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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big Game On A Big Stage: Angels 6, Tigers 2

Jered Weaver, who has been on and off my list of irritating players all year for his inconsistency, had an excellent game against a tough offense that only a few days ago scored 37 runs in three games against the Rangers. Too, he may have been thinking about his brother's stint with the Tigers, years in which he was once, briefly, thought of as the top-of-the-staff pitcher who would help lead Detroit back to glory.

The man he outdueled — starter Justin Verlander — had his full-bore, high-90's velocity, but the Angels figured him out by the fourth, putting up single runs in that frame and the next, but really laying it on with a four-run sixth. Weaver carried a shutout through six but left a pair of baserunners to Justin Speier, and he promptly allowed both to score, but that was all the damage the Tigers would get. It's a great series win from a team predicted by many to be still standing when the postseason rolls around.

Maybe the most momentous thing to come from this series, though, is Casey Kotchman working in the cleanup spot for the second time this year, a spot previously held down by Garret Anderson. There has been speculation that GA doesn't deserve (and won't) hit in this position in the future now that the job's been given to Casey, but I wonder whether Mike will take that approach. Not that I necessarily think that GA is done or any such thing, but the question is clearly being raised in management's eyes, enough to fire a significant warning shot.

Yahoo BoxRecap

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