illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Walks off to help the bullpen, anyways. Not that any particular Tiger was really, spectacularly, traumatically bad last night (just a smidgen bad; just enough to require a walk-off, you know), but the bullpen as a whole really needed a win tonight– something to take the pressure off, even if only briefly.
The Potato is out, more or less*. Benoit is in, sort of, but might not be able to pitch effectively on consecutive nights in closing situations, so there’s also Phil Coke (who had some ‘issues’ last night), and Drew Smyly, who, like Benoit, is not particularly stretched out, and… well. Jim Leyland and friends are doing everything in their power to avoid uttering the phrase “closer by committee,” but a rose by any other name etc etc.
A win like last night’s was welcomed and necessary. Of course it’s not as though the sight of Jhonny Peralta toddling happily around the basepaths with that rosy walk-off glow on his spherical face will completely erase the Bullpen Drama from the minds and increasingly neurotic hearts of Tigers fans. But it’s a nice break, and I’m sure a nicer break still for the denizens of the bullpen themselves.
Hhip hhip hhooray fhor Jhonny.
*ETA: So much for that. The internet is now saying that the Potato has been designated for assignment.