Well, we came out of Baltimore this weekend with a hard-earned split, but after losing the first two games to the Orioles, there was an easy answer as to why we lost after arriving in town on a pretty good roll.
If you weren't watching, Luke single-handedly beat us in the first two games on Thursday and Friday, hitting four homers (two in each game) and racking up nine RBIs — the combined margin of defeat over both days. He even stayed hot against us on Saturday, tying the score with a two-run homer in the sixth before Clete Thomas(notes) was able to help us pull away with a big game of his own at the plate.
This wasn't the first time we've come here to Baltimore and caught Luke when he is playing his best. Last season, I remember him hitting a walkoff home run against us here. Now looking at this year, he is hot again against us. He is hitting lefties, righties, and drawing walks. Over his career against the Tigers, he is hitting .500/.558/1.395 in 11 games with 10 homers and 21 RBIs.
After awhile, I started to think about how we can get this guy out so he can't hurt us. I was at first base with Aubrey Huff(notes) over the weekend and we joked around and said the Tigers need to trade for this guy so he can't do any more damage against us.
On my Facebook page, someone mentioned throwing a 98 MPH fastball at his ribs. I've never understood that line of thinking. If a player is hitting well, why should you hit him? It's not his fault he is so locked in at the plate. He hasn't pimped any of his home runs or shown any of our pitchers up. He had two curtain calls over the first two games and I had no problem with that — especially if you are hitting two homers a game.
Furthermore, when pitchers get into a rhythm and start striking a bunch of guys out throughout a game or series of games, there's never talk of doing anything to the pitcher to try and cool him off. If you want to throw inside on a hitter, I don't see a problem with that. But to purposely hit him? I just don't get it.
We still have four games in August left against the Orioles and hopefully Luke Scott(notes) won't hurt us like he has. Edwin Jackson(notes) had the answer for him on Sunday — as well as for all the other O's batters — getting him to go 0-for-3 during a great eight innings of two-hit scoreless baseball. Still, Luke is playing really well and I wish him luck and success throughout the rest of the season.
Except against us, of course.
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Curtis Granderson plays center field for the Detroit Tigers and his blog will appear regularly on Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew during the 2009 season. Make sure to check out and support his Grand Kids Foundation.
Previous Posts: Hanging with Hammer (May 22) Sweet home, Chicago (May 14) The catch in Cleveland (May 11) Impressive ballpark amenities (April 29) Handling A 10-Game Road Trip (April 22) Cautious About Identity Theft (April 14) Season's High Hopes (April 6)