the agonized cries of the Tiger


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

So I’m sitting on the subway, heading home after the Thursday night Red Sox game (a loss, for those who care). I’m listening to the screeches of the wheels on the terrible track system, the whoas of drunk Red Sox fans subway-surfing around the turns, the conversation the people to my left are having, in French, about whether or not the crowd is always this bad after a game.

Suddenly I hear a tiny but distinct voice, breaking through the hubbub. Help meeeeeee, it says. Heeeelllllllp meeeeeeee.

I look around, but I can’t see where the voice is coming from. There are some kids on the train, but the ones who are talking are really belting it out there. Nobody’s speaking in a tiny little voice, so far as I can tell.

The voice gets louder as I get closer to home. “Help meeeeeee. So tired. Sooooo tired. I just want to rest, why won’t you let me rest??!” I still can’t tell where it’s coming from! This is the worst.

I get home and turn on the Tigers game, because it’s what I do. Immediately the voice becomes much louder and clearer. “Rest, beautiful rest, just let me beeeeeee!”

Of course that was when I realized: it was Justin Verlander’s arm, crying out for mercy. Alas, Jim Leyland does not believe in showing mercy to Justin Verlander’s arm, not last year and not this year. Verlander needed 125 pitches to get through five innings today. Do I really need to say anything more?

Oh, and Carlos Guillen collapsed on the basepaths with a hamstring that suddenly decided to explode snap undergo spontaneous matter conversion strain itself. He was trying to go from third base to home, landing about halfway between the two. I wish I could say I was surprised by this turn of events, but it’s Carlos Guillen. It was never really an issue of IF he was going to get hurt. It was just a matter of WHEN.

7 responses to “the agonized cries of the Tiger

  1. Well, no wonder Verlander’s arm is tired, if it’s riding a subway in Boston when Justin is pitching in LA . . .

  2. Thank goodness that game did not end 6-5 after Guillen fell down on a sure scoring play.

    It looked a bit like a sit-com portrayal of voodoo. I expected the screen to split and show Mauer and Morneau gleefully sticking pins into a a Guillen doll.

  3. You know, I’ve been as big of a Leyland backer as you’d find anywhere for a number of years… But that crap he pulled in Game #163, and then combine that with the Pitcher Abuse Points (is that stat still hanging around somewhere?) he’s racking up… I wouldn’t be sad to see him go fairly soon, let’s put it that way.

  4. At least JV’s poor, tired arm got a win out of all that melodrama last night. (Carlos’s hammie didn’t die in vain!)

    And the Tigs learned a valuable lesson. It is indeed possible to score first in a game and go on to win that game. I’m not quite sure they grasped that essential fact before.

  5. Once again, JV’s fastball is straight. SO MANY foul balls, especially after the 1st inning (the 1st was a different story; he just couldn’t find the strike zone). The 5 inning JV threw something like 27 pitches, about 21 strikes. Two batters had 10+pitch at-bats. That’s just unacceptable.

  6. rea, the constraints of time and space do not apply to Tigers injuries and potential future injuries. Just sayin’.

    Jeff, you don’t know that they WEREN’T… we just didn’t see it on tv…

    Swampy, I’m still doggedly backing Leyland. I just wish he wouldn’t do this to Justin. OR that Justin would figure his business out and learn a more efficient way to pitch. It’s on Leyland to take him out of games, but it IS on Verlander to learn how to get through six innings without throwing well over 100 pitches or whatever, so, I dunno.

    heitk1le, they do seem to have some trouble putting things like ‘runs’ and ‘wins’ together in their minds.

    HawkeyeEdward, truth. Some credit can go to the bats there, but if EVERY batter is racking up the pitches on Verlander, after a point it comes down on Verlander to do something about it, especially if he’s going to be as ace-y as we’ve been led to expect (and, I think, as ace-y as HE expects). :/

    (yeah, ‘ace-y’. I’m using it as a word.)

  7. Super-Awesome site! I love it!! Will be subscribing to your feed – Thanks.

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