photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
How appropriate that I already had this image of Nate Robertson feeding his gopher.
Let’s face it, Nate is terrible. I could temper that with a ‘right now’ tacked onto it, but I’m not feeling particularly charitable tonight. I know it was the Rangers and they can hit, blah blah, Ranger Park at Arlington blah blah bandbox blah blah hitter’s park blah blah blah. Nate has managed to get through 6 innings only once in his last 5 starts. He is terrible. The end.
For extra fun details on his terribleness, let’s look at what he did today: 8 runs (6 earned), on 8 hits and 4 walks, with 5 home runs, one double, and two triples. In other words, of the 8 hits Nate gave up, NONE WERE SINGLES. They were ALL extra-base hits. Chew on THAT for a little while and see if it doesn’t make you vomit.
Oh, and he did all that in 3.2 innings. You know, just for added hilarity.
You think I’m done? I’m not done. It gets worse. Nate didn’t just give up 5 home runs in under 4 innings, he gave up TWO SETS OF BACK-TO-BACK HOME RUNS. Brandon Boggs/Michael Young went back-to-back to start the third, and Josh Hamilton/Milton Bradley went back-to-back to chase Nate from the game in the 4th. The lone home run was courtesy of Travis Metcalf, and was a two-run job. Nate was not just feeding his gopher, he was actually force-feeding it, as one would do if they were trying to make a sort of gopher foie gras.
So, OK, that’s about it for the sheer humiliation of this game, right? WRONG! See, they set off fireworks in Texas when a Ranger hits a home run. This is fine if home runs are being hit every so often, and there’s a bit of a wind to disperse the smoke. But tonight home runs were being hit CONSTANTLY, they were being hit in bunches, and there was almost no wind at all. This meant that after the Bradley home run (so 5 Rangers homers had been hit in under 4 innings), the ballpark was covered in a dense grayish fog. It was the smoke from the fireworks, see, and it wasn’t dispersing rapidly enough because a) the aforementioned meteorological conditions and b) there was so damn much of it at this point.
Brandon Inge actually had to check with Aquilino Lopez, when he came on in relief, to make sure that he could see the plate through the haze. Embarrassing? Yes. Not nearly as embarrassing, however, as what happened with Aquilino’s first batter. Marlon Byrd hit a fly ball to right. Magglio went after it… and almost immediately started waving his arms wildly. The ball dropped in for a double. Maggs had lost it in the pale fog, much in the same way that white baseballs are sometimes lost in the white roofs of domed stadiums.
OUR RELIEVERS AND OUTFIELDERS WERE SUFFERING BECAUSE NATE HAD SUCKED SO BADLY THAT THE BALLPARK WAS LITERALLY SMOKING.
I suppose we should all thank the Rangers for so beautifully illustrating what would have otherwise been mere metaphor for the Tigers.
Fun side note!
Apparently when Edgah was slumping (and oh, how he was slumping: recall his lovely .220/.264/.293 line for the month of July), Pudge started getting him up earlier in the mornings so that they could work out (and I guess hit?) together. The increased fitness apparently helped Edgah with his hamstring, and he changed his batting stance slightly, probably under the tutelage of Pudge, and has been hitting better ever since (.322/.385/.508 so far in August). This little anecdote came to us courtesy of Rod Allen on the FSND broadcast during tonight’s game.
According to a New York beat writer, Andy Pettitte refuses to throw to Pudge.
Kyle Farnsworth has been terrible with the Tigers, while the Yankee bullpen has acted like they actually MISS his presence.
Why did we make this trade again?
Thursday is an offday, thank cats. Hopefully it will give us some time to lick our wounds and all that. Friday we’re in KC for an 8:10 pm EDT matchup between Justin Verlander and Brian Bannister. Bannister has been worse than Verlander this year even though Verlander has had significant struggles, so you would think the odds are in our favor, but that is clearly an unproductive line of thinking this year. Black is white, cat is dog, Tampa Bay is first in the AL East. Go Tigers!