illustration by Samara Pearlstein
With seven losses in a row, we were all set to dive headlong into the murky waters of wretched despondency. But now we have been pulled back from the edge of that briny pond! And it is all (mostly) thanks to Max Scherzer and Gerald Laird.
One of the FSD ‘Keys to the Game’ things (or whatever they are) for Scherzer was “throw a shutout”. I scoffed. Yes, I admit it. It seemed ridiculous. Well, DUH, if he throws a shutout we will be in good shape. Excellent analytical key to the game! You could only apply that to, oh, EVERY PITCHER STARTING A GAME EVER.
Then Max Scherzer went right ahead and threw a zero-run ball for seven innings on a career-high 123 pitches (oy). You got me, FSD! You win this round.
We needed someone to stop the freefall and BEHOLD, Scherzer took it upon himself to do that very thing. This is even more encouraging when you consider his last outing. As we have seen, this Rangers lineup can be a potent force of evil, and seeing a starter shut it down– something that hasn’t really happened since the break, not in Detroit or in Boston– is wicked gratifying.
Now, Paws cannot exist on pitching alone, and the Tigers
for once had some production from the bats to go with the arms. Austin Jackson was 3-for-4. A few other cats scattered hits here and there. But the big production came from Gerald Laird, of all cats. G-Money was 2-for-4, and one of those hits was a two-run homer.
Yes. GERALD LAIRD hit a home run.
Sometimes you just have to shrug and laugh. Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez scrape through the game with a single each while Gerald freakin’ G-Money Laird hits a two-run bomb to put the Tigers on top. WHAT STRANGE PARALLEL UNIVERSE IS THIS? I don’t know, and I don’t really care so long as the parallel-universe game result still counts in the real world.
PS: What in the world is wrong with Papa Grande? He looked wild as a rabid college campus squirrel out there, which is very unlike him. Should I be concerned? DO I NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS?
PPS: Casey Fien is out, Scott Sizemore is in.
PPPS: Minors Moniker Madness is back! I know most of you are saying: wait, what? but it is very simple. MiLB has compiled a list of the best names in minor league baseball right now and is pitting them against each other, bracket-style. You vote. It is hilarious and great. You should go do it.
Personally I am rooting hardest for DALE CORNSTUBBLE and BEAMER WEEMS (one of my all-time favorites), although I do have soft spots for Gift Ngoepe (whom I remember from the WBC) and Diego Seastrunk (I saw him on the Cape back in ’07, and now he plays for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers). But BEAMER WEEMS! I just want to keep saying it over and over again. That’s a good baseball name.