illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
First, and most importantly: VOTE AVILA. We are nearing the end! Voting finishes up this coming Thursday! This is your last weekend to sit in front of the computer making throwaway email address after email address, voting for Alex Avila over and over again, as if it is your only function in life. There can be no finer possible use of your time.
Now, the actual game…
Kirk Gibson will eat your face, but only after he has punched it enough to tenderize it.
I don’t know, obviously this was not a good game. There aren’t any articles containing quotes up yet, but according to a bunch of Tigers writers on The Twitters Phil Coke was all depressed after the game, saying he was ashamed of his performance and so on. You know how Phil Coke gets after a bad start. We can only hope that someone stopped his spiral of depression and self-recrimination by giving him a hug and telling him that it will all be ok.
Of course there was an error in there contributing to the Diamondback comeback, and of course it was a Ryan Raburn error. I will not comment further on that.
Ryan Perry and Brandon Inge are both back with the team (Adam Wilk and Danny Worth sent down respectively). Brandon was 1-for-4 tonight with a single, which is, you know, whatever. But Perry! (deep breath)
He went 2.1 innings, allowed 1 hit and 1 walk, and struck out two. If you didn’t see this game, you’re thinking, Hey, that’s great! Well, I hate to dump sewage on your cornflakes, but it was not great. He inherited two runners from Phil Coke, and he let one score on his watch, so even though the box score says he didn’t give up any runs, he actually kind of DID. Also, more egregiously, he NEARLY INJURED ALEX AVILA.
It was a wild pitch that bounced in the dirt behind home plate. The ball appeared to ricochet off of Avila, bouncing far enough to bring the tying run home. Terrible. Avila popped up in pursuit right away, so at first it seemed like it had maybe hit padding, but after the play was over he squatted down all curled up around his wrist, and Kevin Rand had to come running out, and it was clear that there was a whole lot of pain involved. They spent a long time flexing Avila’s hand and testing his grip and so on. The camera had a good angle on all of this so we got to see Avila grimacing dramatically.
In that terrible moment I swore that if Ryan Perry had injured Alex Avila, I was going to do SOME SORT OF THING.
Avila ended up staying in the game. He looked a little tender fielding the next pitch, but after that he seemed ok. They had a quick shot of him in the dugout with the trainer after the inning, where it looked like he was getting Advil or somesuch. He had two more at-bats after the beaning and flew out in both of them, but at least he was making contact. He’ll be ok, because if he is not ok Ryan Perry is going to be attacked by a mob of kittens with razor sharp milkteeth and infuriatingly prickly needleclaws.
The big blow was a Wily Mo Pena home run that traveled about five thousand feet. This IS what Wily Mo Pena does, but it had been a long time since I had seen it in action, so it was rather startling. The official distance was 454 feet, the third longest home run in Comerica Park history.
I decided to take a look in my archives and see if I had any photos of Wily Mo Pena from his days in Boston, and came up with this:
photo by Samara Pearlstein