Cleveland 0, Detroit 6 (box)
Tigers right hander Armando Galarraga experienced perhaps the greatest injustice in baseball history the last time he faced the Cleveland Indians. On June 2, Galarraga retired the first 27 Indians he faced before Jim Joyce took away his perfect game on a bad call. Tonight Galarraga sat down the first 14 batters he faced en route to a three hit shutout win for the Tigers.
Detroit jumped out to an early lead against Justin Masterson and they continued to apply pressure throughout the game. Detroit racked up 16 hits, but only three of them went for extra bases. The Tigers got an RBI from Miguel Cabrera and one from Will Rhymes, but the real damage came from the bottom of the order. And this time I mean damage in a good way.
Brandon Inge collected three hits and a walk in his four trips to the plate, falling a homer shy of the cycle. Not to be out done, Don Kelly set a career high with four hits and Gerald Laird went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
While all that offense was nice, the story of the game was obviously Galarraga. I watched that start he made on June 2 and I’ve watched many of his starts over the past three seasons. Tonight was easily the best I have ever seen him pitch. He was assertive on the mound and imposed his will and his tempo on the game. He worked ahead of the hitters with regularity, his slider was outstanding and his fastball was faster than most of his previous starts. Maybe Jim Leyland has been right all along about Galarraga, maybe he really should just trust his stuff. Tonight his stuff was plenty good enough.
Rod Allen gave a good deal of the credit for Galarraga’s performance to a new, higher, leg-kick during his wind-up. I’m choosing to give credit to that three-day growth on his face. Whatever the cause, Galarraga looked like a different guy tonight. He looked like he had a plan, and he went out an executed said plan. I have never seen that right hander who pitched for Detroit tonight, but I hope he sticks around.