At the start of the night I was so sure we were going to have the scarygood version of Bartolo Colon to deal with, and that Vlad Guerrero was going to beat the kitty litter out of us all game. The first few innings bore that out, with Vlad hammering a two-run homer and Colon keeping himself out of trouble except for a dropped ball in the very shallow outfield that let Inge (hustling his little self all the way) come in to score.
You know when I thought we had a chance? It wasn’t when Granderson hit his inside-the-parker, although that sure was fantastic.
No, it was earlier in the 4th inning, when Pudge took a walk.
Pudge! Took a walk! An unintentional walk! That was when I knew that whatever game Colon was coming with today, it was not his A game, and we had a real shot to hit him around a bit.
When Vlad hit his second home run to start the 4th, I worried a bit, sure. I mean, that pitch wasn’t even bad. It was an elevated fastball, and with Maroth behind it that doesn’t mean it was going particularly fast, but it was still up around the letters and very, very out of the strikezone. I’ve been trying to reconstruct how he hit it in my mind, and I just can’t see how he could get enough power behind his arms in that position to send it out of the park. But that’s exactly what he did. Tram had it right when after the game he said, “He’s not human. He’s not normal. He’s just an incredible ballplayer.” Tigers flex muscles vs. Angels
Then the very next batter, Eldest Molina, shot the ball to centerfield so hard and so deeply that the fireworks went off. Seriously. The homer un fireworks went off. This would be great if the ball was actually a home run, but Curtis Granderson, probably still panting from charging around the bases in the top of the inning, hurled himself up the wall and snagged it away. It was beautiful, really athletic and graceful all at once, and I thought Rod Allen was going to wet himself with glee. I do believe that after this game he has a crush on Granderson. Which is OK, because so do I.
In the 5th inning someone should have run a bottle of Pepto Bismol out to Colon, because the Tigers were giving him the runs.
*obligatory line making fun of Bartolo’s name: CHECK*
The Rally Monkey squad made things closer later in the game, and yes, I did fret, because a two-run lead is as nothing when the Tigers are involved, but the bullpen held it together and yay! A win! I would like another tonight, please.
The Toledo Mud Hens win it all! Man, that feels unexpectedly good. Even if the big cats can’t get it done, it’s comforting to know that the Tigers organization at some level is a feared and respected winning team.
The River Thames is now back in the majors, along with fellow Governor’s Cup Champions RHPs Mark Woodyard, Jason Grilli, and Jason Karnuth. Who knows, everyone was so upset when Thames got sent down before, maybe his return will give a little boost to the clubhouse.