PREGAME: Well, you have to score to win. That “duh” statement looms large with the Tigers being shutout Friday night and facing Carl Pavano this afternoon. Pavano of course has shut down the Tigers in each of 4 starts this year. He’s been good enough that he’s thrown 30.1 innings against Detroit. You’d hope that would be enough for the hitting coach to build a competent and executable game plan for the Tigers to follow.
Justin Verlander had a light day his last time out when he threw only 104 pitches. He did allow 5 runs though in his 7 innings as he was bitten by a one winning offensive outburst. It’s an affliction he’s suffered too many times this year (against the Mariners, the Angels, the Orioles, etc). He’ll likely have to be near perfect today.
POSTGAME: I waited several hours to write the postgame in hopes that I could paint a game story that would make sense. Yet nothing about this game made sense.
Somehow Verlander was charged with 5 runs in this game. The mystery isn’t the actual mechanics of assigning runs to pitchers, but the line did not resemble the performance. Verlander was terrific and deserved a much better fate. He did his part as the ace, but you can only pitch around so much lack of run support and dome weirdness.
Offensively the Tigers had hits, but they didn’t really hit Pavano. Somehow the Tigers managed 11 singles without really putting the barrel on the ball. Ground ball singles and bloops, it’s all part of the Metrodome experience but the Tigers still haven’t figured out Pavano. Still, they had their chances and the 2 runs wasn’t close to enough.
Then there was Leyland. He did not have a good game and pretty much every decision didn’t work out.
- Using Don Kelly as a defensive replacement when he has all of no experience in the dome will be deservedly questioned.
- Verlander being left in to face Kubel when he was past the 120 pitch mark and Bobby Seay was warm can be questioned. Though Kubel didn’t exactly crush the ball it’s a move that will be second guessed.
- And pretty much every other move he made of didn’t make will be questioned as things turn south for a team at the the absolute wrong time.