Series Preview - Chicago Cubs vs Detroit Tigers
The Tigers remind me a lot of Cubs teams of yore. They've got three pretty good hitters (Cabrera, Inge, and Granderson) and a bunch of pretty bad hitters (um...everyone else). When I see that, my mind wanders to the days of Sosa, Grace, and whoever the third guy is in any given year.
Those aren't such great memories. Why'd I have to bring those days up again.
I'm not crying. I'M NOT CRYING.
Of course, the Tigers are employing that formula and actually winning a bit. I guess it helps to have some half-decent pitching. Crazy, right?
So anyway, in this series the guys to watch out for are the three I mentioned. Seriously. Nobody else on that team can hit. Ordonez has lost the ability to catch up to the fastball, Adam Everett never could hit, and Placido Palanco, the fourth tenor, has lost the ability to hit the high notes - er, fastballs. Not so impressive.
But you know what's weird? What's weird is that the Tiger's have hit better at home - a lot better - than on the road. Given the cavern that is Tiger Stadium, that's fairly surprising. I know they brought in the fences and all, but what happened to the park that caused people to say that the Tigers would never sign a big name free agent hitter? Have I just not been paying attention? Do I pay that little attention to the American League?
Oh. Wait. Yeah, that's it. American League baseball is boring. Right.
Tuesday, June 23rd - Carlos Zambrano vs. Edwin Jackson
Incidentally, also like Cubs teams of yore*, the Tigers have three good pitchers and a bunch of mediocre/bad pitchers. That is, if you believe that Edwin Jackson is a good pitcher. Turned into a starter by the Tampa Bay Tampas of Tampa, Jackson has had a bad season followed by a mediocre season and then now this season. I guess he's improving?
(* my what, you ask? Mmmmm...punny)
I dunno what's come over Jackson (probably the fact that he's allowed a .255 BABIP. Anything under .290 is considered luck to some degree), but it'd be great if he decided to stop. Like, today. I'm not, however, going to say that the Cubs should get to him and he's due to fall apart. Every time I say that, things get bad. Every single time.
Zambrano has been a beast since returning from the DL. He's been nearly unhittable, keeping the ball on the ground and the hitter off balance. I'd be more worried about the lack of strikeouts if he didn't look so good out on the mound.
Wednesday, June 24th - Rich Harden vs. Rick Porcello
Rich Harden, on the other hand...not so good. What the hell happened to this guy? I guess the easy answer would be to point at an injury as injuries can lead to poor control. I mean, maybe that's it. Or maybe he's just off to a really bad start. Either way, it's be just super if he'd turn it around.
Rick Porcello, a rookie for the Tigers, has underwhelming numbers but pretty good success. He doesn't strike out a ton of people and his control is nothing all that amazing, but he's been effective this year. He throws about 1.5 groung balls for every play ball, so that's probably why he's gotten away with the middling periferals.
Thurday, June 25th - Ted Lilly vs. Armando Gallaraga
Lilly continues to be the solid of the solid, with his worst outings coming in at "okay". He hasn't suffered through a really terrible start since April. His secret? Feasting on the blood of the Trixies. Sadly, Trixies are nowhere to be found in Toronto, so he never had the chance to really find his true talent level.
Also, did you know you can make a really fetching lamp out of the skull of a Chad? True story.
Gallaraga has been one of the crappy two thirds of the Tiger's rotation (that was a mouthful). That's probably all you need to know.
Are the Cubs the new hotness or what their hotness simply a result of playing crappy competition? Wouldn't you like to know.
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