photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
I’ll be totally honest: I mostly remember Matt Ginter for his banjo playing abilities (which were quite good, to the point where I could appreciate his technical ability while remaining more or less completely indifferent to the whole banjo music genre). I know he pitched for us too, back in ’05, but yeah, mostly I remember the banjo business.
Apparently Ginter has fond un-banjo-related memories of the Tigers, because tonight he obliged us with four runs in as many innings. A most cordial, neighborly, friendly sort of thing for him to do! Much appreciated, of course. Tigers and Tigers fans will always welcome happy memories from those halcyon banjo strummin’ days. They were truly the most banjoriffic 14 game appearances of our lives.
It had to be Ginter’s desire to recapture the glory of 2005, right? I am convinced that this must be the case mostly because Edgah got a great big double off of him. At first glance this is no big deal: he doubled, so what? But then you remember that this is EDGAR RENTERIA, he of the .335 slugging percentage, i.e. the lowest slugging percentage on the team except for the hazy memory of Dane Sardinha and the pitchers. THIS man, this perpetually hangdog singles-hitting specimen, got an extra base hit. Off of Matt Ginter.
Banjo wistfulness? It is the only possible explanation.
A bunch of other Tigers batters had good games, which isn’t surprising given the quality of the Racist Logo pitching tonight. What is surprising (aside from Edgah) is the night that Brandon Inge had: 2-for-3 with a run scored and 3 RBI, two of which came on a two-run homer in the 8th. This is a good night for Brandon at any time (the only non-pitcher Tigers with a worse OPS than Inge right now are the previously maligned Edgah and Gary Sheffield), but it’s ESPECIALLY remarkable because it came on a night when he was CATCHING!
Since Inge is dead convinced that catcher’s gear makes him allergic to hitting, every time he manages to have a good game while behind the plate, it counts like two good games: once in the stat columns, and once in his own psyche. Catchers can hit! It can be done, Brandon! You yourself are occasionally living proof of this very thing!
The pitching was fine, certainly better than the R.L. pitching. Arrrrrmado didn’t quite have a quality start, but stuck around long enough to get his NINTH win, for a 9-4 record with a 3.36 ERA (still far and away the best among the starters; next best is Verlander at 4.29) and a 1.16 WHIP (again, best among the starters, followed by Verlander at 1.26. In fact, Arrrrmando’s WHIP is the best among all Tigers pitchers who’ve thrown 100+ innings so far this season). He definitely fell apart in the 6th inning, but that was after getting through the first three innings perfect.
It’s hard to know what to do with Arrrrmando these days. It seems impossible that he can keep on pitching this way, but then again it seemed almost as impossible that he would ever throw more than a couple of good games when he first started this season. I still don’t think he can keep this up into the fall, but I sure would LOVE to be proven wrong on that point.
Bullpen usage was a little weird today. I wasn’t really a fan of leaving Dolsi in for two batters in the 7th after he got two outs to finish the 6th. He threw 18 pitches… I don’t know, I suppose anything even vaguely resembling overuse is going to get my hackles up where he’s concerned for the rest of the season. And speaking of overuse, why go with Fernando in the 9th instead of Jonesy? It wasn’t a save situation, and although Fernando was technically available today, he HAD thrown 40+ pitches in an outing not too far back and is almost certainly still feeling it a little. I mean, if Fernando is the closer, this is kind of what Todd Jones is FOR right now.
Whatever. A win is a win. Thank you, Matt Ginter.
Wednesday’s game (7 pm EDT) should be Nate vs. Cliff Lee. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ohhhh man. So, we’re probably kind of doomed, but we shall see. Maybe Edgah will go on a scorching power-hitting streak now! And maybe the skies will open up and rain adorable kittens down upon us all! Go Tigers!