Cardinals get pwned, photo by Samara Pearlstein
Good of the lads to pick them up again when they got home. It would’ve been nice if they had decided to take them along to Boston, but I guess we should be happy that they’ve got them at all.
Maybe the most heartening thing about this game was how well Andrew Miller was doing even before the offensive onslaught. It would be one thing to see a guy calm down and get into a groove after his team scores 14 runs, but Miller was going strong even before that.
His outing reminded me a LOT of Verlander when he first came up. Riding the fastball because none of his offspeed stuff was working, working with men on base and getting out of jams and generally displaying mental toughness (INTANGIBLE ALERT!!), looking all of 12 years old out there (did you SEE how fluffed-up the front of his hair got? Oh jeez, he looked like a wee baby). It’s a formula that worked out pretty well for Verlander…
Of course, FSN had to run a trivia question asking who the last Tiger to win his rookie debut was… and the answer is Andy Van Hekken, in 2002. Thanks bunches, FSN. That’s exactly what I want to be thinking of while watching Miller, possibly a Tiger Leader of the Future. I mean, where’s Andy Van Hekken now? I think he’s in the Independent Leagues. Last I saw he was with the Somerset Patriots. He was…. the Royals had him briefly, but he’s somehow back in Somerset now.
This is the Andy Van Hekken whom the Somerset Patriots thought they were signing last season. This is the Andy Van Hekken whose career minor-league statistics suggest he should be pitching in affiliated baseball. This is the Andy Van Hekken who made it to the major leagues in 2002 and can be an ace.
So why isn’t he an ace in the major leagues? Or even tearing up the minor leagues? I haven’t a bloody clue, but whatever is afflicting him, I don’t want it getting smeared all over Andrew Miller. Thanks bunches, FSN, for putting that in my mind.
But the hitting, o! the hitting! Polanco, 3 for 4! Maggs, 3 for 4! The Mayor, 4 for 5! INSANITY!! I mean, it’s bad when a team manages to get 7 runs off of your starter. But when they proceed to then get 7 MORE runs off of the reliever immediately following the starter… you know that, in the parlance of Rod Allen, someone’s put on their hittin’ shoes today.
Now we just have to avoid the post-huge-game hangover that seems to mythically afflict bats. Break the stereotype, guys, and BREAK SOME CARDINAL SPIRIT!
(not that I’m bitter or anything)
Oh, and by the way, photos from the second Sox/Tigs game (Wakefield/Verlander) are now up for your perusal. Again, there will be a proper photo blog after I get ALL of the shots from that series up, but if you just can’t wait to experience photographic glee, dive right in.
On a side note, the photo used for this post gives you a little glimpse of how I spend my time over the summer when I’m not watching baseball: banding birds and doing illustration and graphic design work for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. We get cardinals in the banding station nets occasionally, and those buggers are MEAN, and those big beaks HURT when they get hold of you. So we have to hold onto them pretty tightly. I figure an irritable cardinal that clearly wants us all dead because it’s being restrained is appropriate for this game and this post.