Magglio by Samara Pearlstein
I’m not even sure what to say about these last couple of games. The Tigers won both, so… good. I am still not positive HOW they won on Sunday, but, you know, good. The only thing I know for sure is that Magglio Ordonez is ON FREAKIN’ FIRE. He’s got 12 hits and 6 runs in 6 games so far; he’s batting .462/.517/.769. Obviously that is an unsustainable pace, but do you really care? No. You don’t care. You’re like me, you just enjoy the hell out of the Magglio Ride while it lasts.
I was working during the Saturday game, so I didn’t see it. I know that Bondo apparently did a whole bunch of positive, old-school-Bondo-type things. I know that Magglio hit a two-run homer in other example of pure Magglio gloriousness. I know that it was the Chinese New Year of the Tiger celebration and that Fu-Te Ni, appropriately, got into the game. I know he hit a couple of batters, but it was Year of the Tiger Day, ok, Ni had free reign to do whatever he wanted, and if what he wanted was to be a little bit wild while not ruining the game, so be it.
I did watch on Sunday, though, and… um. Verlander had a disturbingly bad first inning (43 pitches and five runs, including a Luis freakin’ Valbuena grand slam). A true Bondo first inning, actually. Now we have to hope that the First Inning Syndrome was not contagious. It’s bad enough that every little cold gets passed around the clubhouse because ballplayers do not believe in tissues and hand sanitizer; First Inning Syndrome would be even worse. Basically what I’m saying is: WASH YOUR HANDS, BONDO. Sheesh.
After giving up five runs in the first and not scoring any runs themselves until the 5th, the Tigers absolutely should have lost this game. But in baseball, there is no ‘should’! There is only ‘oh yeah that actually happened, huh, look at that’! Still. The Tigers left 18 cats on base. There were three Racist Logo home runs and zero long shots from the Tigers.
But stuff just kept happening. It may have taken them to the 5th to get their first run, but the Tigs scored in every inning after that. Bonine gave up some runs, but the bats kept on clawing back, and suddenly it was the 9th inning, and it looked like this:
–Raburn grounds out.
–Magglio, hero, singles. The crowd begins to act like they believe the Tigers can actually do this thing.
–Carlos Guillen doubles, scoring Magglio and making the score 8-7. The crowd goes nuts.
–Inge grounds out to Asdrubal Cabrera, who makes a fairly insane diving stop on the ball.
–Ramon Santiago walks, loading the bases. A couple of the pitches are borderline, but we’ll take it. Even with two outs, everyone is losing their minds.
–Johnny Damon pinch hits for G-Money. He walks in the tying run on four straight balls. Crowd goes bonkers. The Racist Logo pitcher is thoroughly freaked out.
–With Sizemore up, the Racist Logo pitcher throws one ball, then chucks a wild pitch that the catcher has no chance on. Guillen scores. Tigers win, 8-9. Everybody jumps on everybody else at home plate. Beauty and truth prevail.
So Verlander is saved from a loss, the home opening series is magically transformed into a sweep, Magglio continues his campaign of fabulousness, and all the new cats get to hop around in a walkoff party pile. The best part?
Eddie Bonine started the 9th and had to come out in the middle of his first batter (not sure what happened, I wasn’t paying very close attention). Leyland brought in Phil Coke. The batter had a full count and Coke let him single, but he followed that up with a line-out to third and a double play. The game was 8-6 Racist Logos at that point. Since the rally came in the bottom of the 9th, it was Coke who got the Win-with-a-capital-W.
In light of his immense sadness following what he considered a poor performance, this just warms my cold little heart. See, Phil Coke! I told you it wasn’t so bad.