Lloyd McClendon will probably put this game on his coaching resume, don't you think?
And maybe some of us were a bit hard on Carlos Guillen. (Yes, I am looking at me.)
After enduring quite a few pitching duels recently (except when getting beat up by the Royals - argh), the Detroit Tigers' lineup flexed their muscles Wednesday night in Cleveland and put a long-awaited beating on an opponent.
Justin Masterson was not the latest unfamiliar pitcher to throw a gem against Detroit. He ended up the roadkill beneath the tire of a Tiger-striped truck, getting squashed for eight runs (six earned) and seven hits in four innings of work.
Guillen and Miguel Cabrera both hit home runs off Masterson, and BigMig's bazooka shot probably would've landed in Lake Erie if Progressive Field's left field bleachers hadn't gotten in the way. (I don't know if that's actually geographically correct. Indulge my hyperbolic description, won't you?) The homer was actually measured at 440 feet.
But Guillen found hitting a homer so nice, he decided to do it twice. And the second time around, he did it batting right-handed, against the lefty Mike Gosling. So it looks like he's getting pretty comfortable hitting from that side (unlike his first time last week, when he smacked a weak pop-up off Bruce Chen).
Overall, Guillen went 3-for-4 on the night, with four RBIs. It'll be interesting to see if that means he stays in the lineup against lefties now. Who would get squeezed out in such a scenario: Curtis Granderson in centerfield (sitting for Ryan Raburn), or Marcus Thames at DH?
Benefiting from the run parade was Rick Porcello, who continued his success against the Indians, though this may not have been his smoothest effort. Maybe Kid Rick's focus let up a bit with a 4-0 lead when he took the mound. Perhaps this umpiring crew's continally fraudulent strike zone got into his head a bit. Three walks in five innings was an unusual number for him (showing how good he's been recently, by the way), though Porcello only gave up one run.
With a series win in hand, the Tigers go for the series win tonight. The Twins are off, so this is a chance to add a half-game to their AL Central lead. Since Minnesota hasn't been losing (thank you, White Sox), Detroit should really try to capitalize on the opportunity.
Guillen and Cabrera (2-for-4, three RBIs) had their feats of strength, but Clete Thomas also put together a nice night. Thomas batted 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and made a fantastic catch on Lou Marson's drive to the right field wall in the second inning.
Placido Polanco and Ramon Santiago also totaled two hits. (Everyone in the starting lineup got a hit, actually.)
Jeremy Bonderman walked two of the three batters he faced in the ninth, so you really can't call that a good night. (Jim Leyland seemed rather ticked about it after the game, not wanting to waste more relievers than necessary in a blowout.)
In Bondo's defense, he didn't miss by much on almost all of his pitches. That's not to say he was sharp, but he was around the strike zone.
Comment of the Night:
Cue fixing that run differential problem?