photo illustration thing by Samara Pearlstein
I don’t think I am strong enough to handle this division race. I mean, Tuesday’s double header nearly did me in. I am but a frail blogger, plus I have a cold, ok, my constitution is weakened. Things like THE FIRST GAME OF A DOUBLE HEADER GOING INTO EXTRA INNINGS and WHATEVER THE HELL HAPPENED AT THE END OF THAT SECOND GAME are just not stresses that I can take right now.
I must admit that I did not watch the first game all that closely, so while the overall stress was high (division lead down to one! argh! gack! forehead stabby!), the specific stress was not quite so bad (with Porcello more or less cruising, I was doing other things and not paying such close attention to each and every pitch) until the very end. Unfortunately then it was VERY bad. I don’t know who the dude out there on the mound throwing multiple wild pitches was, but it wasn’t any Brandon Lyon that we know. Our Brandon Lyon wouldn’t do such a thing. I mean, duh, we all know that. So it must have been… hmm… actually, it only could have been…
You know how he operates. Sneaky jerk.
That second game, ugh. I WAS watching that one closely, and by the end I really did think I was going to end up gibbering on the ground in front of the TV, my tender little mind destroyed forevermore. I tried to take notes, they may better demonstrate the fragile state of my mind at the time.
Notes From the Conclusion of a Near-Deadly Ballgame
**One out in the 8th. Verlander well over 100 pitches. 121? That is TOO MANY PITCHES. But he is staying in. Men on first and second, tying man in the form of Joe Mauer at the plate. On the one hand I’m thinking, even without first base open, he may walk this guy. On the other hand, awww sh–t.
A wild pitch opens up first. He’s got to just walk him now, right? 2-0, tying man… Joe freakin’ MVP Mauer… right?
Shattered bat ground out to first, scores the run from third, 5-3. Man on third, two outs. Not the worst thing that could have happened under those circumstances, I guess, but still. Meep meep meep.
Kubel, next man up, doubles. 5-4. ASF;LKJASDFL;KJLKJKKDSFA;LJ. Tying run in scoring position, Verlander must be up to 250 pitches by now. Awwww jeez I can’t handle this game, I can’t handle it, I am going to vomit up my spleen oh my holy cats Jim Leyland went out there to talk to Verlander SURELY HE WAS GOING TO PULL HIM, NO, NO HE’S LEAVING HIM IN THERE BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LIKE BRINGING IN FERNANDO WITH MEN ON BASE OH JEEZ OH JEEZ HOLY CATS ARGH
Cuddyer up. TYING RUN IN SCORING POSITION I AM GOING TO CRY VOMIT OUT OF MY TEAR DUCTS, FOR SERIOUS, I AM SICK AND AND AND THIS IS STRESS I DO NOT NEED
Slow roller to third, Inge comes in onto the infield grass to field it, takes his time with the throw, Miggy scoops it at first, Cuddler out, inning over, Verlander escapes, I make a sort of wheezing squeak of relief, fan my forehead weakly. I need a paper towel and an alcoholic beverage.
It’s the bottom of the 8th and all I can think about is the fact that we’re going to be seeing Fernando here in the 9th. CURTIS GRANDERSON 30TH HOMER OF THE SEASON TO LEAD OFF THE BOTTOM OF THE 8TH, OH CURTIS, I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE SO PERFECT, YOU ARE THE LIGHT THAT MAKES THOSE KIDS FROM THE CORNERSTONE SCHOOL COMMERCIAL SHINE.
Leadoff man in the 9th, Fernando throws an 0-2 pitch, the ball bounces off the heel of Polanco’s glove. It looks like an error to me and Rod Allen, but the scorekeepers call it a single.
Jose Morales pinch hits. Fernando is wiping his forehead a lot, which he always does, but I also see him blow his nose to try to clear it once. Does he have a cold? I have a cold too, Fernando. See, I feel your pain! Let me take on some of your pain, so that you may pitch with a clearer head. He strikes Morales out with a high fastball.
One out, Matt Tolbert up, dude on first. He pops up… Polanco camps under it, catches it easily. Two outs.
Little Nicky Punto up. Crowd chanting ROD-NEE, ROD-NEE… ohhhhhh no, Punto pops it up to center, Granderson has it… misjudges it, the ball is just over him, son of a fat raccoon leadoff man scores, 6-5, Punto the tying run at second, Denard Span up, ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh the crowd needs to stop chanting, they are just making Fernando more mental-gidget-y, it is not what he needs ok he has enough problems on his own oh jeeeeeezzzzz.
Span pops up. To left. Raburn gets it. Magic number down to four, Tigers BARELY win, but win they do. Thank cats. Oh, thank cats.**
Then I stretched out on the couch and quietly died for a few minutes until I felt able to
change the channel and watch the end of the Red Sox game go about the rest of my highly productive evening business.
Just a couple other thoughts from these two games:
–So FredFred and Verlander both appear to be trying to grow full beards (i.e. not just the goatee that Verlander always has). Late season rally beards? FredFred might just be trying to look older, which might actually kind of work because he’s so freakin’ tall. It won’t work on us, though. We know his wee-pitcher-ness too well to be fooled by facial hair.
–Rod broke out a MR. SNAPPY for Verlander in this one. He really did have the good fastball today, though. Good curveball too, lots of movement. Throwing in the high 90s when his pitch count was well over 100. If ‘pitching’ was a person that could be called sexy, instead of an amorphous concept consisting of a number of arm motions, physical effects on baseballs, and MLB regulations, I would say that Verlander’s pitching today was mostly very sexy.
–Wilkin Ramirez came in to pinch run for The River Thames in the bottom of the 7th in the second game, and got picked off first. Unacceptable for a dude who was put in the game solely for his baserunning abilities. He wasn’t even trying to steal at the time, he was just farting around over there. I know he’s just a tiger cub, and I know he probably got his rump roasted by Leyland after the game, but still, I feel the need to point it out with a sternly disapproving frown.
–Curtis Granderson homered in both games. Just sayin’.