When the Tigers made the score 6-1 and the end of the fifth inning rolled around, I started to hope the rain would start up again. And I NEVER want a game to end early, especially when I’m listening at work. I’m sure the hearty fans who were there today agreed with me. But I’m also pretty sure the reason was completely different. They wanted to be able to feel their extremities again. I wanted to avoid an appearance by the Tigers’ bullpen.
I waited a bit to write this, so I could calm down some. But I’m still steamed. Toronto wrapped this one up in a bow and handed it to the Tigers, who promptly said “No, really. You’re too kind. We can’t accept this.” Villareal continued his hate-hate relationship with the strike zone and walked the only three batters he faced, all of whom scored on Mark DeRosa’s double. He was allowed to walk the bases loaded because the rest of Leyland’s bullpen has been, to put it nicely, inconsistent. Dotel took over and decided that batting practice fastballs were the way to go. Although he did make what will no doubt be a highlight show staple with his five-hole play on a comebacker. At least he didn’t break his arm.
The bullpen issues, like the ones in Minnesota, could probably be attributed to the crappy weather conditions. It sure looked like Toronto’s pitchers were affected as well. I really want to reserve judgement on this crew until there’s a bigger sample size and more baseball-conducive weather. But I’m a fan. And I’m angry, and right now I want Villareal sent as far from a major league pitcher’s mound as possible.
Porcello pitched well, but needs to start finishing off his good outings. And I hate to harp on it, because they scored six runs, but the offense once again squandered chances to cash in on seemingly ripe RBI situations.
I know it’s early, and since they left Minneapolis, they’ve played pretty well, but games like this one reminded me too much of last year’s early-to-midseason struggles, and I really don’t want to go through that again.
I wonder if Todd Jones is busy…