photo by Samara Pearlstein
I think it’s actually worse right now, with the Twins suffering so much in the standings. I don’t like seeing the Tigers lose to the Twins normally, because they’re the Twins and this is the AL Central (although stronger negative feelings will always be reserved for Whichever Team is Currently Employing AJ Pierzynski, So Long As That Team is in The Central), Game 163 is still a sore point, etc. But these are not normal times for the Twins, who are currently a whole bunch of games behind the Royals in the standings.
So the prospect of losing to them is even MORE terrible than usual, because it’s not just losing to the Twins, it’s losing to this absurdly bad parody of the Twins we know and love to dislike.
When Justin Morneau homered in the 7th inning to put Minnesota up… holy cats. What a terrible feeling. The more I thought about the possibility of losing to the Twins– THESE Twins– the worse I felt. I know the Tigers have been streaky all season long, but how bad do you have to be to let these particular awful Twinkies come back on you and win a ballgame that you were already leading? Seriously think about that. It makes me a little bit physically ill to contemplate it, which probably says more about me and my unhealthy relationship with baseball than anything else, but you know, whatever.
And Scherzer! What the heck is up with him? Last time out he was so bad that we had to blame his evil twin, and this time around he allows Morneau to go yard twice, he uncorks a couple of wild pitches, he gives up 7 runs in 6.2 innings, he lets the freakin’ Cuddler steal a base off of him… I mean, really. Bad feelings piled on top of bad feelings.
Leyland must have been napping when he let Scherzer face Morneau, but at least he woke up enough to put Charlie Furbush in to face Jim Thome. Maybe all the yelling from the Morneau homer disturbed his slumber. In any event, Furbush put Thome away, the Tigers small-balled up runs in the 7th and 8th, and all’s well that ends well…. I guess.
There IS something depressing in the fact that the Tigers have only barely won the first two games of the series, and only pulled out the first one with the help of a controversial-at-best call on a ball that bounced through the stands. Shouldn’t these be blowouts? I’d be more comfortable if Detroit was treating the Twins like the rest of the league has, i.e. ruthlessly exposing their weaknesses one by one and then smashing any remaining Minnesotan confidence to teeny tiny Will-Rhymes-sized bits. Instead the Tigers are playing them close and giving them all sorts of chances to win. Scary.