image by Samara Pearlstein
To be fair, the Spazzosaurus is probably chewing on Ryan Raburn as much as he is chewing on Justin Verlander at the moment, but Verlander gets depicted because his error in this game was a worrying reminder of his previous spacetime-bending whatever-throw.
This time around, Ichiro was on second base and Verlander turned to throw a pickoff. Halfway through the motion it was like he changed his mind; he seemed to decide he didn’t want to throw it, but went ahead and half-heartedly threw it anyways. His feet weren’t really set properly. Of course the ball went sailing into center field and Ichiro went scampering away. It was a lesser version of his Derp to Homeplate.
So… what the heck? This whole ‘start to throw a ball, then have second thoughts in the middle of the throw and consequently toss the ball away in a comically wild manner’ thing was never a problem for Verlander before (I don’t think?). Why is it a problem now? What in the world is going on with Verlander?
It must be the Spazzosaurus. It is the only explanation that makes sense.
The thing is, when Verlander is striking guys out, on those actual strike-out pitches, he looks as dominant as ever. It’s all the stuff in between those strike-out pitches that causes problems. And in this game, there was a LOT of stuff between strike-out pitches: he had thrown 100 pitches through 5 innings. Efficiency is not usually Verlander’s strong point but this was over the top even for him. It’s great that he had 8 Ks and all, but I don’t really care when all the results surrounding the Ks are like tonight’s results.
blah blah blah
–Four errors for the Tigers here: Verlander’s pickoff, a semi-self-created bad hop on Brandon Inge, a throwing ehrror for Jhonny Peralta, and a badly fielded ball for Ryan Raburn (back at second). Two of these were at least somewhat debatable (the Inge and Peralta Es), but things are just not going to go well when a team is committing four errors in one night.
–Raburn with the E tonight, and a big strikeout. Last night, of course, he helped Miguel Olivo’s ball over the fence. He did also have a double today, but in general he’s looked like a total mess of late. I’m not saying Will Rhymes is necessarily the savior here, but… I mean, where’s Ramon Santiago, at least?
–There was a play at the beginning of the game where Chone Figgins was called out at home. He slid in and Alex Avila reached back to swipe at him. Replays showed that not only did Avila fail to tag him before he hit the plate, he failed to touch Figgins at all. His glove had sailed through the air. I guess he sold it well. The beard lends credibility and tricks umpires into trusting him.
–Eric Wedge’s mustache is totally out of control. I know he already has a very horizontal face, but the mustache is emphasizing it to a ridiculous degree.
–Miguel Olivo was batting. Verlander ran the count to 3-2. There were men on second and third, one out. Avila decided he wanted to talk about it and went out to the mound. Someone in the crowd very audibly yelled “He’s batting .184!!!”
–I was flipping back and forth between the Tigers game and the Red Sox game, which was interesting because while Verlander was busy struggling, Josh Beckett was also having some issues. Seeing two power ace-types (or recently former power ace-types, in Beckett’s case) both fail it up was confusing, and caused the two games to merge in my mind until I could no longer tell what I was watching at any given time. Didn’t really matter, though, because it was all bad.
–At one point Rod and Mario were talking about yoga. Mario said he had tried yoga once before, but “never again”. Rod went off on a tangent about hot yoga, then revealed that his wife does hot yoga and has informed him that when he gets back home, he too will be doing hot yoga. He has been sentenced to hot yoga. Mario seemed more horrified by this idea than Rod was.
Mario: “I found I needed to be IN shape just to do yoga, to get myself in shape.”
–Things can always be worse. It was snowing during the Twins game tonight.