Category Archives: Aubrey Huff

Huff pinches a hit

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Honesty time!

I was all set to be surly about this game. It was yet another perplexing Verlander start: he looked very, very good at the beginning, then had a sudden freakout, all at once, that socked the Tigers into a losing position because the offense was not doing all that much against pitchers they SHOULD have been able to hit. It was 5-2 from the sixth inning on, and with the way the Tigers had been (not) driving cats in, that looked like a near-impossible deficit.

SUDDENLY!

Aubrey Huff did the thing we have been wanting him to do ever since we freed him from the feathery doom of Baltimore, namely: get a huge game-impacting hit. In this instance it was a three-run pinch hit homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 5 and, perhaps just as importantly, Give the Tigers Hope. It was his first pinch hit home run ever (ever!) and after the game he said, “It felt like my first [home run]… that felt like I was a rookie all over again.”

Madonna sang about that, Aubrey, she has a melody for your feeling!

The Tigers went on to win the game in THE MOST RIDICULOUS MANNER THEY COULD POSSIBLY THINK OF. To set the stage let me just note that it was the bottom of the 10th inning, and Marco Scutaro had made an error in the bottom of the 9th that resulted in a scoring baserunner. Anyways here is how it went down:

–Brian Wolfe is pitching. The River Thames strikes out.

–Brandon Inge walks.

–Curtis Granderson walks. Inge hobbles over to second, thus representing the winning run in scoring position.

–Alex The Savior Avila grounds a ball to Lyle Overbay at first. It has “double play” written all over it. Tigers fans heave an irritated sigh.

–Inge hobbles to third just as a matter of form. Overbay throws to Marco Scutaro, who is covering second.

–Scutaro somehow knocks the ball aside with his glove instead of catching it, flails around, error Error ERROR. Inge hobbles home.

–Tigers win! Tigers win!

–Inge and Avila are mobbed at the plate. Avila gets his head pounded before he can get his helmet off, turning his brains into a spicy soup inside of his skull.

–Avila is interviewed after the game. Armando Galarraga attacks him with a shaving cream pie, but Avila senses his presence and ducks away, getting shaving cream all over his arm and the back of his head but keeping most of it out of his face.

–Tigers fans heave a satisfied sigh.

So the Tigers won on a 10th inning walkoff… fielder’s choice… error… thing. But they won, which is the main thing! They split the series with Toronto, and they are finished with the AL East for the rest of the regular season. It’s all Central all the time from here on out.

cue the paint huffing jokes: Tigers acquire Aubrey Huff

photo by Samara Pearlstein

So yeah. We got this guy. Aubrey Huff, Brandon Inge’s dirt-chucking little friend.

He’s not going to play at first base, so I assume he’ll DH. Why we desperately needed a DH who’s OPSing .725 right now is not abundantly clear to me, although I guess the fact that he’s a lefty is sort of nice? So Carlos will definitely have to play in left now, and The River is pretty much out of luck, and Clete, presumably, gets less playing time as well.

If Carlos still can’t play left field, then Huff will… uh… well, he’ll bounce around first and third and the outfield. The upside of this, I suppose, is that it gives Leyland more flexibility in his lineup choices. Since everyone in the universe is injured it will also give Leyland more opportunities to rest these Cats every now and then– i.e. since Huff can play third better than Raburn can (ahem), he can give Brandon Inge’s screaming knees a break.

In return the Orioles get Brett Jacobson and the delicious, freeing sensation that comes of not having to pay Huff’s contract anymore.

Zoom was moved to the 60 day DL to get Huff onto the team, but nobody cares because Joel Zumaya is, in a baseball sense, dead to us at the moment anyways. The actual roster move that will be necessary to get Huff on the 25-man roster has not been made yet. I’ll update this post when I hear what it is.

ETA: Eddie Bonine got Toledo’d, apparently that was the move. Also, Chris Lambert was DFA’d, but that was because the Tigers signed one of their draft picks to a big league deal and needed room on the 40-man roster, not because Aubrey Huff is so powerful a force that he has to kick THREE Cats out just so that he can fit in.