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Tuesday's observations

-- Phil Hughes was impressive -- his fastball has more zip on it that it did for most of last year -- but the Detroit lineup is hardly the test that some like to think it is. Not for a right-hander, anyway. With Carlos Guillen so obviously limited right now, the Tigers are very top-heavy. Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird are off to nice starts, but after Miguel Cabrera in the cleanup spot, no one in that lineup is scary.

- Cole Hamels certainly seems snakebit after being forced from an encouraging outing early, this time due to a sprained ankle. Still, this looks like another injury that won't cost him a start.

- The Red Sox defense completely wrecked Brad Penny's night. Maybe the grounder that Mike Lowell threw away in the second wouldn't have resulted in a double play, but it was an easy out. In the third inning, Julio Lugo botched a very routine double play, resulting in no outs. The four earned runs that Penny was charged with were twice as many as he deserved.

- If the Angels think scoring seven runs against Adam Eaton in the Orioles is another sign that they don't need Brandon Wood in their lineup, then they deserve their 8-11 record.

- I'd have walked Chipper Jones four times, too. As overrated as protection is in general, the Braves do need someone with power in the cleanup spot to make sure the other team pitches to Chipper. Casey Kotchman was the choice there tonight with Brian McCann on the DL.

- Having perhaps the game's most athletic catcher paid off in a big way for the Dodgers tonight. With the bases loaded and one out in a one-run game in the eighth, Juan Uribe grounded to third. Casey Blake, whose failure to make a throw home on a potential tag play might gave cost the Dodgers the game on Monday, came home tonight, but through wide. Martin sprawled out to catch the ball and barely kept his foot on home plate. Maybe the 6-foot-5 Joe Mauer would have made the play with his reach, but I'm not sure anyone else would have.

- The Cubs are a better team with Koyie Hill catching at 100 percent that Geovany Soto playing at 70 percent. I think it's time for Soto to go on the DL with his sore shoulder.

- Gil Meche's back problems need to be watched closely. He's been battling issues since the very start of the spring, and he had to leave tonight's game early after giving up five runs.