Detroit Tigers: 46-38, 1st Place (1.5 ahead of Cleveland).
Somehow the Tigers have pulled the Bengal-Bus into Cleveland in first place, and even-up on the road trip, pulling 3 of 4 from the previously-hot Blue Jays despite the lack of Cabrera and Infante in the Independence-Day-in-a-Foreign-Land-Finale.
(Although I will go on record here as saying that Kansas City will turn out to be the real division rival, despite the Franconized Indians).
In fact, the bench…OK, let’s have some respect here: The Bench…excelled: Santiago and Kelly were a combined 5-for-9, Jackson, Dirks, and Hunter followed up with a top of the order binge, and Justin Verlander remembered who he was. Perhaps he realized that he has to work harder, now that he is getting old and all, as Jack Morris says
Tonight Cleveland sends out the Other Justin, Justin Masterson, to face The Appealing Rick Porcello.
Jose Valverde is working hard too. In fact his minor league stint should only last a couple of weeks. The Potato will surely rise again after the All-Star break, n’est-ce pas?
Max Scherzer, on the other hand, needs to work a bit harder. According to SI, if the Cy Young were to be handed out today, he would have to be happy with the Bronze.
Oh, and you will notice this is game 85 already. There are those out there who will be talking about the halfway point of the season “approaching.” Here, we realize that point has passed a few days ago. Nonetheless, it will be worth looking at the various halfway-point (even though the halfway-point is long gone) assessments. For example, did you realize that the Tigers could actually be doing better?
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Don Kelly. The Donkey has now raised his batting average to .240. I have a hunch that Kelly will follow up on his big game yesterday with a hit or two today.
Today’s Oh, No Omar Lineup: