photo by Samara Pearlstein
Yes, those are your power hitting Tigers for the night. Gary Sheffield, who hit his 498th and 499th home runs, and Ramon Santiago. Ramon Santiago, who has a grand total of 10 home runs in his entire career thus far, three of which came in the past two games. Santiago is OPSing .909, which is better than nearly everyone on the team (of course he also has far fewer at-bats than most of the current starters, so it’s not a real indication of his mad crazy hitting prowess – it’s just funny to point out).
Sheff now needs only one more homer to hit the arbitrary but still vaunted 500 mark. WILL HE MANAGE IT THIS SEASON??!?!? WILL HE DO IT IN A TIGERS UNIFORM?!!??? DO WE ACTUALLY CARE???!@?
Truly these are wacky times in which to live.
Verlander ONCE AGAIN threw over 100 pitches in under 6 innings: 113 pitches in 5 innings, to be exact. He was struggling enough in the 5th inning (and had thrown enough pitches) to make Leyland and everyone else consider taking him out, but apparently Leyland wanted him to have the opportunity to get the W, and was thus determined to make him gut it out for the full 5 innings. Normally I would say fine, whatever, let the kid go for it, but! why pile up unnecessary pitches on Verlander’s arm in a meaningless game, in a season where he’s ALREADY had an unusually heavy workload?
It’s not even like he was trying to break even in his personal record: with this win, Verlander’s season total will be 11-and-17. Was that 11th win really all that important? As usual, this is the one place where I really tend to grind my teeth over Leyland’s managing.
Anyways. Todd Jones was in the booth today for the beginning of the game. He’s definitely no Curtis Granderson when it comes to broadcasting (the awkward pauses! the rambling! ever so much rambling! it was kinda painful), but whatever, these are some of the things I noted down (I was out for the end of his booth time, but I think I ended up seeing the majority of it).
Jonesy: “I enjoyed the fight in Cleveland… I didn’t realize the second baseman, Cabrera, I get messed up with his first name…”
Jonesy: “Yeah, you get in trouble with that! Heh. He got in a few good shots on Sheff.”
(On Dane Sardinha, who was batting at the time) “Dane, hitting right now, he’s a scrappy guy from Huh-WAH-ee. He’s starting to hit a little bit better…” (Sardinha strikes out) “…although he just struck out there.”
(On the replay of Santiago’s home run) “Hanging curveball, man’s best friend.”
As they go to commercial in the bottom of the second, Jonesy yells, “HE’S THROWING A NO-HITTER!” Sometime in the third, Jonesy says, “I have officially jinxed Justin, because now there’s a hit.”
(On Verlander) “He’s got the Word We Don’t Wanna Talk About Stuff every time he goes out there.” ‘Ace’? Are we not supposed to say ‘ace’ anymore? Since when did ‘ace’ become ‘Voldemort’?
(After a long free-ranging ramble during which absolutely no one so much as mentioned the on-field action)
Jonesy: “There’s a game going on, Tigers winning five-nothing, if anyone wants to know…”
Rod: “They can see it!”
(On why we shouldn’t blame Chuck Hernandez) “At the end of the day these are grown men who know how to throw a strike.” This is a blatant lie. For instance, I am not at all convinced that Kyle Farnsworth actually knows how to throw a strike (it’s something that he sometimes happens to do, much to his own bafflement), and Freddy Dolsi is in no way a grown man. Have you looked at the kid lately, Jonesy? He’s like six years old.
(On how it feels to blow a save)
Jonesy: “There’s these rollercoasters of emotion.”
Mario: “Really!” (Highly amused, obviously thinking Jonesy was making a joke on the whole Rollercoaster Jones thing.)
*longish awkward pause* (Suddenly filled with Doubt: was that intentional, or does he have no idea he was even making a joke, or what a joke even is.)
Mario: *more pause* “Nice!”
(On his rain delay Magglio hitting and sliding and hair impression from earlier in the season) “I always wanted to be a tarp guy… that should’ve told you I was gonna retire… that was on my bucket list of things.”
(On Gary Sheffield) “He’s got some kinda FlexAll thing that’s so hot other guys can’t even put it on a finger and he’s got it all over his back and knees.”
(On attending games now that he’s retired)
Jonesy: “I’ll be there with my puffy hand.”
Mario: “Your foam finger?”
Jonesy: “My puffy hand!”
*almost in unison, as they realize the problem* “The Claw!”
Saturday, 7:05 pm EDT. Dontrelle vs. Matt Garza. I guess we don’t have anyone random in AAA we could call up to pitch this one? A pity, a pity. Go Tigers!