Verlander v. Clev. pre-2009: 6.70ERA in 15GS, Tribe hit .271 w/ .475SLG. 2009: 4GS, 4-0, 0.90ERA, Indians hit .157 w/ .196SLG, 41K in 30IP
Westbrook makes his second start of the season and only his 2nd start since Memorial Day 2008. He allowed 9 White Sox baserunners (4 via the walk) in 4 innings on Opening Day and 5 of those came around to score.
Your Damon-less lineup is:
- Jackson, CF
- Kelly, LF
- Ordonez, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Guillen, DH
- Inge, 3B
- Santiago, SS
- Laird, C
- Sizemore, 2B
POSTGAME: Through the first turn in the rotation, each of the starters gave their team a chance to win. Hopefully Verlander’s 2nd start isn’t a harbinger of the next 4 pitching performances. Fortunately though the Tigers offense managed to be both frustrating and dynamic all at the same time and they plated 9 runs to complete a comeback from a 5-1 deficit.The first thing to jump out is that the Tigers left an island on base. The maximum number of runners a team can leave on base in a 9 inning game is 27. The Tigers left 18, two per inning. The sort of performance that drives fans crazy. At the same time though, the Tigers created 29 baserunners in the game (18 hits, 9 walks, 2 HBP), the sort of performance that should have fans salivating and should quell the majority of those frustrations. This is a day that every one who grabbed a bat reached base at least once, and even Gerald Laird managed a hit.
The Tigers didn’t cash in as often as they probably should have, due in large part to the fact that only 2 of those 18 hits were for extra bases. And Shin Soo Choo’s gun in right field certainly helped to limit the scoring. After he gunned down Donnie Kelly, Gene Lamont was hesitant to start that windmill.
Give this offense credit for not chasing pitches, and being patient, and not mailing in at-bats even when the score was pretty lopsided. Even when they would plate runs only to see the pitchers give them back the next inning. It was a heck of an offensive performance, regardless of the opponent.
- Verlander. Sigh. He had the velocity. He was throwing strikes for the most part (68%). And he did settle down. But man, that first inning.
- I don’t mind Lamont waving home Kelly. I typically prefer to make the other team get you out, and credit Choo with the laser. I love Kelly going in hard at the plate though.
- I was at the game and was sitting along the third base line so I can’t say whether Sizemore should have had that ball in the first, but from what I heard he should have. It was nice to see him start to spray the ball though and he came up with 3 hits.
- Austin Jackson came up to bat in 4 consecutive innings.
- I liked Leyland’s pinch hitting decisions. I was surprised though to see how long he stuck with Bonine was got rocked in his first inning out there. Even as the team was coming back, he stuck with Bonine. In the end Eddie through 49 pitches, on a day he was asked to warm up 3 different times.
- Defensively, Brandon Inge looked like “Brandon Inge – defensive superstar” for the first time this season with 2 slick plays.