Monday, July 06, 2009

Galarraga Shines, Bullpen Does Not

Armando Galarraga pitched his best game since April tonight but the bullpen could not finish the job and the Tigers lost to the Royals 4-3. The Big Cat allowed just one run on five hits and had five strikeouts in seven innings. He commanded his slider as well as he has in a while and overall had a very encouraging performance. They are going need more games like that from Armando if they are to maintain their tenuous lead in the AL Central.

Unfortunately, Galarraga's fine effort was wasted as the bullpen blew it twice. Joel Zumaya came into the game in the bottom of the eighth with a 2-1 lead and gave up two runs. He allowed a single, a walk and a two run triple to Willie Bloomquist who earlier homered off Galarraga. After the Tigers tied it at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Fernando Rodney (who tends to pitch poorly in non-save situations) allowed a homer in the ninth to Mike Jacobs to make it 4-3 Royals.

Other than Galarraga's strong outing, the only bright spot was Ryan Raburn who went two for four. The Tigers left fielder homered to put his team up 2-1 in the sixth and then doubled to tie it in the eighth. He also made a base running blunder as he was out trying to stretch the double into a triple. He is about the only Tiger hitting right now though. Since his 1 for 20 start, Ryan has hit .341 and slugged .636 in his last 88 at bats.

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