photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Our sacrificial ram, our bloody offering to the bats of the American League until something better came along, our aggressively mediocre junky rotation filler of a pitcher: that was Chad Durbin. But no longer! For tonight we saw on the mound a different Chad Durbin. A Chad Durbin filled with guts! and fire! and pimpitude! A Chad Durbin who could HOLD THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX SCORELESS FOR 8 INNINGS HOLY FREAKING CATS WHAT.
It was like watching a five year old bang out Beethoven’s Fifth on his little PlaySkool piano. Technically possible perhaps, but completely unexpected and flabbergasting.
Chad Durbin had not recorded a Major League win since 2004.
Chad Durbin had 9 strikeouts tonight. That is more strikeouts than he has ever had in his professional career.
All this against the White Sox.
Tonight Chad Durbin took the ball and said to it, “Alright hon, we’re here in Chicago, and I’m gonna need you to go out there and work it, you hear me honey? Strut your stuff and bring home some cash, ’cause papa needs a new feather for his pimp hat.”
“I saw that he had good stuff early,” Ivan Rodriguez said after the Tigers’ 6-2 win earned Durbin his first Major League victory since 2004. “He started with a lot of first-pitch strikes, and I knew after the first couple innings he was going to have a great game.”
“He was a completely different pitcher today,” Rodriguez said. “He didn’t get behind too much. He just threw a lot of strike ones. His curveball was much better. I thought he pitched a quicker game — catch the ball, pitch the ball. He just pitched a great game.”
Chad Durbin, pimp, was not messing around behind today. Oh no. He was going right for that first strike, and he was workin’ nice and quick. He pimped out his baseball and used it to make even more…. lady canines…. out of the White Sox. By the end of the 8th inning, Durbin had half the ballpark meekly offering him wadded up dollar bills in the form of STRIKEOUTS. I never would have thought that the White Sox, of all teams, would be swinging inadvisedly over and over again, but I never would have thought that Durbin was a strikeout pitcher either, so someone was doing something wildly uncharacteristic tonight.
After Chad Durbin took his pimp hand off to the dugout, Zumaya came on to pitch the 9th and proceeded to throw 8,902,234,565,123 balls in a row, loading the bases and walking in a couple of runs. If we hadn’t been up 6-0 I am sure he would’ve been gone much quicker. It ought to have been a good opportunity for him to get some low-stress work in, but it turned into a disaster and I fear that his youthfully fiery mind will dwell on it for a while yet.
Jonesy proved that he is in fact a closer by completely forgetting about yesterday and coming in today to clean up Zoom’s mess without further damage.
Difference between Todd Jones and Joel Zumaya, independent from Pure Pitching Stuff: Jonesy has the memory of a goldfish, and like the goldfish’s three second memory allows it to live happily in a tiny glass sphere, Jonesy’s short memory allows him to live happily in the closer’s role. Zoom I do not believe has this memory-type yet. I know people have been agitating to move Zoom into the closer slot, but this is something to chew over.
Tomorrow (er, later today), Nate goes. It’ll be curious to see if he gets some run support here. History and natural inclination say no, but the beauty of baseball is that anything can happen; even something completely crazy like Nate Robertson not getting bumdogged by his own offense.