Howdy, friends and neighbors. The Tigers (5-3) try to get back on the righteous path tonight against the Padres (4-6), with our hero Justin Verlander carrying the bulk of our hopes for putting up a W to counter the L. He’ll be facing Ian Kennedy, who has the possible misfortune of facing a lineup thoroughly outdone the day before. Or the good fortune of extra motivation due to Detroit’s reputedly fearsome offense. It certainly does seem as if almost all of the starters the Tigers have faced so far have kicked it up a notch. It remains true that good pitching beats good hitting, so while being shut out on one hit is no fun, it’s too early to be worried about the hitting. It’s too early to be too worried about anything, really, including the bullpen. The season is young.
The last time (before last night) Detroit lost to San Diego, it was a good year for DTW and a bad one for the Tigers. P Eddie Bonine made his second career start/appearance, and the only current Tiger in the lineup was Miguel Cabrera (0 for 4). Bonine was much better through 7 than he’d been in his debut win v. the Dodgers, though he gave up two long balls (one to Chase Headley). Fernando Rodney, Casey Fossum, and Joel Zumaya teamed up to blow the game in the 8th, with a bit of help from erroneous RF Magglio Ordonez – right after Placido Polanco had tied it at 2 with a solo HR. Curtis Granderson led off the game for the visiting Tigers with a home run off none other than Greg Maddux.
In other (good) news, Miggy describes his ailing swing in an apt and funny way, which tells me it’s going to get better soon. Maybe real soon. In what might not seem like good news, the Padres have demonstrated that they are (or can be) a better and smarter hitting team than, say, the Dodgers, and perhaps JV and Max had better watch their step – but the good part is that this might bring out the best in them. The bats are due. Not sure if this evening’s epilogue will be “they came out swinging and it paid off” or “they were too anxious and aggressive,” but there’s nowhere to go but up from zero. I don’t think consecutive shutouts are allowed. I’d definitely throw a challenge flag to that.
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