illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Bringing back a TC from last season as it becomes relevant again, mmm, yes.
Max Scherzer gave up 5 runs in the second inning. The Tigers were not scoring against Jeremy Guthrie. If that doesn’t spell DOOM then I don’t know what does, aside from the letters D, M, and O. Even after the Tigers finally broke through and scored, it was just one run, and it was a weeny sac fly. It seemed like we were going to have to resign ourselves to a stupid loss against a stupid team because Justin Verlander was not pitching and the Tigers therefore were not obligated to make any special effort to win the game.
Then the 6th inning happened. Jeremy Guthrie remembered that he was Jeremy Guthrie. It went a little something like this:
-Austin Jackson grounds out. Andy Dirks grounds out. There are 2 outs in the inning, everyone makes sad sighing sounds.
-Miggy hits a two-run homer.
-Avila hits an RBI ground-rule double.
-The Rhino hits a two-run single.
-Jeremy Guthrie is removed from the game and sent to ruminate on his shame.
-Betemit lines out to end the inning.
At the start of the inning it was 5-1 Orioles. When the dust settled after all that, it was 6-5 Tigers and the entire tone of the game had changed. Max came back out with a fire in his eyes– a blue fire in his right eye and a brown flame in his left– and set about destroying the Birds in the time he had remaining. His last inning was Verlander-esque: well over 100 pitches, he was hitting 95 mph and above on his fastball. Despite allowing two singles, he struck out the side in his last inning. The very last batter he faced, JJ Hardy, was K’d on a slider of such majesty that it would make David Cone nod in solemn approval.
Thanks to a combination of not-sad Phil Coke and the usual Papa Grande, the Tigers hung on and won a game that they seemingly had no business at all winning. Max finished up the night with a very weird line (7.0 innings, 5 runs [4 earned], 7 hits [2 HRs], 0 walks, 10 Ks, and the Win), but it’s all good. We’ll take it.