Verlander delivers, everyone else flails about weakly

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Justin Verlander has a present for the Mariners. More specifically, a present for a Mr. Russell Branyan. Very NEARLY a present for Mr. Franklin Gutierrez as well, although he just managed to escape being a recipient of it.

Shiny, isn’t it?

Verlander had one bad inning, the 5th, and even that wasn’t really so bad. With two outs, some dude named Michael Saunders singled, then stole second. Josh Wilson singled him home. The big blow came right after that, as Ichiro hit a two-run homer. Now, we all know that Ichiro can hit (he has a disgustingly amazing .366 average at the moment), but he doesn’t hit much in the way of home runs (this was only his 8th of the season). Sort of like a significantly better Placido Polanco (although Polanco is harder to strike out).

So it wasn’t such a great moment in the grand scheme of Verlanderish moments, but he still managed to go 8 innings (116 pitches, of course) while striking out 10 and only walking one. In fact he gave up half his hits for the day in that one inning, and Ichiro’s blast was the only extra-base hit. This Tigers offense should be capable of supporting an outing like that with more than three runs.

“Should” being the operative word there.

If it wasn’t for a low ropey kind of homer from a crampy-looking Carlos Guillen, the Tigers would have been shut out by Ian “Schnell” (as Rod Allen insists on calling him) and the Mariners’ bullpen, which is, admittedly, pretty good. And pretty funny. I mean… gladiator helmets. In that same little article we learn that there was a boil on the posterior of David Aardsma, which was allegedly “an inch deep”.

OK, I’ve kind of written myself out of knowing what to think about the Seattle bullpen anymore. Suffice to say they shut the Tigers down and I am really starting to get surly about what should be a good hitting team approaching the plate with indifferent and inconsistent results.

My mood is not improved by the fact that Wrong Sox won again tonight.

As a sidenote, I watched the last few innings of the Twins/Rangers game tonight, just to see Pudge back in Texas. There were kids in the crowd with “We missed you Pudge!” signs, he got huge rounds of applause before every at-bat, there was a large, noisy, and somewhat confusing group of Brazilians who told FSSouthwest that they’d come to see Pudge… good stuff. He went 3-for-4.

Saltalamacchia, whose recent placement on the DL was the impetus for the Pudge trade, is out with thoracic outlet syndrome. He hopes to come back without needing surgery, but as all Tigers fans could tell the kid… yeah, good luck with that.

6 responses to “Verlander delivers, everyone else flails about weakly

  1. I’ll refrain from mentioning Aubrey Huff’s 0-fer in RBI situations again last night – oh, wait…
    Samara, I was at the game Miner started in Fenway last Weds (first time in Fenway – awesome place to see a game) – but what’s with the Neil Diamond sing-along at the middle of the 8th inning? Inquiring minds want to know…

  2. What, no reference to Ian “Among Other Things” Snell as the Man of Many Surnames? I am disappointed.
    Damn, first Aardsma has to take away Hank Aaron’s place as the first player alphabetically in Major League history, now he’s bucking for the biggest boil on his butt? Ew.

  3. Samara Pearlstein

    Sparky, Sweet Caroline is just One of Those Things. It has literally nothing to do with the Red Sox, Boston, or baseball, but Red Sox fans are a) superstitious and b) creatures of habit, so now it’s something that happens every middle of the 8th. There’s an article about it here if you want a more detailed explanation.
    Jeff, I was too caught up on the number of times Rod called him Schnell…

  4. I am so excited about the fact that Pudge is back with the Rangers, you have no idea (well, you probably have some idea). It is a beautiful thing.
    As for Aardsma… uh… yeah, that’s hella unfortunate.

  5. I guess this ends any sort of debate over which hat Pudge will be wearing in the Hall of Fame (if there ever was any. I used to hold out hope he’d win a WS with Detroit and retire a Tigers and… Yeah, I knew it was wishful thinking.)
    As far as this series goes, though, all I can say is “Grrr.” And that is not a powerful Tiger roar. It is the sound I keep making when we leave runners in scoring position. “GRRR!!!”

  6. Samara Pearlstein

    PfP, ha ha, I actually thought of you when I saw that he’d been traded! :D
    Heitk1le, yeah, I think it was always going to be a Rangers hat… although if we’d managed to get past the Cards in ’06 we might’ve had a fighting chance.. :/

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