nom nom nom: Nate Robertson overfeeds his gopher


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!

11 responses to “nom nom nom: Nate Robertson overfeeds his gopher

  1. as one would do if they were trying to make a sort of gopher foie gras.
    LOL forever.

  2. I do so enjoy the little gopher, now I only wish it was the other teams pitcher feeding the little fellow.
    The season is really starting to drag on days like today.

  3. ivantopumpyouup

    OUR RELIEVERS AND OUTFIELDERS WERE SUFFERING BECAUSE NATE HAD SUCKED SO BADLY THAT THE BALLPARK WAS LITERALLY SMOKING.
    Okay, here is when I started literally laughing out loud. What is it going to take for Leyland to move Nate from the rotation? Pigs flying? Oh okay then.
    According to a New York beat writer, Andy Pettitte refuses to throw to Pudge.
    Uh. Huh. Any word on WHY Pettitte won’t throw to him? Besides the fact he really misses Posada? He’s doing it for the good of the team, since the Yankees are 3-7 when Pudge plays? My initial kneejerk reaction is: Andy Pettitte is a prima donna.

  4. Despite how much suffering this loss has caused it did give birth to this incredible post.
    I am near speechless (or is that typeless?) because of how awesome this recap of baseball badocity is written.
    I wonder if Nate has to register as a vomiting gopher abuser after this debacle.

  5. This might be the best post you’ve ever written, once again proving the link between great art and abject misery. And if watching Nate implode start after start ain’t abject misery, I don’t ever want to experience the real thing…

  6. Kyle Farnsworth as a Tiger (since the trade a couple weeks back, I mean): 0-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.909 WHIP, 13 H, 3 HR, 1 BB, 7 K in 7.1 IP
    Ivan Rodriguez as a Yankee: .229 BA, .270 OBP, .343 SLG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 GIDP in 13 G covering 35 AB.
    With both of these guys coming up on their free agency at the end of the year (and both guys more or less making sure that the end of their year is coming a little bit closer — i.e., assuring that both teams miss the playoffs), I think this is your classic lose-lose trade.

  7. Reminds me of my favorite movie line, “Anything that flies that high should have a stewardess.”

  8. PfP, :)
    Paul, it is never good when we’re feeding the gopher. We want to BE the gopher. Or something…
    ivan, unfortunately I think that it’s going to take a viable alternative to get Nate out of the rotation. And I don’t know that we have one right now. As for the Posada thing, I believe it was something to do with Pudge’s pitch-calling/pitcher handling. I’ve no doubt that Pettitte is being a little prima-donna-ish about it (since this was IIRC never an issue in Detroit), but it IS something that has come up with Pudge before.
    David, I do what I can, and I can only respond to the mess on the field. The more unbelievable the mess, the more disgusted and disbelieving the subsequent post. :P
    Yosparky, thanks, I think… as for misery=great art, I reckon it’s something to do with our very language. There are only so many ways to say ‘I am moderately content,’ but we have near-endless ways to express our misery!
    Jeff, that is the marvel and the strangeness of it. EVERYONE loses. Somehow.
    Lisa, lol. And by ‘lol’ I mean ‘I am quietly crying on the inside’.

  9. Nate’s gopher scares me.

  10. ivantopumpyouup

    Nate’s been moved to the ‘pen! Only what I’ve been waiting for since, oh, 2004. lol.

  11. Nate’s gopher scares us all.
    ivan, it was indeed high time. He’s had his moments (certainly since ’04 :P ), but not recently. And if he really is all over tendonitis like Leyland was indicating, what the hell, they’ll want to reduce his workload anyways.

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