I feel like tonight's recap could almost be a recap of last night's. Two previously injured and slumping batters continued their resurgence. And a struggling starting pitcher threw the sort of game that should hush any questions and doubts.
Not that this game played out in exactly the same way. For one thing, Jeremy Bonderman pitched deeper into the game than Kenny Rogers did last night, giving the bullpen a break on a night when they were one reliever short (thanks to the Jason Grilli trade). And he did it throwing 10 fewer pitches than he did in 4 2/3 innings last week.
But ¿quien es mas macho? Bondo or Placido Polanco? Could the Tigers really lose a game in which a guy not known for his power hit two home runs? And in a ballpark whose dimensions make it tougher for right-handed hitters to reach the seats? Had I not watched the game, I'm not sure I would've believed the box score. Along came Polly, jacking two pitches over the left field fence. Do we think this guy's slump is over? Polanco's hit 6-for-10 against Yankees pitching the last two nights.
Others Who Get to Roar:
- Is Clay Rapada the team's new designated left-handed reliever? Taking over for Bonderman at the end of the eighth inning, Rapada retired all four hitters he faced, all of them batting lefty. And he even ended the game with authority, striking out Melky Cabrera.
- Marcus Thames just hasn't played this much this season, totaling 33 at-bats coming into tonight's game. But he tends to make it count when he's in the lineup, and his two-run homer in the fifth gave the Tigers a lead they kept the rest of the night. Thames' two home runs this season have been hit in Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium, respectively.
- There's been a lot of talk about how comfortable Miguel Cabrera looks at first base, and he made three nice picks in the dirt tonight, saving throws by Rapada and Carlos Guillen to get outs.
- That Curtis Granderson (one walk, one double) sure is good, ain't he?