photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
The sweep of the Wrong Sox was huge, lovely, etc., but it also left me a little wary. The last time we swept someone, we immediately went out and got the kitty litter kicked out of us. So, you know, there was an unfortunate precedent, plus this team has consistently acted like playing well is no particular reason to actually be good and CONTINUE playing well, if that makes sense, which it possibly only does to a mildly depressed baseball fan.
But this! This is TWO SWEEPS IN A ROW. This is HAMSTER MATERIAL.
Bobby Seay and Todd Jones NEARLY gave this one away, but we scraped through. Bonine, on Saturday, was not great, but we scraped through. The starters are really behaving like they want to give The Ghost of Jeremy Bonderman something to be ethereally proud of so that he won’t reach out from the afterlife and give them zombiedeath. You and I know that this is a misconception, but who are we to correct them if it makes them pitch like this? Bondo is dead; long live Bondo!
The Pudge/Inge alternating catcher scheme has worked out so far, against the expectations of many, including probably Pudge and Inge– Pudge because he hates sitting out any days ever, and Inge because he hates catching. They both seem to be slowly coming to terms with their various hatreds, though. This is called Growing Up, and I’m ever so glad that our Tigers are finally exhibiting signs of it.
We now have three guys hitting over .300: Maggs, Polanco, and Guillen, and Miggy is chugging up behind them with a .285 average. The rest of the lineup is still looking pretty dinky, but is it possible that the bats in general are recovering from their spring anemia? It only took ’em, y’know, MONTHS, but whatever, better late than never.
Things are Afoot: Aquilino Lopez has been sent down to make room for the imminent return of Fernando Rodney (!!), although the team is also apparently saying that they want to try stretching Lopez out as a starter, what with the untimely demise of Bondo and the fact that Dontrelle Willis has caught rabies and the unlikelihood of repeating the Bovine experiment and all. It will be very interesting to see what Fernando can do. I feel it is my pessimistic duty to point out everything I’ve ever said about tendonitis and its tendonous tenacity but I’m keeping my happy face on for now. SEE. MY TEETH ARE GRITTED. HAPPY FACE. SO. SO VERY HAPPY. *twitch*
It also sounds like Zoom is (finally) on his actual way back, maybe by Friday. We have spent so long without him that he’s kind of a mythological hint of a memory at this point– we had a dude who could throw 103 mph? really?– and it’s not wholly clear who gets shipped out when he needs his roster space back, but his return could be yet another positive sign for the team. Which is weird, because this team spent the first two months of the season playing like it didn’t want or deserve any positive signs ever again.
Of course we’re still 5 games under .500 right now, so it’s not like the season has turned itself around and become some massive instant success, even with the back-to-back hamster-iffic sweeps. It just means that not EVERYTHING is darkness and woe.
Tomorrow Justin Verlander goes up against a dude whose middle name is LeRoy. Don’t forget that the game’s at 10, for your insomniacal pleasure. Go Tigers!