photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate Arrrrmando’s contribution to this win. Another quality start for a Tigers pitcher– this after we spent 2 months apparently not even knowing what a quality start WAS– is not to be taken lightly. And of course it cannot be emphasized enough that we have a fount of amazingness in Arrrrmando, who has a 3.03 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, which, um, is good. Really, really good. So good that I kind of want to just say it again:
Armando Galarraga has a 1.07 WHIP right now.
You know what that means, right? For every inning that he pitches, Arrrmando allows, on average, 1.07 baserunners, via either walk or hit. That is WAY GOOD for a starter.
So, obviously, I am impressed with Arrrrmando and his magical pitching ways. And, obviously, I am equally pleased with the offense, because every double that they hit is one more double that they did not know how to hit one to two months ago, and this is Good Progress, and Good Progress must be noted. Positive reinforcement and all that.
HOWEVER, as fabulous as these Tigers-related things are, one Giant thing cannot be overlooked. And that is Barry Zito. Or, rather, the shattered hollow shell of Barry Zito, which is somehow still going around on two legs generally pretending to be a major league pitcher and pulling its socks up.
Of course we’ve all been hearing about Zito’s struggles, but finally seeing them against our team certainly cast them in high relief. Holy freaking cats is he a mess. I won’t say that he made Dontrelle look like he had control (because that would be a lie), but he made Dontrelle’s lack of control look less mysterious– like, hey, if this dude can do it, so can our guy!
Remembering the Barry Zito of old, as I’m sure we all do, it was seriously almost embarrassing to watch. I certainly don’t object to early Tigers runs, in practice or in principle, but wow was it awkward to see Zito just so completely helpless out there. And of course I understand that the Tiger offense, when running on all alleged offensive cylinders, can make a lot of guys look helpless out there, but not THAT helpless. I get that the contract is sort of an impediment, but for the love of cats send him down to the minors for a good long time already. I really cannot see much of any upside to keeping him in the majors and letting things like Placido Polanco’s bat happen to him.
Also worth noting was a moment at some point during the game where the FSN cameras focused on the dugout and caught Miggy with his arm draped over Pudge’s shoulder, and Pudge cuddlingly resting his head on Miggy’s shoulder. I just about PERISHED OF THE CUTE. Then Pudge noticed the camera, gave it a little two-fingered wave (victory? or something?) and an enormous toothy grin, and I PERISHED OF THE CUTE AGAIN.
Then Miggy looked around to see what Pudge was doing, saw the camera, and realized, ‘Oh crudcats, I’m on camera SNORGLING WITH MY TEAMMATE,’ and hastily removed his arm. Marginally less cute, but hilarious. That boat sailed long ago, Miggy; we used to see Pudge give Ugie a kiss after a good outing, he gropes all of his pitchers, regardless of age, race, or level of attractiveness. Nobody is going to bat an eye if he’s taking a nap on you.
Offday today, and on Friday the Bovine kid (10.13 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, teeny tiny sample size) goes up against Greg Maddux (3.31 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, old enough to be Bonine’s dad). What could possibly go wrong? Go Tigers!