photo by Samara Pearlstein
So it just took a couple of days, that’s fine. I am trying to be patient, serene, and good-natured, just like Armando Galarraga. If the bats want to be unhelpful for Bondo and oddly helpful for Porcello, well, that’s just… fine. It’s fine. Really.
And they needed to be as helpful as possible, because FredFred himself was all kinds of dirty (not in the positive way), and there were FOUR separate errors courtesy of the infield. This one was just never going to happen with one barely eked-out run.
Magglio Ordonez heard the call for help and went 3-for-5 with a homer and a double and a triple and holy Paws, he was actually a single away from the cycle. He had 5 RBI on the day! Austin Jackson heard the call for help and went 4-for-6 with three freakin’ doubles. This is crazy-good. It’s like… crazood. Goorazy.
The number of errors is rather disturbing, especially as two of them came from two of our alleged defensive specialists (Inge and Everett). Then there were two throwing errors by Carlos Guillen, but he’s still settling in over there at second, getting used to playing regularly at the big league level again AND trying to learn how to best play the position, so I am much less inclined to fret over those.
I guess the bullpen also did some good things, picked Porcello up and set him back up on his delicate kitten feet. He threw 95 pitches in 5.1 innings, proving that he watched Armando and learned absolutely nothing. Five relievers came in after him, and not a single one allowed a run. This is upsetting in one way (FredFred departing so early) and heartening in another. As the game DID end with a Tigers win, let us call it a wash.
Magglio and Jackson make the remaining worries go away with their gameplay. Thank cats. We needed another win so badly. And let us be honest, who can feel bad about things when Austin Jackson is out there campaigning as hard as he can for Rookie of the First Half?
ETA: The whole pregame scene, with Armando bringing the lineup card out to a tearful Jim Joyce, was rather remarkable, both because of what it was (a fine gesture by the Tigers, one which they totally did not have to make) and because of the understated way Armando went about it. There were camerafolk maneuvering all around him, so he had to walk slowly, but he didn’t drag it out unnecessarily and he didn’t try to inject unnecessarily ridiculous pomp into the encounter. He didn’t try to make out like he (or Joyce) was some sort of baseball martyr. He just walked out, gave the guy the lineup card, and looked him in the eye. I don’t want to say that this would have been impossible for many other ballplayers… perhaps much more unlikely.
There has been a lot of chatter about a possible reversal of the one-hitter. It does not seem likely to happen. The most we might get is a more serious look at the expansion of instant replay use (or even more umpire conferences… Joyce clearly had the best look at the play, but if the umpires had been able to huddle and talk it over and reverse the call right there because the homeplate or second base ump saw something, we might have been able to avoid this even without instant replay).
That Joyce feels terrible is beyond doubt. That Armando Galarraga is a classy, decent, gracious individual in a sport of foaming-at-the-mouth prima donnas should also now be beyond doubt. I hate that it took something like a stolen perfect game to make that fact known to the greater, non-Detroit public. I guess it’s good that we can gleam one small positive from this mess.
Oh, and Armando got a new Corvette, because GM got a little overexcited. That’s cool though, I understand. When I get fired up about the Tigers, I make a blog post. If I was the president of GM, I could see those impulses being channeled into vehicular giveaways. We each deal in our own way.