Hiding the women and children wasn't necessary. It's only one start, but it was nice not to have watch the Detroit Tigers' fifth starter between the fingers covering your face in terror.
In his major league debut, Alfredo Figaro did just about everything you could hope for from a starting pitcher. He threw strikes (63 of 96 pitches), letting his defense make plays behind him. He didn't needlessly put runners on base, issuing only two walks. And his stuff was good enough to miss some bats, resulting in seven strikeouts.
Some of those pitches were up in the zone, and the Brewers capitalized with eight hits. But that's probably also a result of Figaro throwing strikes consistently. The most important thing is that Figaro didn't beat himself. Considering the circumstances - facing a pretty fearsome lineup, and pitching on national television - that was an impressive effort.
One thing I would like to see, however, is someone check the kid's birth certificate. I know Figaro is listed as 24 years old (soon to be 25), but he looks about 13. After the game, Rick Porcello probably asked Figaro if he wanted to hang out and play video games. If Figaro wanted to go to a R-rated movie last night, he probably had to make sure his cousin, Fernando Rodney, was there with him.
I'd card him if he was trying to buy booze or cigarettes; that's all I'm saying.
How about the middle of the batting order flexing its muscles again? Miguel Cabrera once again looks like the hitter we saw at the beginning of the year, hitting rockets all over the field - and beyond. Marcus Thames continues to swing a red-hot stick, giving Miggy some protection in the lineup he really hasn't had most of the year. Both of them went 3-for-5. And Don Kelly added three hits of his own, slicing the ball each time to the opposite field.
The bottom of the lineup did pretty well too, with Josh Anderson and Gerald Laird adding another five hits and driving in three runs.
And does Placido Polanco really have two home runs in his last three games? We'll have to start calling him "Sluggo."
Maybe Ryan Perry pitched a little free and easy with a seven-run lead. But he sure seemed like he was ready to let the Brew Crew back into the game, showing poor control as soon as he came in. After getting out of the sixth inning with a strikeout, Perry began the seventh by putting the first three batters he faced on base. Two of those were walks. 10 of his 17 pitches were balls.
Perry probably has some wiggle room, as he's in more of a long relief role right now than set-up. But Jim Leyland hasn't had much patience with relievers who can't throw strikes.
What's a more useless part of the FOX baseball telecast: Putting a microphone on a player during the game or Mark Grace's analysis of that audio?
No offense to Prince Fielder. He's not supposed to be entertaining us with his mouth during the ballgame. But Fielder could've been talking about how much he loves sunflower seeds, and Grace would've responded with "I love it," then elaborated with how impressive it was for a star player to feel comfortable enough with himself to express his feelings about a favorite snack.
(To be fair, Grace did lend some interesting insight into Magglio Ordonez's
benching mental break, explaining how Don Zimmer once did the same to him while he was with the Cubs and how much it helped to get away from the game for a bit.)
Comment of the Day:
And your runner-up. Might as well keep a good thing going.