illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Look, don’t feel bad. Everyone knows that Slider is an abomination against decency and Nature, one that exists only because a logo-based mascot would be so racist that even a team with a racist logo realizes it would not be acceptable. Karmically speaking, Slider deserves every indignity the universe can think to heap upon his frazzled magenta head-dollop.
Verlander was nowhere near his best, but the offense picked him up. And when I say ‘the offense’, I mean “Victor Martinez”, and when I say “picked him up”, I mean “hit a grand slam”. Victor is not literally picking up Justin Verlander. He may be strong, but Verlander is concentrated pitching power, so his density is very high, like a black hole. A black hole where other, non-Tigers teams go to die.
There was a squirrel on the field. It was chased into the Cleveland bullpen, where the relievers had some fun trying to effect a capture before the squirrel climbed a fence and made a flying leap off into the brush. It’s no mantis (obviously– Cleveland lost), but it’s clearly worth a mention.
The previous game was a 10-1 crushing victory. Al Alburquerque came back, struck out two guys, then started looking very shaky. Recovery is a process. It’s ok that his first day back was not perfect. Rick Porcello looked good and the offense looked great. That was plenty.
The bit about Jason Kipnis not being back until after this series turned out to be a lie, but even that worked out just fine. That is how you knew things were going to be OK.
The Tigers sweep the series, the RLs are dejected, Slider rubs his bare patch while Paws cackles and starts claw-felting his own personal hot pink tribble. Good things.