Tagged: Detroit Tigers

Big Announcements

Announcement #1
Today it was finally revealeed that Josh Hamilton is the 2010 recipient of the AL MVP award.

It was expected, but you never know. I though Ron Washington was certain to win AL Manager of the Year, but I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong; Gardy is a great manager. But with the Rangers getting to the post-season for the 1st time in 11 years, then finally getting past the 1st round of the playoffs for the 1st time EVER, and then actually getting to the World Series… it seemed to me that Wash was the obvious choice.

Gardy is a perennial MOY candidate, and he certainly deserved MOY honors after his last 6 years. But for this year, Wash had the best year.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. We’re supposed to be talking about Josh Hamilton! Congratulations Josh!!!

He was wonderful this year, but there was talk that he might miss out on MVP because he missed a month right at the end of the season.

Thankfully, the Rangers made it to the WS, and Josh got a chance to remind everyone of how good he is. Hamilton’s MVP award means that Rangers’ players have won 2 out of the 4 big awards this year: MVP and Rookie of the Year.

I’ve already mentioned that Ron Gardenhire was named Manager of the Year for the American League, and Felix Hernandez was named as the Cy Young award winner for 2010.

In the National League, Joey Votto got the MVP, Roy Halladay got the Cy Young, Buster Posey got Rookie of the Year, and Bud Black got Manager of the Year.

Announcement #2
The other big announcement made today regards the Rangers new hitting coach: Thad Bosley.

Five guys were interviewed, including Scott Coolbaugh, Johnny Narron, Ty Van Burkleo, and Luis Ortiz in addition to Bosley. Bosley was one of the finalists last year before the Rangers selected Clint Hurdle.

Bosley was the hitting coach for the Oakland A’s from 1999-2002. Before that, he played in the Majors for 14 seasons, including one season with the Rangers (1989-90).

Random other stuff
The Rangers have several holes they need to fill this off-season, just like every other Major League baseball team.

The main things are:
1) Sign Cliff Lee or another top-of-the-rotation starter
2) Extend Ron Washington (done)
3) Find a big-name catcher
4) Re-sign Vlad or find another big bat to add to the lineup
5) Find another hitting coach (done)
6) find a righty to share 1st base with/back up Moreland

Two of those six have already been taken care of, and the Cliff Lee situation will probably be up in the air for quite a while.

I would personally like to see Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor sharing the backstop duties for the Rangers next year, but Bengie is looking at possibly retiring.

The Rangers were thought to be going hard after Victor Martinez of the Red Sox, but it was released earlier today that he is close to a deal with Detroit. John Buck was another big name on the market, but he was signed by the Florida Marlins 5 days ago.

I’m not really sure what other front-line catchers are still up for grabs, bit it’s sad to see the Rangers lose out on V-Mart.

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents. The Rangers have 4 free agents: Frank Francisco, Vladimir Guerrero, Cliff Lee, and Bengie Molina.

Cliff Lee is a given, because he will net 2 draft picks if he signs elsewhere, and if he accepts arbitration (which he won’t), it would only be for a 1-year contract. He wants a multi-year deal with a no-trade clause.

The only question I have is: if we end up signing Cliff Lee to a multi-year deal, do we still get the 2 draft picks? Hmm…

They might offer arbitration to Vlad, because they want him back, but only for a 1-year contract. He wants a multi-year deal, so he may not accept. But if he does accept, the Rangers may have to pay him significantly more than the $6.5 mil he earned this year.

I don’t know about Frankie Frank. I really wish they would just get rid of him, but for some crazy reason, the Rangers’ higher-ups seem to love him.

Bengie is unknown, because as I said earlier, he may want to retire.

Okay, I’m tired now. That’s all I got. Have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Elvis Weekend was great!

Elvis Andrus
Yes, I know I haven’t posted anything since Friday afternoon. I realize that there have been 3 Rangers’ games in that time period. But I attended the games on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday was dedicated to watching the game on tv and trying to get everything else done that I needed to do this weekend. So I’ve been kinda busy.

This was a great weekend for baseball. The weather was absolutely perfect, and Elvis Weekend was a can’t-miss gimmick at RBIA.

Friday
I went to the game with my friend Mary, and we met Wes Wilson and his son Brady at the stadium. Brady is an absolutely precious 5-year-old with a passion for baseball. He was really interested in the game, and he kept asking Wes questions about the game. So cute!!

The Rangers jumped out to a lead early in the game, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. They tacked on another run in the bottom of the 4th before the Tigers were able to answer with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 5th. 3-2 Rangers.

But then the Rangers scored another run in the bottom of the 5th, taking the score to 4-2 Rangers. And that’s where the score stayed until the top of the 9th inning.

Neftali Feliz
The seemingly invincible Neftali Feliz took the mound, striking out the first batter. The second batter lined out to the 2nd baseman, so the Rangers just needed one more out to win the game.

Austin Jackson singled. Then Johnny Damon doubled. Uh-oh. Next Magglio Ordoñez singled in both runners to tie the game at 4-4. Nooooooo!!!!!!!! Then Miguel Cabrera flied out, ending the inning. And the bottom part of our order was coming up.

As Justin Smoak approached the plate, I was nervous. He’d just been called up from AAA and hadn’t gotten a hit yet in the Bigs. But he has been very patient at the plate, and he worked a walk. Nice! Then Matt Treanor laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Smoak to 2nd base.

Joaquin Arias went in to run for Smoak, and Ryan Garko pinch-hit for Andres Blanco. They decided to intentionally walk Garko, giving us runners on 1st and 2nd with one out.

Then came the big guns. Nelson Cruz came in to pinch-hit for Julio Borbon. And he took another walk, loading up the bases for the player of honor, Elvis Andrus.

And Elvis singled on a line drive to center field!! Joaquin Arias scored, bringing the final score to 5-4 Rangers! Wow, that was awesome! Then we got to see a great fireworks show set to Elvis (Presley) music! Also of note: Frank Francisco pitched a perfect inning of relief in the 7th.

Saturday
Elvis bobblehead

This game wasn’t anywhere near as entertaining, although I was looking forward to getting the Elvis Andrus bobblehead and seeing Scott Feldman dominate the Tigers. Too bad the bobblehead was the only good part of the day.
The Rangers got out to an early lead of 4-0 in the first two innings.

And then the game went in the crapper.

Feldman gave up 3 runs in the top of the 3rd, and two of those were scored before Feldman was able to record the first out of the inning. Things were starting to look ominous. But the Rangers still had the lead, 4-3, so there was promise.
Scott Feldman
Until the top of the 4th, when the Tigers scored 5 more runs. Yikes. It all started off with Feldy giving up a lead-off walk to start the inning. Don’t you know that usually comes back to bite you???
Then, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Scott Feldman threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on 3rd to score. Michael Young came in from 3rd to grab the ball and tossed it to Taylor Teagarden, who missed it as the other runner came in to score from 2nd base. Doh!!!
And it just kept getting worse. We finally got out of the inning, but there were 5 more runs on the board by the Tigers. Feldman only lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs. It’s not so bad, I thought. We still have 5 1/2 more innings of baseball to play. We could come back.
But nothing else happened for the rest of the game on either side, and the Rangers lost 4-8. Oh well. At least I got an Elvis bobblehead, and I got to hang out at the ballpark on a beautiful day!

Sunday
It was an afternoon game, and they said the weather was perfect once again. Sunday’s giveaway was a red Elvis Andrus jersey to kids 13 and under, and you could see them dotted throughout the crowd in the stands. I was feeling optimistic, and I couldn’t wait to get the bad taste of Saturday night’s game out of my mouth.

Colby Lewis

But it didn’t start off too well for the Rangers. Colby Lewis allowed 8 of the first 11 batters he faced to reach base. The Rangers came up to bat in the bottom of the 1st inning already down 3-0.

Michael Young, who is always reliable, got on base with a single. Then David Murphy went yard, bringing the score to 3-2 Tigers.

In the top of the 2nd inning, the Tigers added another run, making it 4-2. But Mike Maddux must have said something to Colby that really made a difference after that run was scored, because Colby didn’t allow any more runs in his 6 1/3 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Rangers were able to add 4 runs to overtake the Tigers 6-4. Then they added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th inning, bringing the score to 8-4 for the second day in a row, but with a different winner this time.

Michael Young
I don’t know what Colby’s problem was, but the important thing is that he overcame it and gave the Rangers several quality innings. Colby retired 15 straight batters after his initial hiccup, and he earned his 3rd win. Michael Young drove in 5 of the Rangers’ 8 runs.

Tonight’s game will mark the 4th game in this series against the Tigers, and Matt Harrison will take the mound against Jeremy Bonderman. Harrison only lasted 4 innings in his last outing, but his first two starts were good, even though he didn’t get a win in either one of them. He’s still 0-1 for 2010.

One game playoff

I know the Rangers are done for the season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any good baseball to watch. Yesterday, the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers had a one-game playoff to see which team won the AL Central Division and advanced to the post-season. The game started at 4:00 Central, and I tried to listen to it on the radio, but I kept getting called away from my desk. Stupid work. {grumble, grumble, grumble}

But man, it was a great game! The Twins ended up winning 6-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning! I was able to watch it from the bottom of the 8th inning on (once I got home from work). I found myself rooting for the Twins, mainly because I respect how far they had to come to make it to this playoff chance. At one point in September, they were 7 games back! But they played their way back into it. They won 16 out of their last 20 games before last night’s game! That’s how I wish my Rangers had done it. 🙂

And of course the Twins have Joe Mauer, the obvious choice for this year’s MVP. They also have Justin Morneau (out with a stress fracture), and Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer, and Delmon Young, and Alexi Casilla, and Nick Punto, and Denard Span, and Orlando Cabrera…

But I would have been happy for the Tigers too. Gerald Laird, their catcher, used to play for the Rangers. And I like Curtis Granderson; he’s a great player. And Magglio Ordoñez, and Placido Polanco, and Brandon Inge, and Aubrey Huff, and Carlos Guillen, and Miguel Cabrera… these are all names I know and respect for their baseball talent.
 
And even though it’s not my Rangers, I still feel like I should do a game summary, just because the game was that good! So here we go!
 
The game took place in the Hubert H. Humphry Metrodome in Minnesota, and over 55,000 Twins fans were there to show their support. Rick Porcello (a candidate for Rookie of the Year) was the starting pitcher for the Tigers, and Scott Baker took the mound for the Twins.
 
Curtis Granderson
In the top of the 3rd inning, Curtis Granderson of the Tigers worked a walk with one out. Then Placido Polanco grounded out, moving the runner to 2nd base. After that, Magglio Ordoñez singled in Granderson. Runner on 1st base, 1-0 Tigers, with 2 outs.
Miguel Cabrera
Then Miguel Cabrera hit a home run to center field. He and Ordoñez crossed the plate, bringing the score to 3-0. Things weren’t looking to hopeful for the Minnesota Twins.
But in the bottom of the frame, Matt Tolbert (Twins) scored on a throwing error by Tigers’ pitcher Rick Porcello during a failed pickoff attemp, and Tolbert was able to get home. That put the score at 3-1 Tigers.

Jason Kubel
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Jason Kubel (of the Twins) hit a solo home run to make the score 3-2, and that put the Twins within a run.
Orlando Cabrera
Then in the bottom of the 7th inning, Nick Punto (of the Twins) started off the inning by hitting a line drive to left field for a single. One batter later, Orlando Cabrera hit a home run, putting the Twins on top 4-3. That’s two 2-run home runs by a guy named Cabrera in the same game! (They’re not related. Miguel Cabrera plays for the Tigers and Orlando Cabrera plays for the Twins. Confusing, I know.)

Magglio Ordoñez
But in the top of the 8th inning, Magglio Ordoñez (Tigers) hit a solo home run to tie the score at 4-4. Things were starting to get pretty dramatic!
Brandon Inge
In the top of the 10th inning, Aubrey Huff (of the Tigers) was hit by a pitch, so he took first base. Then later in the inning, Brandon Inge hit a double, plating one run. The Tigers took the lead 5-4! There was a lot of celebration in the Tigers’ dugout, because it looked like the Tigers would be winning the game.

Michael Cuddyer
But the Tigers couldn’t stop the Never-Say-Die Twins from scoring in the bottom of the frame, to tie up the score again. Michael Cuddyer started off the bottom of the 10th inning with a triple to center field. Matt Tolbert came up later in the inning with a single, which scored Cuddyer from 3rd base.
Delmon Young
The Tigers had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the 12th inning, but they couldn’t score. Then in the bottom of the 12th, Carlos Gomez (of the Twins) led off with a single. The Tigers decided to intentionally walk Delmon Young, putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Alexi Casilla hit a single to right field, and Delmon Young came in for the winning run. It was a walk-off win for the Twins!
The Twins flew to New York late last night, and they will play their first post-season game with the New York Yankees tonight at 6:07.

CC Sabathia
Tonight’s pitching matchup: CC Sabathia (NYY) against Brian Duensing (MIN). All of the logic says that the Yankees will win, since 1) the Yankees have home field advantage, 2) the Yankees have had more time to rest, and 3) CC Sabathia is a Cy Young candidate, and Duensing is a rookie. But these Twins are on a roll. And I hate the Yankees, so I would love for the Twins to just beat the tar out of them!

Worst things about 2009

Ugh, it hurts me to write this list, but these are setbacks/disappointments/frustrating things that affected the Rangers during the 2009 season (in no particular order):

*Losing 5 games in a row at the end of August – killed our chances

*Josh Hamilton’s injury-plagued season

*Financial constraints of our ballclub

*Injuries to our pitching staff: Joaquin Benoit, Eric Hurley, Brandon McCarthy, and Matt Harrison all had to go on the 60-day DL.

*the Rangers’ offensive slump

*Losing 3 out of 4 games in Oakland in the beginning of August

*Not signing Matt Purke

*Josh Hamilton’s January scandal

*All of our losses against the teams that we should have beaten (Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit, etc.)

*Losing the game to Tampa Bay in the 8th and 9th innings during the last home game of the year

*Michael Young’s injured hamstring, which caused him to stay out of the lineup for 3 weeks during our late August/early September downhill slide

So basically, it all boils down to injuries, not having any money, and the inexperience of having a young club not used to dealing with stressful situations. Next year will be better.

And the 2009 season ends with a whimper

Well, yesterday marked the end of the regular baseball season. Now I have to figure out which team I’m going to root for in the playoffs. I’ll get to that later. For now, let’s wrap up this game.

Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman took the mound for us yesterday, hoping to get his 18th win of the year. But unfortunately, he was going up against “King” Felix Hernandez, and the Rangers weren’t able to pull out a win for their ace. The final score was 4-3.
“King” Felix Hernandez
Feldman pitched 6 innings for the Rangers yesterday, and he did a good job of keeping the score low, knowing that the Rangers’ offense wouldn’t be able to do much to score against King Felix. But he couldn’t keep it low enough, it seems.
Scooter gave up one run in the bottom of the 3rd inning, but the Rangers were able to come back and get a run of their own to tie the score 1-1 in the top of the 5th inning. But the score didn’t stay tied for long.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Feldman allowed 2 singles followed by 2 doubles. That allowed 3 runs to score, putting the Mariners up 4-1. At that point, I thought for sure that the Rangers were done for. There was no way that King Felix would allow 3 or more runs to allow us to tie/win the game.

Hank Blalock
But then came the top of the 7th. Hank Blalock led off the inning, and Felix actually walked him, issuing his first walk of the night. Yes!! Every pitching coach will tell you that more often than not, walking the lead-off batter in an inning will come back to bite you.
Ian Kinsler
And it certainly came back to bite King Felix, although it didn’t cause quite as much damage as I had hoped. Ian Kinsler came up behind Blalock and hit a line drive to left field that turned into a double. Runners at 2nd and 3rd, no outs.

Chris Davis (my husband)
Then Chris Davis hit a ground ball for the first out of the inning, but it allowed Hank Blalock to score and Ian Kinsler to advance to 3rd base. That brought the score to 4-2 Mariners, with only one out.
Taylor Teagarden
Taylor Teagarden came up to bat next, and he sacrificed himself just like Chris Davis did to bring Ian Kinsler home. And that brought us to our final score of 4-3. If only CD or Taylor could have gotten on base instead of getting a sacrifice, we might have been able to keep the inning going! But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

After Teagarden’s out, they pulled King Felix from the game, and the new pitcher (Randy Messenger) got the final out of the 7th inning. Miguel Batista pitched the 8th inning, and David Aardsma came on to close it out in the 9th. And King Felix got his 19th win of the season.

Darren O’Day                                                                                                                                               CJ Wilson
After Feldman left the game, Darren O’Day got 1 1/3 innings of work, followed by C.J. Wilson for the final 2/3 of an inning. They both did a great job, giving up no hits or walks and recording 2 strike-outs each. I’m almost positive that we’ll see C.J. again next year, but I’m a little anxious about Darren O’Day’s status as a Ranger. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really hope they can bring him back, because he’s done a great job for us!
 
Game Notes:
Marlon Byrd
*Marlon Byrd wasn’t in the lineup for this game. Marlon wasn’t able to play because of his strained hip capsule, which sidelined him for a few games last week and had been bothering him for a few weeks. I was sad not to see Marlon Byrd playing yesterday, because he might not be back next year. I hope the Rangers can get him back, but the financial situation is in dire straits.
Michael Young

*Michael Young was also missing from the lineup yesterday, but he’s guaranteed to come back next season. Michael couldn’t play because he had to rush home since his wife, Cristina, was in labor with their second child. Congratulations, Mike and Cristina!!
Nelson Cruz
*Nelson Cruz wasn’t in the lineup either, because of his sprained ankle. I had predicted a few days ago that Nelly probably wouldn’t be back again this year, but he’s coming back next year too, so it’s okay.
*Hank Blalock WAS in the lineup yesterday, playing 1st base, and that was great to see because it was almost certainly Hank’s last game in a Rangers’ uniform. And it was good that Hank got on base and was able to score a run for the Rangers. I wish Hank all the best luck next year, and in the rest of his baseball career. He was an integral part of our team for many years, and I hope he finds a home that makes him happy!
*We will probably need to win at least 10 more games next year than we did this year in order to make it to the post-season.

Well, this is usually where I would talk about the upcoming pitching matchup, but there are no more upcoming games for the Rangers. But there is still post-season baseball to be played.

Joe Mauer
The next game that I’m excited to see is the one-game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers to see who wins the AL Central. Both teams finished the regular season tied at 86-76. I’m not sure who I want to win, but I think I’m leaning towards Minnesota because of Joe Mauer. He’s a lock to win the AL MVP this year!

Curtis Granderson
But I’ll be happy if Detroit wins too, because Gerald Laird plays for them now. Curtis Granderson is really good too, and he does a lot of charity work. He just seems like a good guy. Whoever wins will go up against the Yankees, so I’ll be rooting for either team to kick the Yankees out of contention!

I would also like to point out here that my Texas Rangers finished the season with a record of 87-75, meaning that if we were in the AL Central Division, we would be going to the playoffs. But we’re not in the AL Central. We’re in the AL West, even though Texas is in the central part of the U.S. That’s why I don’t think that there should be divisions. All the teams in the AL should just play all the other teams in the division an equal number of times, and the top 4 teams should go to the playoffs. Just my opinion. 🙂

game summary 7/29/09

I decided that I needed to quit being a baby and go ahead and give you a recap of last night’s game. Do I love baseball any less just because the Rangers happened to get a L instead of a W last night? No, the answer is: I still love baseball exactly the same, so I’m gonna suck it up and give you the review you deserve. I am NOT a fair weather fan. So here we go.

Justin Verlander
You know how I talked about the scariness of Justin Verlander yesterday? Yeah, well, the combination of Verlander and a Tigers’ offense that was sick of losing the last couple of days was more than the Rangers could bear.
Scott Feldman

Curtis Granderson pulled the same move on Scott Feldman last night that he pulled against Tommy Hunter during the first game of the series: he homered during his first at bat. But this didn’t necessarily have to spell disaster for the Rangers; they came back to win that first game against Detroit. But unfortunately, Scott didn’t have very good control of his pitches last night, and he walked the bases loaded before the end of the first inning. Feldman ended up getting out of that first inning without any more runs scoring, but he threw 37 pitches in the first inning alone. To put that in perspective, Tom Grieve explained that if Scott’s pitch count was 37 after two innings, we would consider that a little high. I got the feeling after the first inning that Scott wouldn’t be pitching for too long.

Guillermo Moscoso
And I was right. They pulled Scott after just 2 1/3 innings, but by then, he had already given up 6 runs. Guillermo Moscoso, who was just pulled up from AAA, came in to pitch 3 1/3 innings of relief, giving up another 3 runs to the Tigers. Andruw Jones hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and the Rangers started a mini-rally in the bottom of the 5th inning, scoring 3 runs and cutting Detroit’s lead in half. But the Rangers’ bats just couldn’t keep up with the Tigers’ bats.
Andruw Jones
Andruw Jones ended up hitting two solo home runs last night, with his second one coming in the 9th inning, but Curtis Granderson ended up with two home runs of his own. And Granderson’s second homer wasn’t a solo; there was one on base. So poor Andruw Jones hit 2 home runs in one night and was still overshadowed. I guess he’ll have to have another 3 home run game to get any recognition.
Curtis Granderson

Tonight’s tentative pitching matchup: Derek Holland against Garrett Olson. Actually, the Mariners’ starter is more of a question mark, since it’s Erik Bedard’s turn to start, and he’s on the disabled list. Olson just seems like the best guess for now. And I really hope that the Rangers don’t start Derek Holland tonight, especially after how long the bullpen had to pitch in last night’s game. We all know that Derek is still trying to work on his stamina as a starter, and he usually can only last about 4 innings. But our bullpen had to pitch 6 2/3 innings last night! Luckily only 2 of our bullpen pitchers threw more than 20 pitches, making them ineligible to pitch in relief tonight. Darren O’Day threw only 12 pitches and Jason Jennings only threw 18, so they’re still relatively fresh for tonight if they’re needed. And we have a pretty deep bullpen, in addition to a well-stocked farm system. But please, for goodness sake, start Nippert! Our bullpen has been doing great lately, but don’t try to push them too hard!

who knows?

With the starting pitchers unknown on both sides, it’s more difficult to predict which side will walk away with the win tonight, but I’m still fairly confident betting on my Rangers. After last night, they’re humiliated! Nobody likes losing, but at least if the loss comes after a close game you can hold your head up high. But last night the Rangers just got decimated. You could see the frustration and the desperation on the players’ faces. They hated having to lose like that. And I know that tonight, they will NOT let that happen again. Their egos can only take so much!

My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
 
Days since CD has been in the majors: 25
 

We took the series… can we get the sweep?

Sorry I didn’t put out a game summary last night… I was exhausted. I’m feeling much better today, but this game summary won’t be as in depth as some others.

Vicente Padilla
 
Okay, so, Padilla didn’t start last night… AGAIN… not that I’m complaining. Doug Mathis got the start instead, and he did a pretty good job, except for giving up 3 runs in the 2nd inning.
 
Doug Mathis
When he gave up those 3 runs, it scared the crap out of me. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Rangers haven’t had too many high-scoring games this year, a by-product of the lagging offense. Our defense and pitching have been great enough to keep the opposing team’s runs low enough to allow us to come out on top, but there have been very few games this year where the Rangers scored more than, say, 5 runs.

But the Rangers’ didn’t leave the score at 0-3 for very long. They came back in the bottom of the inning to score 4 runs, putting us back on top. Then they scored one run in each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings, just for insurance, giving us a final score of 7-3. Maybe this signals an end to the offensive slump. And there weren’t just 1 or 2 players that got a few lucky hits; we had a good offensive performance from just about every single player last night! Gotta love those guys!

Wash played with the lineup some more last night, and the results speak for themselves! I think it’s interesting that our “hot player” David Murphy wasn’t in the lineup last night, but yet we still were able to produce. Don’t get me wrong; I really like David Murphy. He’s a good old Baylor boy. And his numbers show that he has been doing a good job lately. I just haven’t really noticed too much. Maybe it’s because he’s not showy and he just takes care of business very quietly, and I just miss it. I don’t know. I don’t think we should take him out of the lineup more often; I just don’t think he should be batting 3rd. It’s just my opinion, do with it what you will.

David Murphy
The lineup went something like this: Kinsler/Vizquel, Young, Byrd, Cruz, Blalock, Jones, Hamilton, Saltalamacchia, Andrus. I think that’s right. Anyway, I like the idea of Andrus, Kinsler/Vizquel, and Young together (the “quick” bats), followed by the rest of the “bigger” bats. The only guys that didn’t get a hit were Vizquel (who only got 1 at-bat after coming in for Kinsler later in the game), Cruz, and Salty. And Salty was able to work a walk and then score a run.

They made a big deal about Jason Grilli coming in for 2 perfect innings of relief, because his dad used to play for the Tigers. Big whoop. But I was proud of our bullpen, as I always am lately. Darren O’Day and Eddie Guardado also pitched perfectly in their relief outings last night.

Jason Grilli

I’ve missed seeing Eddie lately. He cracks me up! My dad calls him a bulldog; he proudly and unrepentantly throws an 80-something mile-per-hour fastball. Which is obviously not blinding in speed, but it’s very effective. He’s just tenacious. And he has absolutely no fear whatsoever.

Eddie Guardado

There were some wildly thrown pitches on both sides last night that sparked debate concerning intentionally hit batsmen. No player was actually hit by a ball, but one of Grilli’s first pitches went over the batter’s head, causing him to have to duck down, and another ball was thrown behind Ian Kinsler. Then Guardado came inside on Adam Everett, and the Tigers’ bench started jawing at Eddie. Eddie was having none of it, and he stopped pitching to yell at the Tigers’ bench: “Don’t chirp!” Hilarious!

Tonight’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (9-3) against Justin Verlander (11-5). Yikes, Justin Verlander. Scary. Seriously, I just got a chill. But Feldman isn’t anything to sneeze at. Nine wins??? Yes, please! Really, I would feel pretty good about any of our pitchers going up against a titan like Verlander. Well, except for Derek Holland, of course, who I’ve already said should be given the chance to develop first in AAA. I mean, Verlander is pretty intimidating: he’s in his 5th season in the bigs, with an ERA in the 3’s and an opponent’s batting average in the .2’s, with fairly impressive strikeout totals. But our pitching staff has been able to consistently face intimidating opposing pitchers and not flinch. And we’ve got momentum working for us; we’ve already won the first two of the series. We’ve won 7 of our last 8 games. I think we can pull off this win, as long as the players don’t let Verlander intimidate them.

My daily Chris fix
my husband, Chris Davis

Days since CD has been in the majors: 24