Just a few bullet point thoughts after last night's much needed win...
1. The Tigers came out wearing their hose high and proud in their win over Arizona. Considering the superstitious types that are found in locker rooms, it's safe to say the Tigers will remain the Detroit Blue Sox today, if not for the forseeable future.
2. Almost totally unknown before the season started, Armando Galarraga won his 3rd game on the season. Giving up only 1 hit in 6 very strong innings, and ending Detroit's 5 game losing streak in the process, Galarraga (3-1, 3.06 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) would seem to have pitched his way onto the rotation permanently. But... (There's always a but...)
Dontrelle Willis had his final minor league rehab start Saturday night, pitching fairly well (1 run, 4 K's, 5 hits over 6 innings) while still battling his control (4 walks, 1 wild pitch, 55 strikes in 96 pitches). He'll be coming off the DL soon, and he WILL return to the rotation. His contract demands it.
Jim Leyland's comments after the game lead one to think Galarraga will remain on the Tigers roster, even if he isn't in the starting rotation.
"I don’t want to speak for Dave and put the cart before the horse," Leyland said, in reference to club president/general manager Dave Dombrowski. "Does Galarraga belong on this team? Yes, he belongs on this team. "Will he be on this team? I can’t answer that 100% at this time."
The Willis-Galarraga "situation" should come to a head later this week. It would be a shame for Galarraga to be sent down, as he's been the Tigers most consistent starter since his call up. He's earned his spot on the roster. If Galarraga is moved to the bullpen after Willis is activated, Zach Miner should be extremely worried...
3. Matt Joyce has become the Tigers sole source of power over the past 2 weeks. Last night, Joyce hit his 4th home run in 10 games, and is now slugging a robust .667.
On the flip, the struggling Gary Sheffield, whom Joyce replaced in left field, is back under the Mendoza Line, hitting all of .190, while slugging (Term used loosely) .305.
As much as they try, the Tigers can no longer ignore Sheffield's struggles. The time has come for something do be done, as having a DH/LF in your everyday lineup who hits for neither average or power cannot go on indefinitely. It's nonsensical!
Be it benching, placing him on the DL, or buying out his contract, the Tigers have to be proactive in their dealings with Sheffield. A decision has to be made, and made soon.
4. The Tigers are now 1-0 in Ian's absence. A coincidence, or just what the Tigers needed? I'll be keeping track...
Roll call: I'm going to try and keep Ian's tradition of giving a little dap to game thread commenters alive. So a tip o' the cap goes out to MackAveKurt , rock n rye , ThaWalrus9, and pfuhrmeister for their contributions! Kudos!