Detroit Tigers News

What Happened to That Good Pitching?

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Detroit 7, Texas 11 (box)

For the second consecutive game, the Texas Rangers hung 11 runs on the Tigers. I guess that’s really all that needs to be said, but since I have this big area of blank space in front of me, I’ll write a bit more. (after the jump)

Let’s start with the obvious: the Rangers can hit. Up and down their lineup, they have hitters and good ones. Even without Josh Hamilton, Texas has pounded Detroit pitching for the past two days. Thankfully, this is the last time these clubs will meet this year. The hitting heroes for the Rangers included David Murphy (again), who homered (again) and drove in four runs, Ian Kinsler, who homered and knocked in three and Nelson Cruz, who was on base four times and scored three runs.

Just as they did the night before, the Rangers did their best to keep the Tigers in the game, committing three errors and making at least two more mis-plays that were ruled hits. It reminded me of the scene in The Princess Bride where Fesik allows Westley to spar with him for awhile, saying “I want you to feel you are doing well, I hate for people to die embarrassed.” Of course this strategy worked better for the Rangers than it did for Fesik.

As for the Tigers, they did try to make a game of it after falling behind 8-2. Eventually they even brought to go-ahead run to the plate, trailing 9-7 with two on for Brandon Inge. Inge popped out, as he does so very often, and the Rangers scored a couple more on the Kinsler homer to put the game out of reach.

The performance turned in by starter Armando Galarraga wasn’t good, but I’m inclined to give him a pass for this one. He’s been excellent over his previous five starts, so one bad outing isn’t anything to get worked up over. I still expect him to enter Spring Training as one of four starters penciled in to the rotation for 2011.

But just like last night, the bullpen didn’t help matters, either. Eddie Bonine was called upon to stop the bleeding after Galarraga had been removed, but he’s not very good and the Rangers took advantage of that. It was nice to see that Lloyd McClendon, acting as manager after Jim Leyland was ejected, used Daniel Schlereth as a situational lefty, bringing him in for one batter in the sixth. This is something Leyland doesn’t do nearly enough of. I don’t know if it’s that he’s too lazy to stroll to the mound more than once in an inning, but it was refreshing to see a LOOGy used properly.

As I mentioned above, the Tigers benefited from some bad Rangers defense, but they did score seven runs, which should be enough to win on most nights. Johnny Damon tripled for the second straight night, collecting the 100th of his career. That’s a lot of triples. Miguel Cabrera doubled for the 45th time this year and drove in two and Ryan Raburn added three hits, all of them for extra bases, with two doubles and a homer. He drove in four.

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