For full disclosure, I was also at the Nationals game on Tuesday night, but a) have very few pictures from that and b) really don’t feel like talking about the unmitigated disaster that was Strieby at first base or how Below struggled through his outing. As Lynn Henning pointed out to me on Twitter, however, it was a lovely evening at the ballpark! So there’s that, anyway.
Instead, let’s talk a little bit about this afternoon! I woke up this morning talking myself out of going to the game, but when my husband pointed out that Verlander was pitching, I lost my resolve and bought a bleacher ticket at the gate.
– Hi, Wilson Betemit!
– So, THAT Verlander showed up today. They actually had the radar going in the park today and he stayed right around 93-94 mph. Oh, is that all? Gave up a lead-off homer, which . . . yeah. That happens. Moving on. I was in sporadic conversation (or near constant) with the sweet young boy from Tennessee for the first 3 innings and wasn’t counting strikeouts but definitely saw a lot of them. I was surprised when Verlander was pulled before the last out of the 4th inning so I pulled up At Bat to check for a pitch count and thought for sure their score keepers had made a mistake. 8 K’s? Seriously? In 3.2? But, yes, that was indeed correct information. No wonder he hit his pitch limit so quickly. Holy God, JV, save some for April.
– Pitching in general was impressive, which was nice to see after the last few games of shaky outings. Balester looked strong again, Valverde came out and promptly struck out the side with ease, Benoit was Benoit, and Stohr did a nice job closing things out. Well done, boys! Only 2 walks between you!
– Unfortunately, this also held true for the Baltimore starter Matusz, who struck out 6 of his own and induced 5 incredibly anemic ground ball outs. It was impressive to watch him mow through the lineup we put in front of him.
– The only iffy moment was a throw from JV to Fielder on a pick-off. My section thought the error would go to JV for basically throwing it into the dirt but it was instead given to Fielder for not picking it out of said dirt. Anyhow, moral of the story, I hope the pitchers are taking extra practice throwing to first, what with a new first baseman and all.
– Danny Worth had a great day, with two hits and a stolen base! And Laird, again, with the two RBI’s! Patterson tripled, Raburn continued to fuel my inner conflict with a beautiful double . . . Really, the A lineup wasn’t able to put much together, which allowed us to once again showcase just how much depth and flexibility we have on this team.
– Jackson struck out twice. Yep.
– Cabrera made a fairly sweet play at third. Nice backhanded grab followed by a throw to first. Excellent reaction time, but it honestly didn’t require him to move much, and that’s where most of my concerns come in with him playing at third. His reaction time is good, but watching him try to get to a ball quickly is about what you would expect. It isn’t quite lumbering, but it definitely makes you miss Inge.
Justin Verlander, doing what he does best.
Wilson Betemit the Oriole.
One more of Verlander, just because.
Verlander leaves the game after striking out 8 but throwing too many pitches doing it.
Prince Fielder in the box.
Jose Valverde sets awesomely.
Stay awesome, Big Potato!
Stay tuned this weekend as husband and I catch the Saturday game against the Cardinals. Expect crap pictures because we have crap seats. Hooray!