Sunday, April 20, 2014
Scenes and thoughts from Detroit.
Loved Justin Verlander's quote about appreciating this game as a baseball fan. See today's story.
Mike Napoli normally wears his pant knicker-style. But after two strikeouts continued his post-season slump, he pull his pants legs down to his shoes. Had to do something. You didn't think he'd shave his beard, did you?
Weird seeing Jose Iglesias come in as a pinch-hitter (he struck out). Iglesias, who has not started the past two games, will be in today's lineup, with ground-ball pitcher Doug Fister on the mound.
Fister has shut down the Red Sox before. See today's notebook.
In today's column, we talk about the jams John Lackey got out of, but Justin Verlander escaped a few close calls before Napoli's home run. Johnn Gomes crushed a pitch just foul down the left field line in the second inning. David Orttiz sent a ball to the warning track in left, caught just in front of the wall.
If Gomes had homered, manager John Farrell's decision to start him over Daniel Nava would have been hailed as brilliant. Gomes does hit right-handed power pitchers well. Nava should get the start today against Fister. He's htting over .400 against him
Jarrod Saltalamachia struck out three times, but was being praised 'Varitek-like' for his pitch-calling. Even Jim Leyland noticed (Lackey and Saltalamacchia were absolutely terrific, game calling, pitch making").
Stephen Drew and Dustin Pedroia excel as a double-play combination. Drew has done little at the plate, but he can be streaky. His eighth-inning single may be the start of something.
Thanks again for reading. The tweets will be coming later @ClearTheBases
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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