Does Armando Galarraga have another one in him? One of the shining lights of last week's three-game winning streak was Galarraga's impressive debut in Cleveland. When the Tigers needed a suitable performance from a starting pitcher, Galarraga came up from Toledo and gave them something outstanding. Over 6 2/3 innings, he allowed just one hit and two runs, while striking out six batters. Extremely generous run support from the Tigers' lineup didn't hurt matters, but Galarraga didn't need much help against a tough Indians' batting order.
Runs might not be so easy to come by against Shaun Marcum today. He's been one of Toronto's best starting pitchers, allowing three runs or less and striking out a batter per inning in each of his three starts this season. This will be the first time Marcum has faced the Tigers as a starter, but he hasn't pitched much against Detroit in general, appearing in only 3 2/3 innings of relief (with a 7.36 ERA) last year.
Once again, the Tigers are seven games under .500, which is the point at which Jim Leyland finally blew up at his team. Of course, that eruption wasn't prompted only by Detroit's won-loss record, and the Tigers have generally been playing better since that clubhouse scolding. But leaving Toronto with a series split would be a nice way to begin the week. I took a lot of crap about the Tigers this weekend at my sister's wedding, between those who already knew about my fandom from my now brother-in-law and those who found out about this blog in conversation. So I'm certainly ready to talk about something else besides disappointment and losing.
One last solemn note: He wasn't affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, but I was sad to read about John Marzano's death over the weekend, under what can only be described as tragically unexpected circumstances. I'd come to enjoy his candid, enthusiastic commentary on MLB.com, and looked forward to what else he'd have to offer as he grew more comfortable with his role. Any time a wife and two kids are left to cope with the loss of a husband and father (especially far before his time), it's tremendously sad. Thoughts and prayers go out to Marzano's family.