The third time was definitely not a charm for Armando Galarraga. With his third poor start in a row, he's officially strugg-a-ling. Once again, The Little Cat hacked up a five-run hairball, while failing to locate his fastball and depending far too much on his slider. Galarraga also hung a couple of those sliders, which Joe Crede (Tigers Killer) and Joe Mauer put into the seats. (Okay, Mauer's homer actually came on a fastball, according to MLB Gameday, but that just didn't flow as well in a sentence.)
As bad as Galarraga was, however, a hint of run support would've helped him out. And the Tigers blew several chances to put runs on the board, grounding into double plays in the first and fifth innings, and failing to drive in runners from scoring position in the second and fourth.
And with Dontrelle Willis scheduled to start tomorrow for Detroit, I think a lot of Tigers fans feel like the team had to get a win tonight to give themselves a shot at a series win. Hopefully, the D-Train has a surprise for all of us, but tonight had a prevailing theme of squandered opportunities.
Someone doing well in his third straight game is Jeff Larish, who went 2-for-3 with a home run. (That's also his second consecutive game with a homer.) Larish has batted 4-for-9 in the past three games, with two homers and three RBIs. Maybe Jim Leyland should stick him in the lineup's #3 spot. (Although with lefty Glen Perkins pitching tomorrow for the Twins, he might sit down. Hopefully, Leyland chooses to play the hot hand.)
Someone else who's really struggling is Gerald Laird, whose 0-for-3 night pushed his batting average down to .207. Even worse, Laird apparently feels the best way to try and break out of his slump is to jump on the first pitch he sees. Laird only saw five pitches tonight in his three at-bats. And during the at-bat in which he didn't put the first pitch in play, he struck out on three pitches.
Comment of the Night:
Armando Galarraga Bandwagon
Last stop. Everybody off.by ReichardZ
With Willis set to be activated tomorrow, the question for tomorrow becomes who gets pushed off the roster to make room for him. I have to agree with Billfer, who noted that Ryan Perry pitching in three innings (1.2 innings of work altogether) had the feel of someone getting a last hoorah before being sent down to the minors.
UPDATE: So much for that notion. According to Jason Beck via Twitter, Juan Rincon draws the short straw. He's been designated for assignment and has three days to decide whether or not to report to Toledo.