Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Where Was His Stuff?

To those who read Matt Garza’s comments after his seven shutout innings Tuesday night -- that his arm felt “weird” and that he didn’t have his normal velocity -- and were ready to panic, here’s some advice: Don’t.

Garza explained Wednesday that the problem was nothing physical, and it wasn’t even that unusual. “You don’t get out of bed every morning with your best stuff,” Garza said. “Sometimes your fastball just doesn’t have the usual pop. That’s all it is. You go out there with what you’ve got.”

What he had was pretty good. The Tigers -- who, it should be noted, have outscored the major leagues’ second-highest scoring team by an amazing 34 runs, or roughly six percent more -- managed only three hits, and a single, unearned run.

So Garza’s manager wasn’t buying that the pitcher was anything but his best.

“You don’t go through that lineup over there without some good stuff,” Ron Gardenhire said. “He had a great fastball, had a good breaking ball.”

-- Phil Miller

Happy birthday, Torii

Torii Hunter turns 32 today, but he shouldn't expect a gift from his manager. Asked what he got Hunter for his birthday, Ron Gardenhire said, “I put him in the six hole. He can give me something for his birthday, a couple of hits.”

Here are your lineups ...

Luis Castillo 2B
Jason Bartlett SS
Joe Mauer C
Michael Cuddyer RF
Justin Morneau 1B
Torii Hunter CF
Jeff Cirillo DH
Lew Ford LF
Nick Punto 3B
Johan Santana P

Ryan Raburn CF
Placido Polanco 2B
Gary Sheffield DH
Magglio Ordonez RF
Carlos Guillen SS
Ivan Rodriguez C
Marcus Thames 1B
Craig Monroe LF
Brandon Inge 3B
Andrew Miller P