a win is a win, but this should've been Nate Robertson's win

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.

6 responses to “a win is a win, but this should've been Nate Robertson's win

  1. Of all people, Kenny should not be allowed to touch knives. What if it SLIPS?! He’s got enough arm issues without knives being close to his appendages … aaaagh.

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    Thank the GODS Grilli did not vulture a win away from Nate. I would have killed someone in the FACE. Seriously. And I kind of feel bad for Jason Grilli the person that he’s become the bullpen whipping boy but NOT Jason Grilli the pitcher. He is putrid. Ugh ugh ugh.
    Nate has every right to be pissed off at Grilli for turning his win into an ND, but of course, he’s a class act.
    Also the illustration kills me, as does the look on Grilli’s face. Did you take two pictures of Grilli and combine them to make his head? Hee hee.

  3. ivantopumpyouup

    -Rod Allen, talking about someone

  4. So who officially got the win then? Brydak?
    The Grilli-stench was all over the stadium. On the radio one of the breaks said “Leyland Looked Silly For Bringing In Grilli” that made me heeheehee a lot, aloud.
    I thought Kenny had an avacado out there. But he was really going to town on that baseball, wasn’t he?

  5. I recall during Spring Training when Leyland was emphasizing that Grilli was going to make the team no matter what (he was really struggling even then), based on what he had done for the team last year. Now, look, Leyland gets not-quite-a-lifetime pass on a lot of things based on his managerial record and especially based on what he did last year, but I found myself wondering: What game was he watching when Grilli was on the mound? Look, it’s well established that bringing in Fernando Rodney scares the bejeezus out of a lot of good Tigers fans who frequent here, but that’s nothing compared to Grilli, man. I’m next to a nervous breakdown every time they bring him into a game. In fact, I just can’t wait until he hits the DL….

  6. Colt, I can think of people I would LESS want to have a knife… Gary Sheffield, for instance. But Kenny is way up there.
    Well spotted, ivan. :) It’s a photo day shot of Grilli with his mouth from one of the goggle photos. He just looked way too sedate in the photo day shot for my insane purposes.
    tiff, yeah, Byrdak. Which I don’t mind, because I haven’t got anything against Tim Byrdak, but it just shoulda been Nate’s. And yeah, that baseball was utterly destroyed. I wonder about the process that led up to that… like, Kenny comes up to the dugout clutching a knife, and Jim Leyland hastily tosses him a ball and yells, “Here! Skin that! Baseball! Not people!” in order to divert possible disaster…
    Jeff, Fernando wasn’t available last night. Leyland really doesn’t want to overuse him and send him back to the DL right after he’s come off it, and given the handedness of the batters who were due up, I guess Grilli made some sort of sense…on paper. I also tend to think that the 6-2 lead might have made Leyland think it was a “safe” situation, i.e. the kind of place he could bring Grilli in to build his confidence back up again. Remember, there was only one guy on base and we only needed one more out. ‘Course it didn’t work out so hot…

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