Category Archives: Alfredo Figaro

Tigers split the double header, the bullpen splits some hairs, Ryan Raburn just splits.


Raburn sez HARUMPH, photo by Samara Pearlstein

splitting the DH
I only saw bits and pieces of the games, but with the exception of the 9th inning of the second game, what I did see was mostly good. Rick Porcello was excellent in the afternoon matchup and Bondo was solid in the night game. Both seemed alert and rested and on/near the top of their respective pitching games. Neither showed any signs of DontrelleFlu or ScherzerShakiness. FredFred was living for the ground ball; Bondo was loving the K. The Tigers badly needed both starters to step up, and they both did that very thing. How unaccustomedly satisfying.

Jackson, TDamon, Magglio, Miggy, Boesch, and Santiago played in both games, although Magglio DHed in the first and TDamon DHed in the second– of all these, only Santiago was 0-for-the-day (with a walk). Laird caught Porcello, Avila caught Bondo (so G-Money will probably catch Verlander on Thursday).

Jim Leyland actually admitted that he probably let Phil Coke go too long (35 pitches, 9 batters faced). Rod Allen said, of Robinson Cano: “I didn’t realize Robbie was that thick!” While Figaro was pitching (badly) in the 9th, some dude in the stands screamed, “FERNANDO!!” It was a day filled with wonder and majesty. Yes, the Yankees won the second game. They won it, essentially, off of Coke and Figaro and Phil Hughes’ performance on their end. It could have been so much worse. Overall the team is pleased with the day, and so I shall attempt to cultivate a sense of mild satisfaction as well.

splitting hairs
Because this team is a bunch of idiot manchildren and they were stuck in the ballpark all day, during the break between games, something like half the team acquired mohawks. Yes, you read that correctly.

Of course Traitor Damon already had one, but now everyone in the bullpen does (maybe? I don’t think I saw Valverde, Bonine, or Thomas, and I don’t even know if Figaro has enough hair to cut into a mohawk. Definitely Zoom, Perry, Coke, and Ni (!!!) though.) Alex Avila also has a mohawk– more of a scalp landing strip. Bondo has one, even though it’s about a centimeter high. Asked about it after the game, he said that he just walked in and saw the other guys doing it, so he figured he’d get in on that. He also said that they were bored, and that he would keep it for a while.

Phil Coke got defensive about his mohawk, saying emphatically that he didn’t care what anyone else thought of it. It is clear that he misses the mullet and still regrets getting that haircut after being teased about it. FSND was making jokes about it being the worst mohawk on the team, but the most worrying thing about it, really, is the fact that Coke’s newly exposed scalp portions are scary-white compared to his face and rest of his head-skin. The hair itself is but an afterthought to this disturbing development.

Maybe a few of the other guys have them too, it was hard to see with the hats and whatnot. So far as I can tell, it just started as a doofy bullpen thing and expanded a little when other impressionable, peer-pressure-able, incredibly bored ballplayers wandered by and saw what was happening.

Illustration to come as soon as someone can confirm for me who does or does not have the new ‘do. At least in the bullpen.

Raburn splits
Not voluntarily, of course. But Ryan Raburn was sent packing to Toledo early Wednesday. Between the double header situation and the Dontrelle sickness situation (he’s now saying he thinks it is/was a bad sinus infection), more pitching was badly needed in Detroit, and Figaro needed a spot on the roster. Raburn hadn’t made much of a case for himself with his bat; although he is hitting better than Adam Everett and both catchers, that doesn’t say much, and Brennan Boesch had made him look like a feebly flailing weakling in comparison to Boesch’s (almost certainly unsustainable) bulging might.

Still, you have to feel kind of bad. He’d made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. With uncertainty in the outfield and at second, the Tigers made all this noise about Bench Player Versatility, and Raburn must have thought he had finally found a way to stick. Now this. Harsh.

I’m not sure how long Figaro will stay up. The extra arm will definitely be needed through the weekend, but beyond that… who knows? It might depend on Dontrelle’s health or Scherzer’s continued efforts to figure out this mysterious ‘American League’ thing once and for all. Then again it might just depend on how irritable Jim Leyland has gotten from tobacco deprivation at any particular time. We– and Raburn– can only wait and see.

Tigers enjoy a brew

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Ah, how refreshing it is, going into an offday with an interleague sweep under your belt. It should be a rule of baseball that if you sweep the Brewers, you have to wash down the sweet taste of victory with some sort of beer. Unless you’re Rick Porcello, of course. We don’t want to encourage illegal behavior.

Friday was a mess of rain and delays and instant replay. Arrrrrmando didn’t get the win, as the 2+ hour delay knocked him out after four innings. Play resumed, soggily. The Tigers managed to make it an official game and an official nightmare for Braden Looper with a glorious flurry of homers (Miggy, Granderson, The River Thames [who hit a second homerun off of the poor sod who came in to relieve Looper]).

Instant replay giveth, and instant replay taketh away. The first instant-replay-overturned play in Comerica history was a Miguel Cabrera ‘single’ that was actually a homerun. The ball had bounced back onto the field, which I guess confused the umpires? It seemed pretty obvious to everyone else in the entire world, but to their credit the umps went in to look at it and they got it right in the end.

The second replay was similar– Dusty Ryan hit a ball that bounced back onto the field. This one was originally called a homerun, although again the player at least seemed to feel differently, as Dusty pulled up at second and looked for the call before continuing around to home. Melancholy Ken Macha argued it, the umps had a look, and sure enough the ball had bounced off the fence, not the (out of play) wall, as I guess the umps had first assumed.

So instant replay gave the Tigs a homerun and took a homerun away from the Tigs, and was correct both times. Why were people so deathly afraid of introducing this to the game of baseball? TECHNOLOGY, HELL YEAH.

Also, Brandon Inge had his first triple of the season.

The game ended up getting called in the 7th inning, but by then it was 10-4 Tigers, so it’s not like a near victory was being cruelly snatched away from the Brewers or anysuchthing.

Saturday was the big league debut of Alfredo Figaro, who fanned seven in five innings, gave up two runs, and got his first win out of the way early. Who is Alfredo Figaro? He’s a 24-year-old righty who throws pretty hard, and IS THE COUSIN OF FERNANDO RODNEY. He also says things like this:

“I was a little bit nervous in the third inning,” Figaro said. “But then I thought in my mind, ‘You know what? That’s baseball. Throw your ball how you’ve thrown it for a long time and if he wants to hit, hit. And if he doesn’t, strike out.’ “

Figaro said his teammates poured beer on him in the clubhouse to help him celebrate his first win.

“I’m happy with that,” he said, “because I’m in the big leagues with all the stars, all the big guys. I’m very, very happy for that.

“I know they need a fifth starter. I can be that fifth starter. I believe in me.”

Chris Iott, MLive article

He thought in his mind! He believes in himself! I believe in you too, Alfredo! I believe that you are wee and adorable! I believe that the blood you share with Fernando will not automatically doom you to a career of frustrating, inconsistent, stressful outings. Prove me right.

Fernando actually threw a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the game for his cousin. Could this be the start of something beautiful?!

Sunday was basically the Return of Justin Verlander. He had a crummy outing in his last start, so this was precisely what he needed: nearly 8 innings, five hits, two runs, EIGHT strikeouts. Both the runs came off of singleshot homers.

Yovani Gallardo is nothing to sneeze at, so the fact that the Tigers were able to squeak out a win here (thank you Brandon Inge for your glorious three-run blast!) is legitimately commendable. And, hey, Fernando had another 1-2-3 inning, which I will note for the sake of fairness, given all the piling-on I generally do where Fernando is concerned.

Now! In addition to the mostly quality pitching and the bats that actually did things, the Tigers had 3 errors this entire series, all of which came in the slippery wet rain game, as opposed to the 6 errors they had against the Cardinals. Are the Tigers really getting their act together, or was this little burst of effectiveness just a combination of luck and Brewers? The Cubbies are coming to town, on a win streak of their own, so we shall see what we shall see.

I really hope it wasn’t just luck and Brewers.

ETA: OH, I nearly forgot! Look at who I saw at Fenway on Tuesday! :D