In 2009, as a member of the Kansas City Royals, Zack Greinke started 5 games against the Tigers. He pitched 36 innings in those five starts (including two complete games) and allowed four earned runs, giving him a 1.00 ERA against Detroit that season. He was somehow Doug Fister’d in one game, ending up with a 3-1 record against the Tigers that season. This success against the Tigers was nothing unusual for Greinke, who had a 11-6 record and 2.84 ERA against Detroit in his entire tenure in Kansas City.
Those that chose to overlook this track record in favor of Greinke’s recent struggles were highly disappointed tonight, as the Zack Attack (OK, never again) was in full effect against the Tigers this evening. Greinke pitched a dominant 7 2/3 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 run, a Miguel Cabrera solo shot that ended his evening with two outs in the 8th inning. As you might expect with all of the patient hitters in the Tigers’ offense (/sarcasm), Greinke was very efficient. More efficient still were Scott Downs and Garrett Richards, who needed just 7 pitches each to record the final four outs in order.
For the Tigers, Rick Porcello was once again victimized by poor infield defense. Ricky P breezed through his first 5 innings of work with only a small hiccup in the third inning after an error by Ramon Santiago, who played 3rd base in favor of the hobbled Cabrera. In the 6th inning, Porcello allowed the first two Angels’ hitters to reach base before striking out Kendrys Morales. With one out, Mark Trumbo grounded into a tailor-made double play… except Torii Hunter forced a poor throw from Omar Infante, resulting in Trumbo being safe at first.
As has been the case for most of the season, the gaffe came back to haunt the Tigers when Howie Kendrick lined a double into the left-center gap to give the Angels a 2-0 lead. Porcello missed badly with his location on that pitch — an 0-2 count to boot — and Kendrick made him pay. Still, a 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 1 BB line from Porcello is more than adequate at this point.
The real story of the game, however, was the Tigers’ inability to put anything together against Greinke, though a number of fly balls died in the cavernous reaches of Comerica’s outfield (Greinke recorded 12 fly ball outs in all compared to just 6 groundouts).
Bullets, kind of like the ones Rambo is shooting on TV right now:
- Brayan Villarreal was very impressive this evening, especially in an 11-pitch (11 strike!) 7th inning that was, dare I say, Verlanderesque. Chris Ianetta agrees.
- Ho hum: another day, another scoreless inning for Octavio Dotel. Dave Dombrowski has not gotten enough credit for that signing last off-season.
- Austin Jackson and Delmon Young: 0-for-4, 10 total pitches seen each. Jackson gets a free pass for one bad game (which wasn’t that bad when you consider that he made a couple of nice defensive plays in the outfield), Delmon doesn’t.
- Young, Jhonny Peralta, and Avila were a combined 0-for-12 this evening.
- Brennan Boesch got a hit, stole a base, and didn’t do anything stupid in the outfield. I’m OK with him for one evening.
- I don’t want to watch games that Jerry Meals umpires anymore.
- Ryan Raburn, meanwhile, was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Toledo this evening last time I checked. He is 6-for-12 with 2 homers in three games for the Mud Hens this time around. Am I pining for a Raburn call-up? You better believe it.
- The Angels’ 6-9 hitters had 5 of their 9 hits this evening.