illustration by Samara Pearlstein
So it turns out Inge was just saving up his hits, you know, until he decided it was a good time to break them out for us. Just like all us BELIEVERS said. Two-for-three with three RBI, including one mammoth second-deck blaster of a home run. Ingecredible? I think yes.
Rabelo put up an 0-fer, but it’s OK, I reckon he’s just starting out and, in any event, he’s a backup catcher… any offense we manage to get out of him is a bonus. The most we can hope for is that he doesn’t do anything to overtly screw up the pitchers, and maybe he can throw out a wanna-be base thief or two. So far so good. I guess I am relieved he got his start with Maroth on the mound instead of Verlander. Exceptional Mental Makeup Mike Maroth knows what he’s doing out there and isn’t going to be rattled by some slight lack of confidence on the part of his catcher. Verlander might not react the same way, because where Maroth is a serene kitten snoozing in a sunbeam, Verlander is the psycho kitten that tries to eat your hand out of sheer overabundance of excitement. You know what I mean.
How hot was Zumaya’s pitching, by the by? Two innings of one-hit, zero-run ball on a night when our usual Rollercoaster Closer wasn’t available. Oh Zoom. Rod and Mario immediately started talking about how he’s the closer of the future… it’s hard to believe that he doesn’t already have the “closer mentality”. I think he probably does, but maybe not the ability to forget bad outings that good closers (Brad Lidge apparently excepted) all have. That breaking ball dropping in on hitters right after a 100 mph fastball, though… unf. Hard to not want to see more and more and more still of that.
It’s rare to see batters look completely blown away and startled at the plate, but Zoom manages to make it happen so often that it’s a joy to watch.
His new beard stirrup thing, however…. well, we won’t get into it except to say, JOEL. SHAVE. THANK YOU.
I think this whole (short) post was mostly just to point out the fact that Brandon Inge did in fact hit, and hit well, and everyone can STOP talking about ridiculous things like LOSING HIS BAT or SLUMPS. It is early and Brandon Inge just took a little warmup time this year, that’s all.