illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Wins are good. Immensely successful Doug Fister outings are good. Austin Jackson, Strikeout Machine, going 3-for-5: good. Home runs from Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, and Miguel Cabrera: wicked good. Sending a sell-out Comerica crowd home happy: super wicked good.
INJURIES: NOT GOOD.
Magglio, as we said last time, is done for the season/forever. Delmon Young has a strained oblique, but was given Magglio’s roster spot for occult reasons known only to the Detroit training staff. He was scratched from tonight’s lineup because he was so sore that he could not play. Shocking that he’s sore, what with his strained oblique and all. I don’t understand how the one follows from the other. It just doesn’t make any sense!
You would think that was it. You would think that was enough– surely the Tigers and by extension Tigers fans have suffered enough for one series. But no. Tonight Victor swung for the fences, and yay! it was a home run! And yay! it was the tying run! But he made his way around the bases gingerly, and went storming unhappily down the clubhouse steps as soon as he got into the dugout. Why?
Because he had strained his oblique.
NOW LOOK HERE, UNIVERSE. I know that the Tigers have a bit of history with oblique injuries. I know– we all know– that obliques have it in for the Tigers, and the Tigers in turn can never trust an oblique. But this particular beast had not reared its unattractive head for a while. We managed to make it through almost the entire season without being repeatedly struck down via oblique, right up ’til now. The ALCS. The playoffs. When suddenly all the obliques realized, Hey, we still have to torment the Tigers this year! Better get on that right away! LOL! We’re obliques!
Then, after ALL THAT, you have Alex Avila, The Most Abused Catcher in the Majors. He is hurt and hurting. What is his precise injury? Who knows. He won’t acknowledge it and the team certainly won’t acknowledge it. His knees are definitely going to be causing him pain. Probably his back hurts. I’m sure he has some giant hideous contusion-y bruises on his body that hurt like hell right now. Maybe he has jammed fingers, foot problems, jaw pain from tension tooth clenching or whatever.
Does he have a strained oblique? Who knows! Why not?? STRAINED OBLIQUES FOR ALL! It’s not like it would make a difference. Alex Avila will play through Hell and high water and pain, sickness, exhaustion, the stench of unwashed Lloyd McClendon underpants, etc, so long as Leyland keeps running him out there and telling him to get behind that plate.
But hey… Doug Fister, right? Great stuff. So much fun to watch a Tigers pitcher do something OTHER than look totally lost out there. So nice to see the team win by more than one run. And there was another save for Papa Grande, of course. Yay. Yaaaaay. Happyface. Honest.
ETA: Injury quotes!
“You want to be limping,” Avila explained. “You don’t want to be completely out. You want to be on crutches. That’s the thing.”
If you’re a non-Tigers fan who happens to be reading this blog right now, you may think I’m kidding when I talk about what Avila will play through in the service of his team. No. I’m not kidding.
“The only way I don’t play [in Game 4],” Martinez said, “is if I wake up and I’m dead.”
Don’t wake up dead, Victor.