photo by Samara Pearlstein
–Alex Avila tripled. In fact, Alex Avila tripled twice in the same game of baseball. Alex Avila is a catcher.
–Avila is sporting a goatee right now. It must be freshly shaped, because I am pretty sure that during the last series he had the full-sized stubblebeard. Of course fans of the full stubblebeard need not fear, because it will regenerate itself in a matter of hours if he doesn’t razor it off between innings.
–Early in the game Verlander balked, but was not called on it. Rod said that it almost looked like he’d had the idea to throw to first, then changed his mind while his body was in motion and went home instead. It wasn’t very extreme and the pitch that resulted looked like… well… a pitch, which is probably how he was able to get away with it. It was still worrying, because he’s had these issues before.
–Human Interest Story From The Stands Lady brought hot dogs up to Rod and Mario. Rod Allen: “She oughta get the Hustle Award of the Day!”
–Things Rod said about Avila’s second triple, which was THISCLOSE to being a home run:
“Man! What a pretty stroke that guy has these days!”
“When you hit it that far, you oughta be able to trot around the bases!”
–The last Tigers catcher to hit two triples in the same game was Brad Ausmus, in 1999. Lance Parrish also did it in the late ’80s. And now: Alex Avila. Savior.
–Brendan Ryan is currently rocking a really bad attempt at a handlebar mustache. It’s like he’s trying to be friends with Eric Wedge’s frankly terrifying facial hair or something.
–Storytime. Charlie Furbush, who had been in charge of snackpack duties, FORGOT THE ROOKIE SNACKPACK IN DETROIT WHILE THE TEAM WAS ON THE ROAD. The bullpen was so upset, and so unable to function without the collection of candy/sunflower seeds/whatever contained within the snackpack, that they actually had the thing FedEx’d from Comerica to Arlington. Thus no one had to go without for more than a day or so.
I’ll bet Furbush had the pants fined off him by the kangaroo court, though. Leaving the rookie snackpack in the wrong state… that has to be a capital offense of some sort. In any event, he has been relieved of his responsibilities for the time being, because Adam Wilk is the current bearer of the snackpack.
Of course they had to get some closeups of the snackpack itself as this story was related. It’s currently a bright pink Hello Kitty bag. It makes sense (tigers are cats, Hello Kitty is a cat), but I want to know what happened to the adorable baby tiger snackpack that Al Alburquerque had been carrying.
–While talking about the upcoming Max Scherzer brown/blue-eyed bobblehead giveaway, Rod and Mario were informed of the name of the condition responsible for the magical eyes (heterochromia iridium). Rod refused to even attempt to pronounce it, despite the fact that it is at least as easy to pronounce as, say, Scherzer, or Schlereth. Mario did say it (correctly), but when Rod delightedly tried to get him to repeat it, he refused.
–My favorite thing is when Jose Valverde throws what should be the last pitch of the game, so he starts to go into his violent celebration dance, but the pitch is a ball or fouled off, making it not-actually-the-last-pitch and he has to abort his dance mid-flail. Watching him do this, sometimes for several pitches in a row, is a marvelous thing indeed.
Things Justin Verlander said after the game:
–Asked if he was getting frustrated when the offense stranded men on base: “Um, that’s not my job.”
–“I was the only guy who got a good night’s sleep, so I better have done good. Otherwise that flight back early would’ve been [all for naught].” I think he said ‘all for naught’ but I can’t guarantee that I was hearing it correctly.
–Asked about pitching deep into games all the time: “That’s why I work my tail off in the offseason.”
–He also said he felt “okay” about his start (8 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 1 run, 0 extra base hits, 10 Ks, 126 pitches), but went on to add that he only felt bad about two pitches, a couple of changeups.
Brennan Boesch on Avila’s triples: “Alex gets a lot of crap for his speed, but it was nice to see him pick his knees up and mosey on over to third.”
Things Jim Leyland said after the game:
–Asked about Ryan Raburn getting booed a couple times when he came to the plate: “That’s a bad question after a win. We won a nice game… I don’t want to talk about that.”
–Talking about Verlander’s calmness (or something) as the game progresses: “Sometimes you smell it, you get a little hyper in that situation.”
–“I’m not the brightest guy in the world, but I am smart enough to know that you need to win if you want to do something in this business.”