Well, that was a forgettable start to the road trip, wasn’t it? Actually, it wasn’t as forgettable as I wish it were. It was also, somehow, the first time they were shut out this season.
If you knew that one of the teams on the field last night was the worst in baseball, it would have been hard to guess which one: the A’s kicking the ball around like they had taken the field with spiked clown shoes, or the Tigers who were unable to score a run off Cy Whatshisname, despite getting 4 guys freely clowned onto base.
To distract myself from the debacle, I read a rant by Cubs manager Joe Maddon about the horrible Memorial Day schedule. Poor guy had to play a game that ended at 3:45 in Arizona on Sunday, then play another that began at 1:20 on Monday afternoon in Chicago. And this after traveling 1,700+ miles. “Quite frankly to play a day game two time zones away then come back [to] another one the next day … it’s tough,” Maddon said.
I mention this because the Tigers had a similar day game-day game turnaround, and had to travel through three time zones to do it. No whining from Brad though. I would chalk yesterday’s sluggishness up to travel fatigue, were it not for the fact that we’ve already seen the same a lot this month.
My annoyance with last night’s performance was exacerbated when Rod Allen said that Tiger pitchers can count on getting a lot of run support “with the potent offense the Tigers have.” Has he even been watching the games he broadcasts? Yes, the Tigers are at the top of the league in many offensive categories. But they also have already had 21 games with 2 runs or fewer (that’s 46%), including 12 already in May. (The Royals, by way of comparison, have 11 this season). That’s hardly “potent.” The Tigers actually won 6 of those games, but I think counting on many more 1-0 and 2-1 wins is expecting a bit much out of the pitching staff.
Tonight’s Potent Third-Place Lineup:
- Anthony Gose, CF
- Rajai Davis, DH
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- JD Martinez, RF
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- James McCann, C
- Andrew Romine, SS
- Hernan Perez, 2B
Miguel is back in the lineup tonight, night-game woes and all (he is still struggling through a .231 night batting average, with a light-weight .689 OPS). Ian Kinsler, he of the 0-for-20 slump, finally gets his first day off of the season, to be replaced by Hernan the Barbarian, who could probably pull off an 0-for-20 if he only got enough playing time. Kind of makes you miss Don Kelly, doesn’t it?
Brad tries a little something different tonight and leads off with Gose followed by Davis. I like it.
Gold stars for any of you Eastern Time Zone fans who stay up for this one.