photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Nate Robertson pitched his little goggles off tonight. With Fernando not available we really reeeeeaaallly needed Nate to go deep, and deep he went. He went 7.2 innings, the most a Tigers starter had gone since Bondo pitched 8 back on July 7 (sad). He had a season-high 9 strikeouts, to which he said, after the game, in gently dismissive tones, “I knew I was striking some guys out… I mean, I don’t have a little ticker in my pocket out there.” Oh, Nate.
He deserved the win. I mean, we’re definitely all fired up to get any kind of win at all, but by the time the 8th rolled around I think we all ESPECIALLY wanted to see Nate get himself that W. The score was 6-2, there was a man on base, and there was only one out left in the inning when Jason Grilli took over from Nate. Easy enough, right?
Ha HA. No. Never with this bullpen.
Grilli gave up some singles to load the bases, and then floated an absolute meatball down the middle of the plate. This meatball ended up a soul-crushing grand slam hit by Jonny freakin’ Gomes. I don’t say “Jonny freakin’ Gomes” because it’s strange that he hit a ball out of the park- it’s not, he’s got 13 home runs on the year. I just say it because ARGH! Seriously! Jonny freakin’ Gomes and the Devil freakin’ Rays!
You could almost feel the air just get completely sucked out of the stadium. Schooom. Grand slam. Tie game. All that glorious Nate pitching gone to waste. So on and so forth.
Then Ryan Raburn, awesome tiger cub that he is, led off the next inning with a double. Suddenly everyone remembered that they had actually WON the night before. All was not dark! All was not lost! All was not tainted with Grilli-ism!
Nate Robertson is not a vengeful man. He’s too nice for that. Instead of griping about being absolutely ROBBED of a win by Grilli, he was propping up Grilli after the game. He’s looking at the big picture. In his postgame chat with FSN he said, “Evaluation of the game? We won.” And that was that.
Random bits from tonight:
–Hey, congrats to Chad Durbin! He’ll be starting tomorrow but, more pimptastically, his wife just gave birth to their first kid, I think this past Friday. Cade Griffin Durbin: that’s a pretty pimp name.
–Ryan Raburn made his first start this year at second base, and was using Brandon Inge’s glove. When asked after the game if he was going to give it back now that he’d had such a good game with it, he said (with some kind of hilarious hick Floridian accent), “Prolly not. An’ y’know, he can pick it pretty good over there wit’ that glove, so hopefully it’ll brang me some luck.”
–Rod Allen, urging Curtis Granderson on while he was up to bat with some men on base: “Curtis needs to spread out, choke up, do whatever you need to do, baby boy, to get that run in…” Baby boy? Eek.
–Tonight we learned that Justin Verlander played golf in high school. He looks like that type.
–At one point the FSN camera focused on Kenny Rogers in the dugout. He was doing something with his hands. Mario wondered if he might be whittling, because that’s what it looked like. Verlander was sitting right up next to Kenny, intently watching whatever it was. FSN got a couple different camera angles on it and finally found one that showed what was in Kenny’s hands clearly.
He had eviscerated a baseball, taken out the core, and was whittling it down with a small knife until he finally cracked it in half and got a look at the black rubber ball at the very center.
My first thought: WHO ALLOWS KNIVES IN THE DUGOUT?! Have we learned nothing from the Emil Brown pellet gun incident? Baseball players are not to be trusted with projectiles other than baseballs or pointy sharp things other than cleats!
Second thought: wow, Kenny must be bored out of his MIND.
Third thought: awww, Justin has such a hero-crush.
–Rod Allen, talking about someone’s timing on the field: “He knew because of the biological clock in his head.” No further comment needed.