|Aurelio "Senor Smoke" Lopez|
Did I mention that his APBA pitching grade is a D (C*)-Y ?!
No Z's even...
Now Aurelio enters the Tigers' 41st game, having to do an emergency start for the rotation, due to the double-header against Baltimore that through the rotations' rest out of sync... which means his scoreless innings streak will definitely be in jeopardy with his Grade D starting grade.
The Detroit Tigers start their road stretch and will have to go to Milwaukee to face a lineup that has been giving American League pitchers fits through recent years. I go with the actual boxscores for the opponents I play, and even though the Brewers appear to be without Paul Molitor (probable injury), they still have a tough lineup with the likes of Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Gorman Thomas, Ted Simmons & Jim Gantner.
What appeared to be a tough day in store for Lopez, it ended up being just that for his Milwaukee counterpart Jim Slaton; The Tigers' bats jumped all over Slaton during the first two innings (7 runs) which gave Lopez some breathing room.
Throughout the game, Milwaukee definitely had its scoring chances against Lopez -- with 7 hits, runners on bases due to two errors & a wild pitch that advanced a runner to second... Most of these scoring chances came with only one out, while they had big bats in Oglivie, Cooper & Thomas up... but somehow by the graces of the APBA gods, Lopez kept dodging bullets.
Lopez would eventually advance from a Grade D to a Grade A, but I decided with one out, a runner on second & Cecil Cooper up in the 8th Inning, that I would not risk the scoreless streak and bring in Kevin Saucier from the pen.
Sure, it would have been cool to watch Lopez pitch a shutout in possibly his only start of the season, but I didn't want to push his luck against a lineup at any moment that could ruin the streak.
Saucier would complete the combined 10-0 shutout of the Brewers, as Milwaukee falls to 6.5 games back (5th place) of Detroit.
Aurelio Lopez: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 16 games, 1 GS, 22 K / 6 BB & .708 WHIP in 29.2 innings.
The Detroit Tigers have 3 games remaining in this series with the Brew Crew, and a up-coming home series in about a week against them as well...
Meanwhile, talks of a MLB Strike looms over the season.