photo by Samara Pearlstein
Oh Max. What happened? I mean, on a basic level we all know what happened: four runs, five walks, and 109 pitches in just five innings. The Tigers managed to scrape up seven total hits off of Cleveland. They lost, obviously. But what went wrong here?
Rod and Mario were saying, during the game, that they thought the long break might have messed with Scherzer. He had 9 days off between starts, and even if he did some sort of practice throwing somewhere in there, I’m sure it was not anything close to the physical and mental workout of a proper big league start. It is possible that Scherzer is just a creature of habit (as many pitchers are) and taking him out of his five-day-rotation routine didn’t sit well with him. It’s possible that the break threw him off physically, and he just never felt quite right out there, because he was stiff, or off-rhythm, or whatever.
I’m not so sure about that. It’s too… easy. Personally I think there is another explanation.
Max Scherzer is an intelligent guy. He is sensitive to nuances and layered meanings. He, unlike many baseball players, is capable of understanding things like ‘symbols’ and ‘history’ and ‘connotation’. So, you see, he is aware of the awfulness of the Racist Logos. He simply cannot pitch properly against them, because he is too distracted and sickened by Chief Wahoo.
Consider! This was his second start against Cleveland in 2010. In the first game, he gave up five runs in five innings, on 105 pitches. He walked four and threw a wild pitch. This is not an attractive outing, and it is EERILY SIMILAR to the one he had today. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
I don’t blame him, of course. The Racist Logos are a bad thing, and it is totally understandable for Scherzer to be so disturbed by them. Who wouldn’t be? Cretins and people from Cleveland (this may or may not be the same thing).
Oh, and the All Star game fear brigade may be interested to see that Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-3 in his first game after the break. The one hit was a single. Miggy had an RBI, a strikeout, and a walk. Definitely NOT panic material. Deep breaths, deeps breaths.
That said, if he doesn’t hit a home run in the next few games, obviously all is ruined.
Saturday is a day-night doubleheader, making up for past wateriness. Justin has the first game, and FREDFRED IS BACK UP to pitch the night game. I probably won’t be able to watch it, so you lot had better keep a close eye on him. It’s for his own good!