heterochromic disapproval by Samara Pearlstein
If you didn’t see this game, you might think that Scherzer had a real crummy day. But it’s a lie. A FILTHY BOX SCORE LIE. Scherzer actually looked OK. Overpowering? No. But he was fine. He was also CRUELLY VICTIMIZED by one really, really bad error.
OK. Top of the fourth. Two outs. Man on third. Game tied at two. Jose Guillen, who was already driving Scherzer crazy with wicked long at-bats all day, at the plate. Scherzer had been struggling a bit– he had allowed both tying runs earlier in the same inning– but the count was full on Guillen. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Guillen hits a pop fly to the first base side.
Easy enough, right? Miguel Cabrera comes over. Ambles over. He’s just sort of trotting. He sticks his glove out casually. He catches it, the inning is over. WAIT BUT NO. The ball clanks off the heel of his glove. Miggy closes his glove on empty air. The ball drops to the ground. He’s charged with an error and the at-bat continues.
Guillen fouls off one more pitch, then launches a home run. Just like that it’s 4-2 Royals and Max Scherzer is a mess. In the next inning he would give up some vitals on his own throwing error, but in my mind it all comes down to that Miggy play in the fourth.
It just KILLS ME how casual Cabrera was about sticking his glove up there. It was an easily catch-able ball, and he absolutely should have caught it. He WOULD have caught it if he’d treated it with the modicum of respect that every pop up deserves. But he loafed it, and the Royals immediately made the Tigers pay. KILLS ME. Gah.
ETA: If you couldn’t tell from the angrily disjointed writing, this game pissed me off something fierce. I can accept errors. Errors happen to the best of us (Brandon Inge). But this was such a stupid, avoidable error, and it could have been avoided not with additional skill (which, in some ways, you can’t fault a guy for not having), but with additional effort, which everyone on the field should be spewing forth at all times. If you just can’t do it, you just can’t do it, but if you don’t at least TRY to do it, you’re going to make for some angry bloggers.
There was one real positive, though: the aforementioned BRANDON INGE, who made an insane diving catch on a ball in this one. He flung himself full length over the infield grass, towards the mound. It was a real Superman pose, arms outstretched, body fully extended. He caught the ball, hit the ground, and got back up more or less unscathed. It was like magic, only more Brandon-Inge-y. One of the Freep photographers got a great shot. Go forth and marvel.