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Monday Night Snoozeball: Athletics 7, Tigers 1

Do we blame this one on the schedule? Were the Detroit Tigers a bit lethargic, playing on west coast time? Most of us watching in the eastern time zone were feeling kind of groggy by 10 p.m., so maybe the Tigers were dragging, too.

The lineup certainly appeared to be in a daze, racking up 14 strikeouts against four A's pitchers and only managing six hits for the night. Curtis Granderson went 0-for-5. Placido Polanco, 0-for-4. Ryan Raburn also went 0-for-4, with three strikeouts. (Does "taking the collar" refer to going hitless, or to striking out in all of your at-bats? I thought it referred to the strikeouts, but can't remember for sure.)

Once again, Tigers batters made a mediocre pitcher look good (a troubling pattern we touched on in a Q&A with Athletics Nation yesterday). And they hammered Brett Anderson back in May at Comerica Park. What was the difference this time? Anderson's eight days of rest? Maturity as a pitcher? Did the Tigers have a poor approach at the plate? All of the above?

Rick Porcello didn't seem particularly awake, either, as he pitched one of his worst games of his rookie season. He allowed nine hits, his highest total since his first major league start, and lasted just 4.1 innings, the second shortest outing of his 15 appearances this year.

It's also notable that Porcello didn't strike out any batters for the first time this season. Perhaps that's not a big deal since he's not truly a strikeout pitcher, and has had quite a few starts in which he only notched two or three strikeouts. But it might also indicate that he fooling many Oakland batters, either.

With a full night to adjust to west coast time, perhaps the Tigers will show up with a better effort Tuesday night. Or does the clock change tend to weigh more heavily on the second day in different time zones? We'll find out soon enough.


Can we give the Roar to Luke Hochevar and the Kansas City Royals, for beating the Twins and helping Detroit maintain its four-game lead in the AL Central? Okay, we'll keep it Tigers-centric, but only with a Purr.

Maybe the most intriguing aspect of last night's game was the debut of Taiwanese reliever Fu-Te Ni. Yes, he served up a bazooka shot of a home run to Ryan Sweeney. And that was kind of a surprise, since he's a left-hander. But lefty hitters tend to like those pitches down-and-in, and that's exactly where Ni put a fastball. Other than that, however, Ni looked like someone who could be a valuable weapon out of the bullpen against left-handed hitters. He struck out three batters (including Jason Giambi and Jack Cust) in 1.2 innings and didn't walk anyone. Mixing a four-seam fastball with a slider and change-up, Ni threw 21 of 27 pitches for strikes.

Comment of the Night:

And this is your runner-up (since we try to keep the swears off the front page posts), along with another link for context.