Mark Buerhle was so excited about my new blog that he almost threw a perfect game to celebrate! Thanks, Mark, but, uh, you do realize this is a Tigers blog, right? I appreciate the thought, though. Next time, maybe just a fruit basket or something.
One thing I am hearing way too much of is fans lamenting the woeful offense. Settle down. It’s going to be okay. No, the club is not putting up 6 or 7 runs every night, but they are averaging better than 5 runs per game. Great pitching performances happen. Sometimes you run into a buzz saw like Buerhle, who has been considered one of the top lefties in baseball for several years, and you catch them at the wrong time. See also the games against Zack Greinke and Cliff Lee. Sometimes you catch a young pitcher with great talent on the wrong night (Phil Hughes), and sometimes you can just blame the offense. This was not a night to blame the offense. As much as I hate the White Sox, I couldn’t turn off the game last night because of the way Buerhle was pitching. I would personally rather watch a great pitching performance than a 10-8 game any day, and while I would have preferred it be Armando Galarraga tossing the gem, it was still something to behold, the way Buerhle mixed his pitches and kept the hitters off balance. It would have been a great game to watch if he were pitching against any other team, but what can you do?
That’s the beauty of baseball, though, now we look ahead to tonight’s game at Cleveland and what should be a great match up between Lee and Justin Verlander. Can JV keep up his string of dominant performances? Can the team as a whole manage more than 5 hits? If the first one happens, the second one might not matter.