ALCS-bound


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

If you watched that entire game and survived the experience, congratulations. You have been through your Trial by Fire, or more precisely Trial by TBS, and you have emerged all the stronger for it. Unless you’re viciously hung over today, that is, in which case you have let TBS win. I’m sorry.

It was as if that game was specially tailored to torment everyone watching it. You want a quickly resolved, emotionally easy Game 5? NOPE. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. You want clean plays and pleasingly paced innings? NOPE. NONE FOR YOU. You get instead AGONY and the fine sensation of YOUR HEART TRYING TO ESCAPE YOUR CHEST CAVITY VIA YOUR MOUTH and TENSENESS AS YET UNKNOWN TO MODERN-DAY ENGINEERING and any number of other things carefully constructed to raise your blood pressure, induce the emergence of bile, and melt key portions of your brain so that it subsequently leaks out of your ears and possibly eyeballs.

Good times!

It seemed like none of this was going to be the case at the very start, because Don freaking Kelly and Delmon Young hit back-to-back homers early to put the Tigers up on Ivan Nova. It was basically magical and full of wonder, like so:

Nova was out of the game after two innings. Hooray, one would think! But the Yankees REALLY wanted this one, and managed their pitchers accordingly. They didn’t want to give Nova any room to deepen the sinkhole, so we were treated to the spectacle of, at various points, both Phil Hughes and CC Sabathia in relief. Le eek.

Doug Fister only went 5 innings, but he also only gave up one run, so compared to the Yankee starter he was positively masterful. Like so:

Not one to be outdone in Taking This Game Seriouslyness, Jim Leyland had Max Scherzer come on in relief of Mister Fister. Although he was technically responsible for the second Yankee run (the first was a Cano homer off Fister), his only real contribution was a Derek Jeter single. Unpleasant, certainly, but not unforgivable… except for the fact that this single prompted Scherzer’s removal from the game, to be replaced by Joaquin Benoit.

When he came out to the mound, Benoit had a large band-aid on the side of his face. The band-aid, like most (especially at that size), was peach-colored. Joe Girardi came out and demanded that he remove said bandage, because it was “distracting”. Quote:

“I’m not trying to play a mind game or anything, but it was a pretty big Band-Aid and it was somewhat distracting, I think, it’s hard not to look at,” Girardi said. “I’m sure he had a legitimate reason, and it’s not something I necessarily wanted to do, but to me it would have been distracting.”
NY Daily News

Oh, ok. Sorry that basically all the bandages made at that size are MADE FOR WHITE PEOPLE, Joe Girardi. Sorry that Joaquin Benoit ISN’T WHITE and therefore when he has to WEAR A FREAKIN BANDAGE ON HIS FACE because he has SOME SORT OF NASTY THING THAT YOU DON’T WANT FLYIN’ FREE UP THERE, it ends up DISTRACTING FOR YOUR DELICATE PLAYERS’ VISIONS on account of his skin not matching the band-aid! SO TERRIBLE, WE MUST STOP THIS SORT OF THING FROM SULLYING THE PURE AND NONDISTRACTING GAME OF BASEBALL! AS IF JOAQUIN BENOIT’S BAND-AID IS ANY MORE DISTRACTING THAN AJ BURNETT’S ENTIRE FACE! HAVE HIM REMOVE THAT, IF YOU WILL!!

Ahem. Anyways.

Benoit loaded the bases and walked in a run and generally turned the 7th inning into the sort of baseball that ought to come with warning labels for those of delicate dispositions or preexisting conditions. BUT IT WAS OK. He pulled through, more or less, and then Valverde pulled through, more or less, and the Tigers won the catdamned baseball game in front of ARod and Spike Lee’s terrible hat and Little Victor and John Smoltz and the world and everybody.

Here. We. Go.

20 responses to “ALCS-bound

  1. Your paragraph on the bandaid issue had me rolling. It was a last ditch attempt to play mind games with Detroit and it DIDN’T WORK!!! ;)
    Also – as for the announcers – I ended up putting the TV on Mute and listened to tigers radio call the game, WAY more enjoyable experience.

    ON TO THE ALCS!

    • Me too! So much better to watch the game and hear the call by Dan and Jim. (Although I miss Rod and Mario.)

      • i dont. I’ll take Dan and Jim over Rod Allen any day… I just got back from a week-long camping trip with the family. The campground had no cable so I had the radio on. On the fifth game vs. New York I fell asleep on my bed I think during the 6th inning, only to be awaken by “SWING AND A MISS!!!!!!!!!!!” a few innings later. papa grande….god

  2. Best re-cap of the game so far. Joaquin was awesome – even with the walked in run and the 9th inning was down right serene compared to some of them we had to sit through this year. I LITERALLY was curled up in a fetal position on the ottoman from the 5th inning on. I would peek up through my fingers occasionally and then whimper or scream accordingly. We Detroit Tiger fans been through the fire, no lie.

  3. Everything you do is so full of wonder that it is hard for me to say this, but the Delmon Young+Don Kelly riding a baseball bat may be the most wonderfull thing ever.

    • …except for that knockout rendering of Dougie Fist! It should be his official portrait from now on, as well as next year’s Topps card.

  4. I’ll admit I blamed the 6-hour time difference on my wimpitude for staying awake for that thrilling nail biter. And now I will start devising brown band aids and be a billionaire.

  5. I’m so happy that Don Kelly is being cautious on his flying bat and holding onto the reins. Better safe than sorry. Not like that hooligan Delmon!

  6. Excellent writeup Samara! Happy to have rediscovered your blog after many years ;-)

  7. It wasn’t that bad… Now last Sunday I felt literal heart palpitations. But in the true way of “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” I was able to survive last nights game having only screeched at the TV, maybe twice.

    “AS IF JOAQUIN BENOIT’S BAND-AID IS ANY MORE DISTRACTING THAN AJ BURNETT’S ENTIRE FACE! HAVE HIM REMOVE THAT, IF YOU WILL!!”

    *snork* So true. So true.

    Also, I feel bad for saying this, because Curtis Granderson is a wonderful person, but I did a little happy dance inside when he booted that ball around the outfield like he was channeling the spirit of Ryan Raburn.

  8. This was an awesome post – pictures , words and all. The band aid paragraph was hilarious.

  9. Do a google image search for “victor Jose martinez champagne” your heart will melt.

  10. I LOVE HOW YOU DID THAT IN ALL CAPS!!!! Ahem anyway probably the best games Detroit has one since the MAGGLIO HOMERUN game. stayed up late to watch it thank goodness we didn’t have school today! :)

  11. ugh sorry not one i mean’t won my bad

  12. L’Affaire Joachin seems even sillier after watching the Cards/Phils game 5. A single band-aid might distract the hitters –but 50.000 people waving white towels all night is just fine! What fools these rules be.

  13. I love the Doug Fister picture! You really should have a shop set up to sell prints. Great recap as well!

  14. ivantopumpyouup

    I love your rants. They fill me with gleeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  15. ALCS Game 2:

    Nelson Cruz makes me sad:(

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