photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Well, that wasn’t the way to handle the double-header. When I said “go get ’em, tigers”, I meant “go get some wins”, not “go get tantalizingly close but ultimately fail. uh, twice.”
The first game was an example of the offense just not quite getting it done. Curtis Granderson continued to prove that he loves playing in front of his family and old friends by BEING most of the offense all by himself, and Pudge had a nice little home run, but, excepting those guys, most everyone else was shut down and shut up by Javier Vasquez. I mean, the dude had EIGHT strikeouts and ONE walk over 8 innings. Cat bats, where were you?
Because baseball is perverse and makes no logical sense, the second game saw a much better Tigers offense, even though a bunch of cats were benched and most of the Tiger-bat noise came from the tiger cubs: Mike Hessman (enormous blast of a homer), Ryan Rayburn (2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI), and Mike Rabelo (3-for-5 with a double).
Maybe the cubs were inspired to glorious new baseball heights by the presence of a pitching tiger cub, Virgil Vasquez. I think we all remember what happened the last time VV made a start up here, but tonight was (mercifully) not like that. The kid actually looked like a major league pitcher. He was victimized by two single-shot home runs, but that happens to the best of pitchers, you know? It was heartening to see him come back from his penguin-worthy start and show us all how he’s not afraid of the big bad bats anymore.
Virgil’s outing, combined with the big and early Tigers lead, made Game 2 seem much more win-able than Game 1 ever really had. Most unfortunately, Virgil is still a wee kitten, and Leyland wasn’t comfortable leaving him in after that second home run. I say “most unfortunately” because this was when the bullpen came in and decided that since they were in Chicago, they should do an imitation of the Wrong Sox bullpen. Macay McBride, Chad Durbin and Zach Miner all came in, and they came out of that game with the slightly stunned expression of men who had just been hit in the face, hard, by an oversized pair of smelly white socks.
I’d tell them to take Wednesday’s game, but they didn’t listen to me about the double-header. So much for that particular exercise in futility.
Oh, and Extra Innings saw fit to give me FSN Detroit for the night game, which was MUCH appreciated. But that meant that I didn’t get to hear Hawk et. al. when Rob Mackowiak hit that vital late-inning double by lining a ball off of Sean Casey’s glove. Did they start talking about ducksnorts and lucky bounces and chance? Or did they act like Mackowiak was the best hitter on the field all of a sudden? Because I know that they’re homers, but if that “hit” didn’t send them off into paroxysms of ducksnorttery, as they were in the throes of the night before, they’re even worse than I thought.