Tigers win with the new cat in town

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Who in the world is Armando Galarraga? I know that he’s 26 years old and from Venezuela. I know that he had pitched in exactly 3 big league games before tonight, with only one of those being a start. I know that he spent his first professional years bouncing around the Expos (and later Nationals) organization, which must have been all kinds of depressing. I know that he was traded to the Rangers as part of a package deal for Alfonso Soriano, and that he was then traded to Detroit for Michael Hernandez.

But who is Armando Galarraga tonight?

Tonight, Armando Galarraga is THE MAN.

Brought up as a replacement for an injured Dontrelle Willis, he went up against the 2007 Cy Young Award winner, and he outpitched him like crazy. Yeah, OK, Sabathia’s not exactly having a Cy Young kind of start to his season, but still. STILL. Galarraga’s a 26 year old kid with negligible experience at the major league level, and look at what he did tonight:

6.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB (2 HBP), 6 SO, 1 HR

One hit over 6.2 innings. Two runs, one of which was an inherited runner that Grilli let score. So basically Galarraga gave up a singleshot home run and he hit two batters in his final inning. That’s IT. That… that is a serious big league outing, kids and kittens. NO WALKS (other than the guys he plunked). SIX Ks. Imagine my hands flailing with an inability to properly express how impressed I am by this!

Of course I’m sure part of his success came from the fact that he had never faced any of the current Racist Logos on a big league squad. This may have hampered him a bit, but the disadvantage definitely lies with the hitters here, especially since Galarraga was pitching to billion-year veteran Pudge, who DOES know the Indians hitters perfectly well.

Galarraga’s awesomeness even rubbed off on Jason Grilli, who was the only reliever we had to see tonight, which is amazing and kind of unbelievable in and of itself. Grilli went 2.1 innings without giving up any runs of his own (letting in one of Galarraga’s). Has he finally been able to find his posterior with both of his hands? We’ll see how he holds up.

The bats went out of their minds again tonight. Well, duh, thirteen runs and all that. Again, this was partly because Sabathia is having a cruddy start to his season, kind of like the Tigers in a microcosm, but the hitters did look pretty good on their own. Everyone except for Pudge had at least one hit (Pudge went 0-for-6, didn’t even have a walk. Sigh) and some, like Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Renteria, went completely bat-bonkers. In Cabrera’s case, that worked out to 4-for-6 with 2 runs scored, 5 RBI. In Edgah’s’ case, that was 3-for-4 with 1 run scored and 5 RBI, 4 of those coming on a 5th inning grand slam. After having to watch Tigers pitching give up something like 50 grand slams last weekend to the Wrong Sox, it was REALLY nice to finally see one hit for the side of Righteous Felinity.

Three in a row. Mmm, tasty.

Oh, and please tell me that I’m not the only one who wants to DESTROY those FSN ‘April in the D’ ads? APRIL! IN! THA! DEEEEEEE! What band is that? I need to know so that I can NEVER PURCHASE ANYTHING OF THEIRS EVER. I am so heartily sick of that bloody song that I’ve started hearing it as ‘RAYPRIL in the D’ every time it comes on, which results in a moment of irritation that they’re playing the catdamned ad again followed by a good solid minute of me giggling my fool head off. It’s the only way I’ve managed to avoid throwing something at my TV thus far. Nothing in the WORLD is making me wish for May to hurry up and get here more than the freaking ‘April in the D’ campaign.

If we get ‘May in the D’ or a comparably heinous monthly jingle, I think we’re going to have to picket Comerica or something.

13 responses to “Tigers win with the new cat in town

  1. Armando Galarraga = Durbin ’08. We can hope.
    (Not saying he deserves the pimp hat. Yet. But he’s a young man to watch!)
    …and I’m sure I speak for everybody when I say that this, finally, is what we we’d been promised with this crazy lineup. Top 5: Walk, Walk, Walk, Single, Single, Home Run (see below), Single, Double. And so on. Repeat as necessary. Very satisfying.
    (Note: we were not promised Edgar Renteria home runs. That’s just a bonus.)

  2. Yes, the April in the D jingle is annoying more than just you. I’ve been hoping for Who’s your Tiger? over that thing over and over and over again. April can’t get over fast enough. Maybe we can reach the end of April over .500 and our kittens will be maturing into large beasts of prey by then ready to rid themselves of lame jiggles and roar into the summer months.
    Thank goodness we’re finally hitting.

  3. ivantopumpyouup

    If they do a May in the D promo, I will puncture my ear drums.
    And let’s hear it for Arrrrmando Galarrrraga.

  4. April in the D is hated by my middle schooler and college kid. For some reason it doesn’t bother me, and that alone creeps me out because I am old.
    Grilli did good, but my gut still doesn’t believe he’s turned a corner. He should still be used ONLY like he was last night….when the Tigers are runs and runs ahead of the other team. He loses it in pressure situations.
    An amazing game last night in every area.

  5. all April in the D means to me is that our Cats are relegated to FSN+ and last night I couldn’t see the freaking game!!! Grrr.
    However, I find myself singing the song. And hating myself!!
    Grilli can pitch fine…away from Comerica Park. Mystery Solved! I think Leyland’s got it figured out too.
    Every time you tell me how old Pudge is, I giggle! Billion-years experience!
    Arrrmando Galarraga: More K’s than R’s in his name!

  6. also, I’ve just been cruising the Indians boards and sheesh are they hard on their own team. We’re all pretty sure they’re just in a slump, right? I don’t despise the Tribe the way they seem to hate on the Tiggers, but I can’t help but smile after the drubbing when they were so hard on our 0fer start.

  7. Matt, it’s possible. We’ll have to wait and see, though– that pimp hat can’t get passed on to just anyone after Durbin wore it so well. And yeah, an Edgah grand slam was so weird that my eyes refused to believe it at first. I had to kind of blink at the TV and wait for the image to resolve itself. But it was still there!
    Paul, at least WHO’S YOUR TIGER?? is funny. And you can shout it at other people! APRIL IN THE D is nothing but pure annoyance.
    ivan, I’ll be in the puncturing party right alongside you.
    Jules, maybe it’s not that you’re old, it’s just that we’re youthfully high-strung? And, right– I WANT to believe that Grilli is going to be good now… heck, I’ve wanted to believe that since it became clear that he’d have to have sex with a badger on the mound to get released, and even then it’d have to be a dead badger. But I have a hard time forgetting what he’s done to us in the past. Mmm, trauma.
    tiff, Grilli can pitch away from Comerica and when we’re up by at least 9 runs. :P Then again, I’ll bet lots of people could pitch in that situation.
    I think I’m gonna have to change my Armando Galarraga tag to something with more Rs in it.
    I think Tribe fans are so down because they WERE so hard on our awful start, and now they’re TIED with us. So by the Transitive Property of Baseball Suckage, they’re convinced that they’re now as doomed as we were in their minds. Poor folks went and got themselves in a logic-bind.

  8. Here’s the band responsible for the April auditory torture: Blacklist Union. Please forgive me for linking to such atrociousness on my very first post, but it had to be done.

  9. Oops. Well, the link didn’t work — so I’ll do it the easy way: http://www.myspace.com/blacklistunion

  10. Good, now we know who to blame.

  11. The wink kills me. I like that background too, more graphic-design-y than your usual?
    April in the D needs to die.

  12. ” I WANT to believe that Grilli is going to be good now

  13. PfP, yeah, definitely more graphic designy than usual. Dunno, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
    Jules, the fact that I’m warped should be a surprise to no one. ;)

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