Poor, poor Nate. He pitches so well for so many games, and last night it was just like he said to himself, “Nuh uh. That’s it. I ain’t dealin’ wit’ it.” As you well know, I’ve been thoroughly frustrated by the behavior of the offense when he pitches, and no matter how many platitudes he spouted I’m sure he felt much the same, probably even more strongly. I don’t blame him for this one. The conditions were less than ideal and there’s only so much a guy can be expected to take.
Really, we’re lucky he just pitched a vaguely bad kind of game. He could have gone batguano insane and busted up the clubhouse with a golf club and a paintball gun and I would have nodded and said, “Mmhmm, understandable.”
His lack of control in the first was still dispiriting. A tiny taste of what we’d been serving up to the Royals, if you will, and medicine served to the Royals holds to the same principles as vomit: better out than in.
Can I also just mention how bizarre it was that the Bluebirds had basically THREE catchers in their lineup last night? They had Molina, of course, who was actually catching; Gregg Zaun, their backup, who was DHing; and the gloriously goggled Jason Phillips, who I guess moonlights at first base (and was playing there last night), but whom I persistently think of as just a catcher, probably because that’s where he played the bulk of his games in the past two seasons.
WEIRD. Most teams have one catcher in their lineup and are all, “Well, I suppose we must absorb this cruddy offense because he can play his strange little position and no one else here can/Well I suppose we must absorb this defensive semi-liability, but it’s OK because he can hit a little.” Most teams aren’t sitting around thinking to themselves, “Hmm, how can we get MORE CATCHERS into our lineup? You know what this lineup needs? MORE CATCHER.”
Now, if we had a way to clone Pudge and put several of HIM into the lineup, that would, of course, be a different story. Good night for him, 3-for-4 with a home run and some nice long at-bats. And, as we’ve all seen this season, he’s more than willing to play any position in the infield. I say we have OriginalPudge catching, Pudge Clone#1 at first, Pudge Clone#2 DHing, Pudge Clone#3 a defensive replacement off the bench for second base, and Pudge Clone#4 as a designated roving pitcher molestor. Our team would have the worst on-base percentage in the known universe, but it would also be genetidubiously awesome.
And the pitchers would never be without proper molestation which, as we all know, is key to their mental health and success.
Also from last night:
Alex Rios striking out to end the inning and snapping his bat over his knee was scary. I mean, jeez, the Jays were already up at that point, it’s not as though he had a chance to give them the lead and failed or anything. The look on his face was, to say the least, worrying.
All the pitchers in the dugout had on those tunic-looking dark blue sweatshirt deals, except for Bondo, who had on a gray hoodie sweatshirt with a big puffy Tigers jacket over it. Everyone else is all, “Grr we are manly baseball playin’ men, we laugh at you, cold night air!” and Bondo was all, “Guys, it’s cold out, I’m gonna go get a coat.” Oh Bondo.
Sweet defense from Inge, as always. Rod and Mario discussed how he’d like to get a Gold Glove some year (he won’t this year ’cause of the errors, even though a lot of those are just because he has more range than many third basemen) because he knows he sure as heck ain’t gettin’ a batting award.
Zumaya in the bullpen with his rally cap on, waving his arms to pump up the crowd like a football player, was adorable.
Hard-hitting baseball analysis from Roar of the Tigers, once again.