- Curtis Granderson has singled the other way 3 times in the last 2 games. Hopefully him using the whole field will get his batting average and extra base hits back up and this is the start of something positive.