SOUP DU JOUR
Things go well for Porcello until he starts leaving pitches up. RF Kelly raced back and had 2B Jedd Gyorko’s flyball in his glove momentarily as he neared the wall, but it popped out, hit the ground, and Kelly hit the wall. RBI triple. Kelly was down for a bit, trainer out, but he stayed in the game. Every out in the inning (and even Headley’s RBI double that Jackson flagged down) involved a fine defensive play (Romine, Kinsler, a charging-in Jackson), but the Padres are up 2-0.
2nd INNING: Headley is having trouble as Romine is nearly safe on another bad throw, but Cashner’s having no trouble at all.
Porcello gives up a hit on a hanger, but the pitcher’s bunt strikeout and a line shot straight at Cabrera bail him out.
3RD INNING: Cashner strikes out the side, all on called thirds. The Tiger appear to be waiting for something to hit. Maybe it’s all they can do today.
The Padres are not letting Porcello get away with any mistakes. A big threat is ended on an alert play by Avila, who jumped on Headley’s somewhat uncertainly fair tapper in front of the plate to initiate a sharp 2-6-3 DP. Don’t see those every day.
4TH INNING: The Tigers are hitless and clueless through four. Heart of the order up, three weak grounders, two to the pitcher.
Porcello gets a break when the R3L2O situation ends on C Rene Rivera’s hard liner straight at Miggy for an unassisted DP.
5TH INNING: Kelly’s deep flyball to LF is the best contact the the Tigers have made. (Or will make.)
Rick has a nice 1-2-3, good pitch inside to nail SS Everth Cabrera.
6TH INNING: Davis breaks up Cashner’s no-hitter and steals his way to 3B. The speed and the good jumps are obvious, but his sliding technique is now catching my eye. Kinsler can’t touch Cashner, but at least he draws a walk. Now there’s a real threat brewing. Ended by Miggy grounding into an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP. Not even hard hit. Here the game ends, essentially.
Porcello continues to pay the maximum XBH premium for the occasional BP pitches (he’s been throwing strikes and more often good ones), as Headley leaves no doubt on contact with the 2-run HR out to RF that overshadows a nice snag by Cabrera at 3B and a charge on a soft pop by Romine that I’m thinking Gonzalez could have muffed. 4-0 Padres. Bleak.
7TH INNING: Jackson almost recovers from a terrible gift swing – must have been a total guess, wasn’t even close – but then gets absolutely frozen on the 3-2 strike from Cashner. OK, maybe I’ll go with Chet Lemon instead.
Luke Putkonen’s alien abduction ended well, and he was here in relief after Porcello allowed the single to Cashner, which might have rolled all the way to the wall in the gap but for the speed of Davis. The rest of the inning was a pretty ridiculous way for the Padres to extend the lead to 6-0. Nothing but infield, and 2 runs score! Kinsler can’t quite glove one that goes through. Romine makes a nice play with the glove but can’t get the throw home in time, all safe. A potential 3-6-3 evaporates, V-Mart’s tentative throw leading to Romine’s hurried and high one. Not a clown show, really, but frustrating.
8TH INNING: Cashner v. Avila, Romine, and Holaday. Some real high drama there, eh?
Reed comes on in relief. Indicative of the whole evening, Romine makes a sliding play to glove a ball in the hole, but there’s nowhere to go with it, now men on 1st and 2nd, and then Avila’s PB puts men on 2nd and 3rd. By the grace of 2 outs having happened somehow, the batter being Cashner, and Martinez’s nice running catch of a foul pop, it ends without further insult.
9TH INNING: Nothing happening, Cashner puts the finishing touch on a masterpiece by striking out Cabrera with ease. Miguel Cabrera, I might add. You know, the Triple Crown, MVP guy.