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Everything’s Bigger In Texas, Including Ulcers

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Well, on one hand, it’s tough to smile at a 2-4 road trip. On the other hand, it’s the American League Central, and any week that includes two wins is a positive thing.

July 27: Texas 5, Detroit 2 — Tommy Hunter, I’m pretty sure, is a person from a Bon Jovi song. He also pitches for the Rangers. The Tigers had no such person in their lineup, and as such Armando Galarraga failed to hold a 1-0 lead, which came off Curtis Granderson’s 19th career leadoff home run.

July 28: Texas 7, Detroit 3 — What the heck is it with Rangers pitchers and musical names? Doug Mathis allowed a three-run second inning to Detroit (courtesy of the sub-.200-hitting Dusty Ryan? Really?) but, yet again, the lead disappeared into the vapors in the bottom half of the inning. I blame the humidity. Luke French got the loss, and I said to myself, “I hope he gets traded to Seattle for a veteran left-handed arm.” The game winner was Jason Grilli, whom I’ve heard of before. That’s Texas mud in your eye.

July 29: Detroit 13, Texas 5 — Finally, a non-foreboding Curtis Granderson leadoff home run. (His 20th of his career. Just 62 more and he catches Rickey!) D-Town actually scored in each of the first seven innings, which was a sight to see, as Scott Feldman — ANOTHER 80s name — didn’t make it out of the third inning alive. (In a baseball sense. No actual death was involved.) Because Justin Verlander doesn’t always need 13 runs of support a night, he took his time with his enemy, striking out 13 of the 28 batters he faced.

And with that win, the Tigers took a day off, and they had to make it count, because they had 17 straight games. Finishing these games quickly would be vital to staying fresh and …

July 31: Cleveland 6, Detroit 5, 13 innings — …or you could do that. Actually, smooth Carlos Guillen bashed a two-run homer in the ninth that at least gave them a chance to win. But batting 3-for-13 with RISP, combined with using the bullpen for eight innings, is a great way to start off 17 in a row! But, hey, that’s okay. As long as they just quickly make it through tomorrow’s…

August 1: Detroit 4, Cleveland 3, 12 innings — … Jesus Christ. At least what helped this game was, aside from the obvious fact that it was one fewer inning, young Rick Porcello went eight innings for the first time in his nascent career. Unfortunately Fernando Rodney couldn’t work around a leadoff triple in the ninth, blowing his first save of the year. Now, 25 innings in two days is a heck of a lot, so with Sunday afternoon coming up, hopefully THIS time they can breeze through a…

August 2: Cleveland 11, Detroit 1 — … that’s more like it. I guess.

Batting .200 with runners in scoring position (13-65) made the week feel even longer. Thankfully, optimism is manifested through a man named Jarrod Washburn, and a team called the Baltimore Orioles. There are also some Minnesota Twins who appear due into Detroit by the weekend, so that oughta pull some more hairs off my chin.

Arbitrary award time!

Cash: Granderson, who hit two leadoff homers and one of the non-leadoff variety.

Clunker: Marcus Thames, who, even with his solo homer, went 2-for-13 with one RBI and five strikeouts.

Funny People: Rick Porcello’s eight-inning, one-run affair wasn’t too shabby, nor was Justin Verlander’s 13-strikeout job down in Texas. Sure, he gave up three runs, but only allowed six hits in seven innings.

Ugly Truth: And Armando Galarraga was doing so well, too. In two starts he surrendered 12 runs for an ERA of 8.53.

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