Sunday, April 26, 2009

Winning Road Trip

Armando Galarraga was a bit wild today but gave up only three hits and one run in six innings as the Tigers topped the Royals 3-2 to give themselves a winning road trip. Galarraga allowed five walks and hit two batters but once again managed to prevent runners from scoring. He came into the game with a very high 87.4 LOB% and should stay in the vicinity of that with today's performance. A pitcher can get away with a high walk game when he gives up no homers, strikes out seven and has a ground out/fly out ratio of nine to one.

The most pleasant surprise concerning the first place Tigers this year has been the work of the bullpen and the relievers did not fail them today either. Bobby Seay pitched a perfect seventh and still has not allowed a run this year. Ryan Perry followed with a scoreless eighth and Fernando Rodney preserved the victory, although he did allow a solo homer to Mike Aviles.

The second surprise in the early going has been Brandon Inge and the slugging third sacker belted his seventh homer of the year today to put them up 2-0 in the second. The other run scored in a fashion that is becoming more common for the Tigers this year. Josh Anderson led off the fifth with a single, stole second, went to third on an Adam Everett grounder and scored on sacrifice fly by Dane Sardinha. The bottom of the lineup has kept the offense alive while some at the top of the order have struggled so far.

So, the Tigers went 5-4 on the first west coast trip of the season. They started the trip by taking took two of three from a hot Mariners team. They then lost two of three to the Angels including a couple of hideous performances that reminded us of the 2008 season. Finally, they recovered this weekend by taking two of three from the Royals. Next up is an eight game home stand versus the Yankees, Indians and Twins.

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