Dressed in snakeskin suits, packed with Detroit muscle
On the half-mile trek from my downtown Detroit hotel to church this morning, I strolled through a parking lot littered with empty liquor bottles, got hassled by a couple drifters and walked past a casino and a — ahem — “gentleman’s establishment.”
Keep on rockin’, Detroit!
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Here’s some interesting April data from ESPN.com writer and Springsteen fanatic Jayson Stark that won’t sit well with an Indians team that went 8-14 in the season’s first month: In the Wild Card era, just 20 of the 112 playoff teams (18 percent) finished April with a sub-.500 record. Since 1982, only 10 of the 160 playoff teams were more than three games under .500 in April. And since 1935, only one team — the 1979 Pirates — was more than three games under .500 after April and went on to win the World Series.
- Eric Wedge didn’t say this, but Matt LaPorta could become a regular presence in the lineup. Wedge is not happy with what he’s seen from Ben Francisco (.239 average, .708 OPS), and he indicated that LaPorta could be a regular against left-handed pitching.
- The 9-7 loss yesterday was an especially tough one for a team that has already endured its fair share of tough losses. After the game, Wedge looked about as exasperated as I’ve ever seen him. He was asked how long it takes to get over a game like that. “It takes the evening,” he said. “But you’ve got to wake up and separate. [A loss like that] takes a lot out of a team, but you have to wake up and separate.”
- Unfortunately for Wedge, he woke up with the same bullpen. Going into today’s game, he had no choice but to plan to let Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez face some right-handers and to turn to the seldom-used Masa Kobayashi and the struggling Jensen Lewis, if need be. He said he’d probably have to stay away from Rafael Betancourt for the day.
- Basically, it’s a dreary situation, at present.
- If you’re looking for a bullpen savior to come up from Columbus, well, don’t. Hard-throwing right-hander John Meloan is probably the most intriguing prospect down there, and he has a 5.06 ERA in nine appearances. Zach Jackson has a 10.38 ERA in three appearances since his demotion. Left-hander Ryan Edell has a 6.35 ERA. Closer Matt Herges has been decent with a 1-2 record, 3.86 ERA and four saves.
- If you’re wondering if the Indians should have stuck it out with Luis Perdomo or Ed Mujica, well, don’t. They’re both with the Padres and both have ERAs over 5.00.
- If you think maybe they should have re-signed Juan Rincon, don’t. He’s got a 5.79 ERA in six appearances for the Tigers.
- No matter the outcome of today’s game, if Cliff Lee lasts three innings, he will become the Tribe’s all-time leader in winning percentage among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched. Lee enters with a .647 (77-42) winning percentage and 997 innings thrown. The current leader is Bartolo Colon with a .625 mark.
- Aaron Laffey’s 10 double plays induced leads the Majors this season.
- The security guard near the visitor’s dugout here looks suspiciously like Jim Leyland.
- Some girl, probably 14 or 15, was clutching a Grady Sizemore jersey near the Tribe dugout and showing off some impressive vocal volume in trying to get Grady’s attention for an autograph. She was successful and only nearly passed out from hyperventilation. It was good to see.