illustration by Samara Pearlstein
This was a game of great indecision. At first it was not clear where the Tigers stood on the question of WINNING THE BASEBALL GAME. In the third inning it seemed evident that they DID want to win, as they methodically went about stripping the dignity from Ubaldo Jimenez to the tune of a lot of runs all in a single inning. As Ubaldo Jimenez is employed by the Racist Logos and not the Detroit Tigers, the removal of his dignity would seem to indicate a desire to achieve victory on the part of said Tigers.
But then in the very next inning, there were a great many SHENANIGANS and the RLs scored a whole bunch of runs of their own, stripping the dignity from Rick Porcello. Now each team had a starting pitcher who felt most at ease sitting on the bench while letting his head droop in shame. They sat in opposing dugouts, staring at one another across the infield, only not staring, because of the drooping heads. And the shame.
It went on and on like that, a tense battle between two teams, neither behaving as if it wholeheartedly wanted to win, yet neither wishing to lose. Wilson Betemit steals a base, all is well. A questionable call is made and Jim Leyland gets himself thrown out of the game in 0.2 seconds, all is lost. Travis Hafner gets an RBI, all is RL-well. Travis Hafner’s leg implodes while he tries to stretch a single into a double, all is RL-lost. Etc.
In the final throes of torturously overlong Sunday afternoon baseball, the score was 8-7, Tigers holding the scant lead. Papa Grande entered the fray. On five pitches, he walked Kosuke ‘Still a Cub at Heart’ Fukudome. Then, with the count 0-2, he hit Jason Donald in the back. Legendary Lloyd emerged from the dugout to try to speak of pitching things, even though his Legend is in hitting and not in the throwing of baseballs.
There was a sac bunt, moving the runners to second and third. All was nervousness, uncertainty, fear. Matt LaPorta pinch hit for a shard of Cliff Lee bait. LaPorta hit a long fly ball to center. The Cub set forth for home.
BUT THERE WAS TO BE NO TIE, FOR AUSTIN JACKSON WAS IN THAT CENTER FIELD. He caught the ball (out number two), then fired a THROW OF SPLENDID PERFECTION. It sailed through the air, touching not one blade of grass, not one speck of dirt. It landed squarely in Alex Avila’s glove, a little ways up the third base line, not too close to home, giving Avila plenty of room to set a block and prevent the Cub from reaching his goal.
Out number three, your basic 8-2 double play, game over, Tigers win.
Austin Jackson and his cannon arm cannot and will not be denied.
Also, Jim Leyland said this:
We kept trying to milk outs and almost ran out of milk.