Is This Guy Really Not On the All-Star Ballot?
If he keeps playing like he did last night, Curtis Granderson might somehow be able to bend time, space, ink, and paper to get himself on the All-Star Ballot. (If you're not familiar with this, chrvoel has more in his diary on the right-hand sidebar.) He most certainly began a strong write-in campaign in Anaheim, leading off the game with a home run, and later adding two doubles to go 3-for-5 on the night. He also made a fantastic play in the fifth inning, throwing out Vladimir Guerrero at third base, which ended up keeping an Angels' run off the scoreboard. It might have been the flashiest all-around performance the Tigers have seen this season.
Which Weaver Was That On the Mound?
Virtually the only thing that distinguished Jered Weaver from his brother Jeff last night is that he didn't scream into his glove or bite down on it after giving up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. The Tigers pounded him like pizza dough, while also letting the younger Weaver beat himself by showing some impressive patience at the plate. Besides being frustrated with his inability to get Detroit's batters out, Weaver was physically spent after throwing 70 pitches.
And if that wasn't bad enough, Weaver also almost got knocked out by a Gary Sheffield line drive hit right back at him in the second inning. According to the L.A. Times' game story, the baseball whizzed past him at 108 m.p.h. (Weaver says he actually had a dream the night before about being clocked by a Sheffield hit, which is something not difficult to imagine a Weaver brother saying.)
Don't Take That Run Support For Granted, Mike:
If there was one disappointing aspect to last night's game, it was probably Mike Maroth only pitching 4 2/3 innings after his teammates gave him eight runs to work with. I can't imagine that Jim Leyland was thrilled with having to use his bullpen (Zumaya, especially) when the Tigers broke out to such a big lead early in the game.
Maroth was nibbling on the corners all night, which caused him to rack up that pitch count far sooner than anyone could've wanted. And he wanted no part of Guerrero, a strategy that seemed a bit questionable, considering the run support he'd received and that no one was on base in Guerrero's first three at-bats.
Many Tigers had good nights at the plate, as a nine-run tally would imply, but maybe the most encouraging line of the night belonged to Gary Sheffield, who went 2-for-4, with one RBI and one walk. Maybe a mind-clearing flight to the West Coast and the healing powers of the warm California weather combined to give Slumpin' Sheff just the tonic he needed to cure his struggles with the bat. Given Sheffield's career success against the Angels, it might be too bad that the Tigers are only in Anaheim for two games.