Tigers' Staff Stifles Texas

Texas might have run into some bad luck, but it also might just be really good pitching

Before Wednesday night, I found myself subconsciously approaching the Tigers-Rangers match-up with a nervous excitement; like a child waiting for something in the mail. It may come, but probably not.
What I was hoping for was a Rangers win; we needed a rabbit’s foot, a four leaf clover and maybe a horseshoe just to be safe.
Texas, as you may have heard, had lost their last nine games in Comerica Park. Now that mark is at 10.
When Texas lost this game, though, a vaguely disheartening epiphany came: luck, or in this case, the lack thereof, has nothing to do with Texas’ last two losses.
First, on Tuesday, Dontrelle Willis looked more like the beast in 2007 to whom everyone referred simply as “D-Train” than the oft-injured, slightly overweight Willis that the city of Detroit had come to know.
On Wednesday, Texas ran into Justin Verlander.
When facing Verlander, opposing teams must concede that he will probably strike out 5-7 hitters, and probably make them look terrible in doing so. Verlander is a good pitcher, a power pitcher with a hammer that buckles knees and inspires awe.
This, already, does not bode well for Texas’ chances.
But the Justin Verlander the Rangers saw on Wednesday was better than the pretty impressive norm.
The right-hander spotted his curve and blew his fastball by hitters in a manner that made them look more like little leaguers than members of one of the most vaunted offenses in baseball.
The vaguely disheartening epiphany of which I spoke earlier was that there was nothing to do but, perhaps, pray for rain.
I’m not sure if this is better or worse, necessarily, than plain old bad luck, but it’s probably worse. Bad luck, or good luck, for that matter, means that there’s nothing you can do; it’s out of your hands.
But, watching the performances of Dontrelle Willis and Justin Verlander, Texas would have been about as well off playing under a curse. Good pitching beats good hitting; the old truism strikes again.
Now, all Texas can do is avoid the sweep, and shoo the dark clouds from above Comerica Park before they return next year.
They will attempt to do so on Thursday, with first pitch at noon.

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