Outside of Opening Day, this is the first Tigers game that I've seen in person this year (actually, it's the first O's game since Opening Day for me too). I have to say, while they didn't look bad, they give me that unsettling feeling that I've gotten from Tigers teams of the last couple of years.
Armando Galarraga, who's line actually looks pretty good and pitched almost the entire game on about 100 pitches was not nearly as good as the numbers suggest. He was giving up hard hit balls all over the place and some sharp defense, especially from the likes of Brandon Inge, got him out of a few potential jams. Maybe I'm being hard on him, because he really wasn't that bad. He was ok, I guess. Galarraga was fine.
But that's not really the story, is it?
Last year, during the Orioles/Tigers series at Camden Yards, I went to all four games. During the course of these games I experienced first hands the emergence of a player that had been recently acquired by the O's from the National League. His name was Luke Scott. He had been swinging well, with some power and some average. But he was no game changer. I was less worried about him than a Roberts, Markakis, Jones or Huff. Well, he proved me wrong. Scott demolished the Tigers in the series. If I recall, he his an extra inning walk-off that landed on Eutaw Street for one of the games. He was a beast. The Tigers split the series, stayed below .500 and never recovered. Scott went on to make the "Top Ten Tiger Killers" list at Number 3
Flash forward to tonight. Galarraga forces a double play to clear the bases in the second inning. Luke Scott steps to the plate for his first at bat. I turn to my wife and say "Boy, I'm glad that those bases are empty." Scott swings and sends the ball to the land of the untouchables. 1-0 O's. 8th Inning. 2 runners on and Scott steps up. I say to my wife: "This out would be huge. This guy is a Tiger Kill..." Untouchable. 5-1 O's. Game Over.
Sometimes a player just owns another team. Luke Scott owns the Tigers. There is nothing that they can do. I would intentionally walk him every time there are runners on base. It is absolutely ridiculous.
Almost as ridiculous as the Tigers leaving runners on the basepaths and in scoring position ALL NIGHT, but I'm not really in the mood to get into that.
Anyway, I just wanted to let all the Tiger fans know that that game was as frustrating in the stands as it was on TV, but it was a beautiful night in Baltimore (after the early showers) and they'll be back at it again tomorrow night.
Of course tomorrow's game is kind of a big deal around here. There's some kid getting called up from the Minors and apparently he invented baseball and hits 5-run home runs and such, but more on that tomorrow...