–RHP Rick Porcello might be suffering from bad luck, but he’s putting himself in position for misfortune. Porcello has made two starts and allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings both times. His sinker has been inconsistent. It’s been down in the strike zone the majority of the time but it seems every time Porcello gets it waist-high or above someone clobbers it. Add to that a few good sinkers that have been struck well and you have a recipe for an 0-2 record. “As the game went on, I didn’t do a good job of mixing my pitches. I got into a pattern, and they got all over that and started waiting on my sinker,” Porcello said. “The pickoff was a bad throw, but that wasn’t my issue.”
–SS Jhonny Peralta has heated up after a very cold spring training. Peralta didn’t drive in a run this spring and batted in the low .200s as he struggled to get his timing down and work on opposite-field hitting. But Peralta had three hits in the finale against Kansas City including his first solo home run of the season. He had three RBI in the week and has four this season.
–1B Miguel Cabrera unloaded his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot that gave him nine RBI in nine games this season. Cabrera has some minor nicks and bruises — he took a throw off his hand earlier and a couple days ago ran into the tarp in right field foul territory and hurt his knee — but still was 10-for-31 through nine games. His home runs have come off both fastballs and breaking pitches.
–LHP Daniel Schlereth worsened his shaky outing with an error on a snap throw to first for an error. Schlereth made a wild throw flat-footed after LF Alex Gordon singled with one out. Gordon scored on a sacrifice fly, the first run the lefty has allowed in four appearances this season. A wild pitch by Schlereth made the run earned.
–CF Austin Jackson beat out a bunt base hit in the eighth but continues to struggle in his sophomore season. Jackson has just six hits this season had added one strikeout to give him 14. “He’s going through a little bit of a streak where he’s swinging at balls and taking strikes,” manager Jim Leyland said. “So I think he’s caught in between, just a little bit, and that’s usually a tell-tale sign of a little slump. But he’ll come out of it. He’s not in a real good groove right now, feeling real good, getting his (front) foot down, boom. Timing. But he’ll get better.” Jackson might get a game off Monday as Leyland was thinking about doing it Sunday before changing his mind.
–C Alex Avila hit a solo home run, his third home run in less than a week. One of the things hitting coach Lloyd McClendon has been preaching to Avila is to get more aggressive in hitters’ counts and early in the count. Avila hit an 0-1 pitch for his home run. He has no problem taking pitches and feels comfortable hitting deep in the count.
–RHP Joel Zumaya felt “a little discomfort” at the end of his first light throwing session and will be the subject of a conference call Monday between Detroit’s medical staff and Dr. James Andrews, who examined the reliever a week ago and deemed him ready for light throwing. “We’re going to put it on hold with Joel now,” head trainer Kevin Rand said. “He had a little discomfort at the end of his first throwing session. He was just doing some light toss.” The conference call could further determine a course of rehab action for Zumaya, 26, who has been injured every year since his rookie season, 2006.
–RF Magglio Ordonez got a day off as his right ankle, fractured last season, was a little sore. Manager Jim Leyland said he was available to pinch-hit and could be starting Monday against Texas. OF Brennan Boesch started in right for Ordonez and hit in his third spot in the batting order. LF Ryan Raburn was also in the outfield.
BY THE NUMBERS
11 — Uniform number worn by the late manager Sparky Anderson while with the Tigers. Anderson’s number will be retired by Detroit on June 26 in a game against Arizona, whose manager (Kirk Gibson) and bench coach (Alan Trammell) were key figures on the 1984 World Series champions, managed by Anderson.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“It’s kind of sad hitting behind him because you’re going to come up a lot of times with the bases empty. It’s really unbelievable. I’ve seen a lot of good hitters with a lot of good teams but I’ve never seen anything like him. That man can hit.” — DH/C Victor Martinez on hitting behind cleanup man 1B Miguel Cabrera, who had four homers and nine RBI in his first nine games this year.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.