photo by Samara Pearlstein
So I was at Fenway tonight (bear with me here). Beckett was pitching, Sox winning, crowd chanting “We want Nomar” at random intervals, much excitement, etc. Of course I was also scoreboard-watching the Tigers game, but since Fenway has that old school manual scoreboard, updates are… let us say, spotty.
Imagine then my UTTER DELIGHT when some wonderful soul in the video room decided to show brief highlights of the Royals/Tigers game between innings, when the scoreboard had been stuck on the 8th inning for, like, an hour. Marcus Thames, hitting a Comerica homerun, on the Fenway scoreboard! And then they finally let us see that the 8-5 score was final, and I heaved a sigh of relief and was able to go back to the very important business of loudly abusing Jason Giambi at all times.
I gather that this one was not exactly pretty, judging from the fact that Verlander gave up five runs with three of those in a single-inning chunk, and the fact that two runs were unearned due to the dreaded errors (in the boxscore it says that Laird’s error was ‘catcher interference’, what in the hell happened there?). I see that Verlander was relatively inefficient AGAIN (over 110 pitches in 6 innings). I note that Detroit ONLY hit homers or singles, with no other extra-base hits at all.
But I do also see some good stuff:
–Placido Polanco had another really good game. This time around he went 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI, including a two-run homer. The singles are typical Polly, but two homeruns in a set of three series is not so usual for him. It’s nice to see, though– every indication that he’s getting his swing back into some sort of consistent order is a welcome one.
–Six Tigers walks! OK, one of those was apparently intentional. Still. A near-pathological fear of taking walks is one area in which the Tigers are sadly consistent; I keep hoping that they’ll get over it one of these days, even though they’ve showed no inclination to do so in any meaningful way yet.
–Verlander struck out 11 Royals, and didn’t walk a single one. So he was dead in the zone– I assume that had a little something to do with the five runs as well. I do enjoy seeing evidence that he has some sense of control over the ball, though.
–No damage from the bullpen, including Zoom. I shall assume that the glaring scared him into compliance.
–It also looks like Fernando pitched OK, of course he did, the little jerk, it was a save situation. But I also see that, of course, he had to put at least two men on base first, just to keep things interesting. You know, when Jonathan Papelbon took the mound to close out the Sox game, I did not automatically start cringing in fear. Something to think about.
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