Timo and Inge to the rescue!

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Timo Perez and Brandon Inge: talk about an unlikely pair of rescuers. I mean, on the one hand you’ve got a guy who spent most of the game with his tiger tail parked firmly on the bench, specifically BECAUSE his bat has been so atrocious lately. On the other hand, you have Timo Perez. Yet this is the combination of players that won us the ballgame. Oh, Baseball. I shall never fully understand you.

Heath Phillips made his big league debut in the 11th inning, and I would feel sorry for the kid, but I’m in a heartless mood. Brandon Inge, in his first at-bat of the game, smacked a double (Brandon Inge! Getting an extra-base hit in a key situation! Be still my heart!). They walked Carlos, because if you’re a wee squeaky new pitcher in the 11th inning of a tied game, Carlos Guillen is scary. Up came TIMO PEREZ, who whacked a single hard enough to score Inge and win the game.

I at that point MAY have made some noise and jumped around in a somewhat undignified manner.

Kenny Rogers’ 5 innings of 1-run ball were pretty encouraging. He threw 83 pitches in that time, which is NOT encouraging, but heck, it was his first game back. When he “recovered” from injury the first time this season, he went 6 innings and threw 75 pitches in his “yay I’m back” start. So, you see, we have some room for improvement. I’m pretty glad they pulled him after 5, though. There’s no need to stretch him out when he’s fresh off the DL, because he’s already had one immediate bounce-back so far, and we don’t want to support any more.

The only run he gave up tonight was a homer to Danny Richar, a baby White Sock. Maybe his unfamiliarity with Richar made that possible, maybe he was getting tired (it was in the 4th inning), maybe he just happened to groove a bad pitch in there. It’s probably not reason for concern.

The bullpen looked great again, although Jonesy did his usual rollercoaster thing (putting a couple of guys on and getting himself into a sticky spot and generally being more likely to induce a heart attack than a Coney dog with all the vile fixin’s). Just keeping us all in our proper place as fans, I suppose… that place being somewhere in our living rooms, curled up and cowering in sheer terror. Good work, Todd. Job well done.

Zach Miner’s bacon-saving ways seem even MORE important now, because in 11 innings tonight we managed to go through 5 relievers. I know the rosters are expanded right now, but STILL, that’s a bloody lot of pitchers, and Miner’s ability to take yesterday’s game wholly onto himself meant that the best guys for the moment were able to go out there today and keep us in the game. Truly the King of the Bacon.

This is even better because the Wrong Sox went through 7 relievers, even though their starter went longer than Kenny, and only Myers threw an insignificant number of pitches. This bodes well for tomorrow, assuming we can knock the hilariously paranoid Mark Buehrle out of the game in any kind of meaningful way.

I hate saying things like “we MUST win this game, or else DOOM DOOM DOOM!”, especially when we’re looking at a Buehrle/Durbin matchup, but, to be honest, we’ve kind of got to win the game tomorrow. The Mariners are coming to town and, since we’ve got our sights squarely aimed at the wild card nowadays, we have to FLATTEN the moose-lovers. Coming out on the fat end of the stick that is this Wrong Sox series would be really, really nice going into that.

7 responses to “Timo and Inge to the rescue!

  1. Also noted that Granderson stole 2 bases, making him down to just 1 dinger needed and 1 stolen base needed for the oh-so-rare quadruple 20 season… I’m also worried that somehow, the rest of the league simply salivates at the thought of White Sox pitching (4.91 ERA, 3rd-worst in AL and probably started this series 2nd-worst as the O’s pitching staff took another pounding last night), yet it takes us 20 innings to score 3 times off of this bunch of yahoos.

  2. Yeah, Sam, I know you’re still trying out that “optimism” thing (is it working for the Wolverines? I haven’t had any luck with it yet), but man, it is not OK for us to be struggling so hard against a team this bad.

  3. Oh, and also? Timo Perez with his smarmy grin and his ears flapping in the wind? Amazing.

  4. Meh, some teams just have their kryptonite. Ozzie Guillen seems mystified by the success his crappy team has against the Tigers. The Yankees seem to have more problems than they should with the Devil Rays.
    It doesn’t make the current series any less difficult to watch, but I don’t carry the significance beyond the series against the Sox.

  5. We definitely could not question effort in this game by all parties involved. They way Ozzie and Leyland were managing the game, I thought it was the deciding game of the ALDS or something.
    If I was granderson, I would really want to be getting a hit against lefties since they managed to pull a different lefty out of the bullpen at each of his plate appearances. He may be pressing too hard.

  6. Jeff, you’re right, I totally forgot to mention Granderson’s creep closer to The Slightly Arbitrary Yet Awesome Foursome.
    PfP, it’s not really working. Sigh.
    Matt, that’s true, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. And it’s particularly worrisome right now because it’s happening at such a bad time. The Tigers can grapple uselessly with the Wrong Sox all they like in April, but right now they can’t afford it and it’s part of the larger pattern of late season Tiger suckitude.
    tiff, agreed re: Granderson. Honestly, I think he’s gonna have to learn to hit lefties sooner or later. A weakness like that is so huge… it’s sort of a Catch 22, though. To overcome the weakness he has to hit a lot against lefties until he learns how to improve, but that means he’s going to hit poorly, which will make management want to sit him against lefties, so he’ll never learn. Bleh.

  7. I have to say, this is one dead-awesome piece of image-slinging. Inge would be great in a Disney movie (Hot Corner Hound) or Dr. Moreau II…
    I wouldn’t worry about the CWS … assuming we didn’t close the season against them.

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