illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Last night we were embarrassed. We tried o so hard, and all for naught, because our pitching (NATE) had been beaten like a metal fan with an angry Kyle Farnsworth in the vicinity. Tonight we embarrassed the Rangers right back, to the tune of a 10-0 score, because you don’t dish it out on this playground unless you can take it.
This was more like the Tigers we know than those shady imposters we’ve been seeing of late. Verlander pitched a great game– 7 innings of 5-hit, 0-run ball. THAT is a Tigers pitcher. I’m not sure what Nate was last night. It’s possible that some rip in the space-time continuum caused him to temporarily morph into a Kansas City Royals pitcher.
That would explain a lot, actually. Nate has been DLed with the ubiquitous and ubiquitously mysterious “tired arm”, which most people take to mean “he feels more or less fine but he couldn’t hit Franklyn German with an underhand pitch at 20 paces right now, so we’re putting him on the DL until we figure out how to turn his weak little girl’s arm back into a Real Biological Implement of Pitching.” But here we have an actual answer! Morphing into a Royals pitcher was of course detrimental to his pitching, and the transition back through the rip in the space-time continuum obviously took its toll on his arm, ‘tiring’ it out. It’s all so clear now.
I don’t know the recovery rate for space-time continuum rip induced injuries, but hopefully Nate will soon triumph over the traumatic experience.
The point, insofar as I had one, was that Verlander did NOT get sucked into the aforementioned space-time continuum rip and therefore pitched like his own true awesome self, wholly free of influence from parallel universes and Kansas City Royals pitchers.
In the name of fairness I have to say that it’s possible, since the space-time continuum was clearly in the area, that Kevin Millwood was affected by it and that HE morphed into a Kansas City Royals pitcher tonight. I don’t think that this is the case, because he managed to actually, y’know, get some outs, which is a humble task that Nate was not able to complete the day before. I think it more likely the Millwood just caught a nasty case of the starter-stench that seems to be affecting the Rangers’ staff these days.
The offense… what can you even say about the offense? Right now they are what everyone feared when they looked at the potential lineups at the start of the season. The Tigers have a lineup to make a hardened pitcher wee themselves on the mound when they’re on form, and they were most certainly on form tonight.
Brandon Inge’s broken toe actually seems to have made him a better hitter. Possibly he’s so doped up on painkillers that he’s pressing less at the plate? Or maybe he just needed a little time to chill on the bench without the sense that he was being punished (actively benched) to jumpstart his bat again, because I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE BAT WAS/IS ALWAYS THERE. He’s batting .227 right now. The rise to respectability continues.
This last bit might seem a little odd, since it’s got nothing to do with the Tigers really, but I have to write about it, because… I just have to.
Over the summer I watch the games via Extra Innings, which means that I get whatever TV broadcast they choose to show (usually, but not always, the home team’s broadcast). So I watched tonight’s game on FSN Southwest or something. The announcers were surprisingly interesting and entertaining, even when it was obvious that they were struggling to remain upbeat in the face of a drubbing. They had a lot of nice things to say about the Tigers and had some useful insights into the game, which is sometimes shocking when it comes to baseball TV guys. I wish I remembered who the guys doing the broadcast were. I actually felt a little guilty that I was enjoying the broadcast so much (and not because of the score, although perhaps that helped some).
Anyways, as part of the broadcast they were interviewing CJ Wilson, one of the Rangers’ relievers. He was talking about some videos and charity work he was doing for the Boys and Girls Club or somesuch related organization, which was my cue to tune out. Nice guy, I’m sure, but nobody approaches Sean Casey when it comes to nice-itude, so I know it’s just going to be another run-of-the-mill ballplayer doing charity work kind of deal, ho hum, blah di dah, etc.
Then they asked him what the tenor of the bullpen was these days, what with all the losing and all (although it mostly, as near as I can tell, has not been the fault of the Texas bullpen). Wilson said that the general sense was that everyone knew “we can’t unlose the games that we’ve lost,” but that they would instead look forward and try to not dwell on the past, and win the games they COULD win; i.e., those yet to be played.
This was such a surprising statement that I actually wrote it down. We can’t unlose the games that we’ve lost. It’s a little philosophical and completely not what you would expect to hear in an off-the-cuff interview with a bored reliever standing out in the bullpen watching his team get clobbered. He then said that the team seemed to know that “we made some tragic mistakes,” which struck me and probably anyone who regularly reads this blog as highly awesome wording that requires closer attention.
The Rangers started putting forth a little rally-like effort while his interview was going on, and he was obviously watching the game, because he started reacting to it (“Run! He’s got it… safe!”) and even started doing play-by-play for a minute before the announcers yelled him down.
As Ranger losing continued, casting about for ways to remain UPBEAT AND CHEERFUL (is this a Southern thing?), they asked him about his hair. His hair, for those who were not getting the FSN Southwhatever broadcast, seems to be vaguely triangular and vaguely heinous in a scenester kind of way. Mr. Wilson described it as a kind of “spiked mullet” and declared that he couldn’t control what happened in baseball, but “I can control if I look like a doof or not… so I do.”
Do you understand why I’m telling you all about this kid? Do you see why we need to trade for him RIGHT NOW?
You definitely need to go read his blog right now. It is the only MLBlog I have ever read that I immediately believed was written entirely by the ballplayer and had not been edited/”helped along” by MLB intern-droids. You will learn that he is convinced he’s throwing the gyroball regularly (???!! Dice-K experts please weigh in!), he hates the bugs in Florida (speak the TRUTH, brotha!), Manny Ramirez is one of his favorite players, and he has a sense of humor (or a humorless but wonderfully bent mind) that translates enormously well to blogging.
More reasons we should trade for him right now: he has a sub-2.00 ERA and only one Tiger got a hit off of him tonight in an inning’s work, and that was a single by Neifi!!!, though I’m not really sure what that means. Maybe he’s allergic to sea slugs and was therefore powerless against the otherwise floppily ineffective Neifi!!!?
ALSO, he seems to be rooming with Kameron Loe, who I’m fairly certain used to have a pet snake (either a boa or a python, I forget). If he still has this beast, and the three of them are living in harmony in a condo somewhere in Texas, I declare them on the spot the most awesome household in Major League Baseball today, and I defy anyone to point out a more wondrous domestic arrangement (and no, the vaguely homoerotic fratboy dens of the Oakland A’s don’t count, because just imagine how filthy the kitchen and bathrooms are in those places. Eeesh).
No, I’m not going to talk about Sheffield, I mean PAWS, or the two home runs that PAWS hit today, because they are impressive and I applaud his bat, but right now I don’t want to encourage him. I just want him to fade away so I can go back to being surly and not rooting for him personally again in peace.