photo by Samara Pearlstein
I want to point out that this is a photo of Wally the Green Monster sitting in the stands, gesturing in the general direction of Omar Infante, who is in the visiting dugout, looking back at Wally skeptically. Wally had been doing his rounds of the ballpark and spotted this empty seat up near the field, so he went to sit down and harass/amuse the fans near him. Omar, who was leaning on the rail, started watching him. I’m not sure whether or not Wally was gesturing TO Omar, but Omar seemed to be intrigued by his antics regardless. It was a completely bizarre and glorious interaction and so I share it with you.
So. I should mention that due to a last-minute decision on the part of my brother, I ended up going to BOTH games yesterday, meaning that I was at every game of this series. I’d also never been to a Major League double header before (I’ve been to college DHs, but those are only 7 innings per game), so that was new. You can see how I might be a little frazzled by all that baseball (and all the time wasted getting downtown and back for the game that wasn’t on Wednesday).
The last two games were frustrating. The first game of the series was a solid loss and was hard to be upset about, because sometimes you’re just gonna run into Daisuke Matsuzaka and there’s not a thing you can do about it. The second game was, of course, glorious. These games were slow, grinding, and filled with the kind of “unclutchness” that makes you tear your hair out. I mean, in the first game of the DH, there were NO EXTRA BASE HITS. None. At all. On either side. Agonizing.
The second game saw a ton of doubles for the Tigers, and a ton of walks, and a ton of not bringing those guys home. Twice on the day (over the course of both games) the Tigers ended an inning with the bases loaded, and a couple more times they had two or three guys on, one of which was eliminated by inning-ending fielder’s choices, which is kind of like leaving the bases loaded to end an inning, and is certainly deeply annoying to watch.
It’s hard to be mad at our starters. Miner did better than his line shows, and he certainly kept the Tigers in a close game (against Julian… freakin’…. Tavarez). Durbin wasn’t QUITE pimptacular, but he also didn’t really do any worse than Curt Schilling. They both struggled with the temperature and the wind and threw a ton of pitches early, so, eh.
It’s even hard to be mad at the ‘pen, for once. Tim Byrdak was AWESOME, pitching two perfect innings’ worth of ball in the first game, with 5 (!!!) strikeouts. This of course just makes his removal for Bobby Seay in the first game even more galling, but if he’d gone longer then he probably wouldn’t have been able to go as long this time around. Still. He struck out Wily Mo Pena, Doug Mirabelli, Julio Lugo, Coco Crisp, and David Ortiz (!!!!!!). That’s bloody impressive, that is. You can tell by my use of startled parenthetic exclamation points.
Mesa and Jonesy also did what we asked of them, getting out every guy they had to face. Hard to get much better than that.
Wilfredo Ledezma, however, made stinky excrement smears all over the second game. Why Ledezma was left in to face Hinske despite his rather ugly numbers against lefties this year, is beyond me. You know it’s bad when you’re clamoring for a guy to come out when it’s obvious the manager intends to leave him in, thus inciting your fan-ly rage, and the batter goes and hits a two-run homer to bust open the game, thus vindicating and rather exponentially increasing your fan-ly rage. Hideous.
Oh well. Onwards, upwards. I have a billion photos to process for you kids, and Andrew Miller goes tonight, weather permitting, so be sure to tune into that so we can all judge for ourselves the color of the FUTURE. ‘Tho please do recall that when Verlander first came up, he didn’t have his offspeed stuff working at all and consequently got knocked around a bit…. and I think he’s working out in the big leagues OK.
I also want to point out that I have now been to 5 Tigers game in person this season, and Brandon Inge has homered in 3 of them. All the guy needs is love, guys. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again. This is proof positive of it.