I did not see this game because I was out setting fire to things on the beach. Judging from the box score, it seems that Fernando was, against all the constraints of logic and distance, trying his hardest to join me.
As near as I can make out, Verlander was awesome for eight innings. One run on four hits, one walk, seven Ks. A typical 126 pitches to pad his absurdly high season total. And it looks like Jeff Niemann matched him pretty well. Going into the 9th inning the game was tied at one. I’d imagine it was a great relief to watch JP Howell fall apart and allow three runs in the top of the ninth. I’ll bet fans were settling back contentedly, maybe turning their thoughts to college football.
With the Tigers up 4-1 and Verlander freshly departed, Fernando allowed:
–an advance of indifference
–an RBI single
–an RBI double
There were two outs after the single, so for the final out of the game, the tying run was at third freaking base. The potential winning run was at second. I think it is fair to say that if I had been watching this, I would have been shrieking at the TV, or possibly curled up all agonized-fetus-style on the floor.
Why, Fernando? Verlander pitched well. The offense eventually came through and did well. You, Fernando, got the save in the end, which counts as ‘doing well’. WHY MAKE IT SO STRESSFUL AND DIFFICULT?
You know who I’ll bet did not enjoy this? Justin Verlander. Poor dude throws a squintillion beautiful pitches and has to sit in the dugout and watch Fernando do whatever it is that he was doing out there to the remainder of Verlander’s pretty, pretty game. It must have driven Verlander crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he had been vomiting into the bubblegum buckets or something.
Fernando Rodney is not another Rollercoaster Jones. A rollercoaster has its ups and downs, its rational little cycles of good and bad, imposed on it by human will. Fernando Rodney is a force of nature. He’s Hurricane Rodney. Tropical Storm Rodney at the very, very least.