Baseball is a weird game. With their best hitter serving the first game of a four-game suspension and the incendiary Scott Kazmir taking the mound, fresh off the "disabled list," you'd think tonight would have been a throwaway loss for the Angels. They ended up outplaying the Tigers in every possible way. Go figure.
The much maligned Angels offense pounded out 7 singles, 4 doubles, and a home run to go along with 7 walks (I know, 7 walks!). Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera had the biggest nights, splitting 4 hits and 5 RBI between themselves. Aybar, Callaspo, and Izturis also had multi-hit games. Jim Leyland kept bringing in different pitchers to try to stop the avalanche, but every one of them got mauled for at least one earned run. It was like watching one of those kung fu movies where the hero takes on the bad guys one mook at a time, and after handing each one his ass he turns to the army of mooks who are standing around watching and signals "who's next?" with a hand gesture.
At the other end of the blowout, Scott Kazmir turned in an encouraging performance in his first start back after a shoulder "injury." He threw 50 strikes out of 77 total pitches, striking out 3 in 5 innings while walking just one. His fastball velocity increased to 93-94 mph, and he seemed less hesitant to throw his once-famous slider. The coaching staff put a limit on his pitch count, so we'll see if the improvements holds up. Maybe he just needs a month to rest in between starts?
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