photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Defying expectations: Dontrelle Willis
Kind of? He went 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks, with 4 Ks. All that was on 89 pitches. So, obviously, the control is still something of a problem for him, and you HATE to see a guy allow more runs than hits. But to be quite honest I was expecting/fearing something much, MUCH worse from him. Three runs in five innings was enough to keep the Tigers in it, and at times Dontrelle looked pretty good out there, like maybe he could actually contribute at some point next season (maybe), so we’ll count it as a positive. Consider my expectations defied.
Meeting expectations: Kyle Farnsworth
There’s nothing quite like giving up a grand slam and a two-run triple in two consecutive outings to make people question your ability to throw a baseball, eh? After last night I fully expected Rally Killer Kyle to be an emotional wreck on the mound, and so he was! He shook Inge off a number of times, although I’m not sure if that was a contributing cause of his struggles, or if it was just a symptom.
I was not really expecting another bullpen meltdown after a semi-inspiring offensive showing: that would have been TOO CRAZY. Surely it couldn’t happen TWICE, right? Shows what I know. This time it was Gary Glover who gave up the grand slam, but The Farns did his fair bit. Consider my expectations met, and perhaps exceeded.
I have to be up in less than five hours, so I’m just bulleting the rest of this thing.
– Mario: And here comes Fabulous Freddy Dolsi!
Rod: You dropped a ‘fabulous’ on him, huh?
– Gary Sheffield hit his 497th home run. It was a screaming line drive to left field, as is typical for Sheff. Of course 500 is an arbitrary number that is no more or less inherently notable than 498, or 503, but whatever, we like zeroes, he’s shooting for it.
– Jim Leyland was ejected in the bottom of the 6th for arguing a hit-by-pitch call. He made it all the way back to the dugout before he got tossed, and he came CHARGING back out onto the field, prompting Rod and Mario to start cracking up and saying that they had never seen him move that fast before. He was all up in the face of homeplate ump Eric Cooper, and at one point Cooper (suppressing laughter, it looked like) made a gesture all up and down his own front as if to say, ‘Dude, you’re spitting ALL OVER me.’ Leyland was certainly close enough and, uh, vehement enough for that to be the case.
– The grand slam off of Glover was hit by Taylor Teagarden. It was his first ever at-bat with the bases loaded. Also his name is TEAGARDEN.
The Race to .500!
With this loss, the Tigers still need those 11 wins to reach the promised land, and only have 2 losses left to spare. Our prospects are grim.
Tuesday. 8:05 pm EDT. Zach Miner vs. Kevin Millwood. Miner’s ERA and WHIP are actually both better than Millwood’s, but Millwood’s middle name is ‘Austin’ and he pitches in Texas, so he may have mojo-rific powers on his side. We shall see what we shall see. Go Tigers!