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Sunday Short Hops & Random Thoughts - 06/17

I wanted to hammer out a post about Wally Bell's strike zone in last night's game (Carlos Guillen definitely should've reached base in the 9th) last night, but in fairness, I think he was calling that pitch (inside corner to right-handers, outside to lefties) consistently the whole night. So no grumbling. Okay, I guess that was a little bit of grumbling.

I kind of feel like my world was rocked last night. The Tigers usually treat left-handed pitching like a game of pinball. So how did Jamie Moyer hold them to two runs? Considering how well the Tigers have been hitting lately, and the Home Run Derby that's played in Citizens Bank Park, that may have been one of the more impressive pitching performances I've seen this season. Of course, Moyer did get to face Andrew Miller twice, who was just waving the bat up there.

I've been picking on Pat Burrell this weekend, probably to make me feel better about how Craig Monroe's been playing, but he deserves the boos he gets from the Philly fans.

Last night in the first inning, after Andrew Miller walked Ryan Howard and hit Aaron Rowand right in the cookies (Loved Mario Impemba's call on that: "Apparently, it didn't hit him in the leg. But close enough."), Burrell takes the first two pitches for balls. And then on the next pitch, when Miller is fighting to throw a strike, Burrell lets him off the hook and pops it up. It ended up not affecting the final score for the Phillies, but it was a dumb decision that could have.

In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, Jim Salisbury writes about the centerfielders who should get big free agent paydays this off-season. You can probably add Philly's Aaron Rowand to that list. No argument from me. He's been damn impressive in this series with the Tigers. (Shane Victorino, too.)

Nick Cafardo has a short Q&A with Dmitri Young in today's Boston Globe. There's not much in there that Tigers fans don't already know, but it's probably worth knowing - with the Tigers playing the Nationals next - that D.Y. is currently among the NL leaders in batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS.

In the Rocky Mountain News, Tracy Ringolsby has passed along the rumor that the Tigers are shopping Mike Maroth around the league. I know a lot of baseball writers share notes, but there seems to be enough smoke building to think there might be a fire to it.

If you've been reading BYB since I've come on, you know I'm not a huge stat guy. But is "Pitcher Zone Rating" really a new statistic? The New York Times seems to think so. (I guess it is "new," when you're talking a different way of looking at the game, but it seems to me we've been hearing that pitchers have no control over balls hit in play for a while now.)

And it'd be a shame if I didn't link to Samela's Father's Day tribute. Happy Father's Day, Dad. I wish we could watch a ballgame and have some steaks today.