of Aussies and soda


Aussie baseball! by Samara Pearlstein

Coming back to win a game that has already tanked… I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one paw, great, awesome, good, yay we win, etc. On the other paw, well, we can’t expect to do that every night and get away with it, and in fact it is shocking that we got away with it even once, especially against the Twins.

Max Scherzer gave up six runs in 3.2 innings. Usually that would be the kiss of baseball death. But tonight it was not! In part this was because of the bats– which I will get to momentarily– and in part it was because of some BEAUTIFUL BULLPEN WORK courtesy of Brad Thomas (hence your lead image), and also this fellow:

RELIEF PITCHING saving the game? Why I never! But that is what happened. Between B-Thom and Coke there were zero runs allowed, three hits (a double and two singles), five Ks, and ZERO walks, all in 4.1 innings. That’s longer than the starter was in the game, mind you, and infinitely more effective. Thomas inherited two of Scherzer’s runners and didn’t let either one of them score. I’m not sure what happened here, but it brings me joy and I would like to see it repeated.

Of course even the best pitching and defense in the world will not get you back from a five run deficit. For that we had to turn to the bats. And Brandon Inge said, “Max, Max, don’t let the tears of losing mar your beautiful eyes. I will make it all better.” And Scherzer said, “Um, OK, that’s a little creepy. But thanks?” Always a manchild of his word, Inge hit the only Tiger homer of the game, for maximum awesome. They managed to work big, melt-down-y innings in the fourth and sixth, and went from having one run when Scherzer left the game to eleven runs in the end.

So, yeah, this one probably should have been a loss. It wasn’t. Somehow. Do we dare to hope for repeatability?

Some random notes from the game:

–There were actually TWO Australians on the field in this one. Brad Thomas, of course, and Luke Hughes, who played third for the Twinkies in his major league debut today. Sadly he hit a home run in his very first big league at-bat, but it was off of Scherzer, not Thomas, so Australia didn’t explode or anything.

–Jim Leyland on what he thought about a Denard Span dropped ball in the outfield, which may or may not have been a catch: “I’m 65 years old, I can’t see that far.” The reporters chuckle, waiting for elaboration. From Leyland, only silence.

–Scherzer’s eyes in HD close-ups are absolutely captivating. He’s got a snaggletooth on the bottom though that I also never noticed until I saw an HD postgame interview. (As a positive he notes that he didn’t walk anyone today, and this outing did not make him lose confidence in his pitching.)

–Miggy and Dontrelle hugging and hopping in a circle in the dugout. BEAUTIFUL

–OK, I have put off discussing this for long enough. The McDonald’s player of the game fan vote thing: why is Brandon Inge ALWAYS in the top 3? It’s not that I fail to appreciate him, as you all know, but it seems like every single day, regardless of what he’s done on the field or at the plate, Inge is up there in that voting. Who exactly is texting in those votes (I won’t do it because I’m pretty sure once you do, you get text messages from McDonalds)? What sort of crazed IngeHordes have control over this fan vote?

12 responses to “of Aussies and soda

  1. ivantopumpyouup

    Did you hear Coke is going to be hosting the next episode of Tigers Live?! I CANNOT HANDLE IT.

  2. I was busy with other stuff as the game began, but was following along occasionally, checking the score on my Blackberry briefly… At the point of 6-1, I didn’t even want to turn the game on, I was getting so pi$$ed at “those damn Twinkies” yet AGAIN. Then, the Tigs started scoring, and, well… Since I hadn’t been watching, clearly the thing to do was to CONTINUE not watching so as not to ruin that mojo. It worked, and I alone am responsible [/sarcasm].

  3. The poor bullpen is on the verge of being overworked, but my friend and I have concocted a solution to this. More soon. *mysterious!*

  4. The answer to why Inge gets in the top three every game? They appear to let the texting beging before the game even starts. If they opened it up in, say, the seventh inning, they would probably get results that closer reflect what actually happened on the field. That’s probably not the point, though.

  5. I remember an FSD broadcaster observing the same thing last year about Inge always being high in the fan voting regardless of what he did in the actual game. Anyway how silly is it that they open the voting before the game even starts?

  6. “so Australia didn’t explode or anything”

    ROTFL. I did think of that when they made a big deal of where Hughes was from. (Actually, my exact thought process was “OMG, Brad Thomas needs to pitch to him!!!”)

    I have no answers to why Mr. Inge (“the manchild of his word”) is always in the top 3, but I suspect fan girls may be to blame. I have never voted, but I do love watching Rod and Mario’s amusement over the situation. And occasionally (as was the case last night) you’d be hard pressed to say he didn’t deserve to be there.

  7. TigersFan81371

    I have a friend who is a Twins fan, and he reminded me that the Twins are the only team in MLB that hasn’t lost a series yet. That means they’re due! Today is as good a time as any!

  8. The inge situation is pretty easy to explain. He’s clearly the most popular player with the “blue collar” crowd. Much like Darren McCarty was the second most popular Red Wing in the 90s. you’d go the Joe and see as many McCarty jerseys as anyone else. The working man fan base always picks a player they feel they can relate to. McCarthy was it in the 90s and once he retired Inge took over. Go to a game and look at how many Inge jerseys you see. More than Maggs, Miggy or Verlander combined.

    We’ve long called Inge the newest Downriver All-star. That’s not a knock on Downriver, just an observation.

  9. Obviously Swampy deserves player-of-game, for ignoring them into a comeback –nice work. Today it will be South Dakota Suzi. Alas, she only catches one game a year since moving to greater metropolitan Nowhere, but her record is perfect. Serenity-vibes will wash over Dontrelle, Twinkies will flubdubicate & Tiger bats will boom.

    I know: it’s bad luck to be superstitious.
    But there’s no arguing with results, or the power of the Suze.

  10. David O. (13194013)

    Brandon Inge has secret gnome text messaging hordes underneath Ypsilanti. I read it on the internet just this second, as I typed it, so it must be true.

  11. Here is a link to a story about Inge and all the votes he gets

    http://blog.mlive.com/cutoffman/2010/04/brandon_inge_popularity_skews.html

  12. ivan, yes! I can only hope it airs (or re-airs) when I’m actually able to watch it…

    Swampy, no no, it’s ok to take responsibility. We all have to do our bit, you know.

    Alli, the solution is pretty simple, really… someone just has to show Justin how to keep his pitch count down, and then someone has to give Rick Porcello a hug and tell him it will all be ok. Should clear things up and ease the load on the ‘pen.

    heitk1le, it’s just that there are SO FEW Aussies in MLB, to have two of them in the same game is kinda crazy. Crazy AWESOME.

    81371, looks like it worked! The series is ouuuurrrrssssss.

    re: Inge voting and everyone’s comments thereon, I get that Inge is popular. What I don’t understand is this.

    The group of people who text in for these kinds of fan poll things is a very specific subset of fans. Throw in the fact that this particular poll comes with automatic McDonald’s texts to your phone (something I, and I assume many of us, would find incredibly annoying), and it’s an even more specific subset– fans who are down with the textin’, who bother to text in a vote for a poll like this, who don’t mind/are too dumb to understand the fact that McD’s texts will follow them for the rest of time as a result of voting, etc.

    Rabid Brandon Inge fans are also a specific subset of the more general category of Tigers fans.

    What I’m curious about is HOW and/or WHY these two subsets overlap so strongly. Why, for instance, doesn’t the Magglio-fan-subset overlap with the poll-text-happy-fan-subset in the same way? Why is it (seemingly) JUST the Inge fans? What is going on here?

    I mean, we have a real sociological experiment on our hands here. As a Brandon Inge fan I am not sure I like the implications (taking text polls srsly + McDonald’s = probably not people I particularly want to be associated with), but maybe I am being prejudiced. It’s hard to say without knowing what the real story here is.

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