Blue Jays 4
WP: Maroth (2-0)
LP: Ohka (0-1)
S: Zumaya (1)
Most of the focus after this victory was all about Brandon Inge and his slump-ending performance, and justifiably so. Brandon has been bad this season, to say the least, and it's not like we can sit there and say that it is due to any poor luck or bad bounces; It has just seemed as if his head hasn't been in the right place, and his plate production (and in some cases, fielding) have stooped to extremely low levels because of it.
Last night Mr. Inge broke out of his early-season plummet by going 2-3 with a homer and three RBI against the Jays -- his two hits outnumbered his total for the entire season (he had a .040 batting average coming in), and the way he was hitting the ball was a positive; Everything he made contact on last night seemed to be coming off the bat pretty hard.
It wasn't just Inge making good contact last night; The Tigers lineup as a whole just looked more locked in. Despite not getting a jaw-dropping amount of hits (they had nine), I think we saw these guys get a better feel in the box last night than they have had the entire season. Guillen, Ordonez and Polanco all had doubles, and Casey hit a couple of solid singles. Again, there is nothing numerical to back up this fact, just that I think these guys looked a ton better at the plate.
There was more balance in the lineup last night, and we saw many more timely hits with RISP than we have all season. As Mario and Rod kept stating last night, it looked as if the controlled temperature in the dome really helped Tigers hitters get out of a mini-slump.
As for the pitching, nothing too spectacular, but it got the job done. Maroth did not have his best stuff last night, but the Jays never really took advantage of that. He scattered nine hits, but outside of the Hill homer in the fourth, Mike never let their lineup get into an absolute rythm in his six innings of work.
Mesa and Zumaya get some props for their work last night, even though Zoom's eighth inning left a little to be desired because of how he came out of the gate; His wild pitch to start the appearance put the Jays into a position to score the two runs to cut the lead to only one. Thank the lord he was able to get past that first WP and go on to pitch a pretty good eighth and near-flawless ninth inning. He hit the strike zone well and I didn't see a fastball less than 98 last night.
It was a good start to yet another road series last night. Hopefully this game springboards these guys into a better flow at the plate, and on that note I hope we see our bullpen continue to come in and hold leads. Not much to complain about right now, and that's always a good thing.
** Also from last night: Perhaps our excitement over the future of outfield prospect Cameron Maybin is justified.
Maybin, who is now playing at the high-A level for our very own Lakeland Flying Tigers, is coming off a monster three game series against the Fort Myers Miracle -- a series that saw him go a combined 6-10 with three homers, five RBI and two walks. Here's hoping he keeps it up.