Category Archives: Brad Thomas

of Aussies and soda

Aussie baseball! by Samara Pearlstein

Coming back to win a game that has already tanked… I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one paw, great, awesome, good, yay we win, etc. On the other paw, well, we can’t expect to do that every night and get away with it, and in fact it is shocking that we got away with it even once, especially against the Twins.

Max Scherzer gave up six runs in 3.2 innings. Usually that would be the kiss of baseball death. But tonight it was not! In part this was because of the bats– which I will get to momentarily– and in part it was because of some BEAUTIFUL BULLPEN WORK courtesy of Brad Thomas (hence your lead image), and also this fellow:

RELIEF PITCHING saving the game? Why I never! But that is what happened. Between B-Thom and Coke there were zero runs allowed, three hits (a double and two singles), five Ks, and ZERO walks, all in 4.1 innings. That’s longer than the starter was in the game, mind you, and infinitely more effective. Thomas inherited two of Scherzer’s runners and didn’t let either one of them score. I’m not sure what happened here, but it brings me joy and I would like to see it repeated.

Of course even the best pitching and defense in the world will not get you back from a five run deficit. For that we had to turn to the bats. And Brandon Inge said, “Max, Max, don’t let the tears of losing mar your beautiful eyes. I will make it all better.” And Scherzer said, “Um, OK, that’s a little creepy. But thanks?” Always a manchild of his word, Inge hit the only Tiger homer of the game, for maximum awesome. They managed to work big, melt-down-y innings in the fourth and sixth, and went from having one run when Scherzer left the game to eleven runs in the end.

So, yeah, this one probably should have been a loss. It wasn’t. Somehow. Do we dare to hope for repeatability?

Some random notes from the game:

–There were actually TWO Australians on the field in this one. Brad Thomas, of course, and Luke Hughes, who played third for the Twinkies in his major league debut today. Sadly he hit a home run in his very first big league at-bat, but it was off of Scherzer, not Thomas, so Australia didn’t explode or anything.

–Jim Leyland on what he thought about a Denard Span dropped ball in the outfield, which may or may not have been a catch: “I’m 65 years old, I can’t see that far.” The reporters chuckle, waiting for elaboration. From Leyland, only silence.

–Scherzer’s eyes in HD close-ups are absolutely captivating. He’s got a snaggletooth on the bottom though that I also never noticed until I saw an HD postgame interview. (As a positive he notes that he didn’t walk anyone today, and this outing did not make him lose confidence in his pitching.)

–Miggy and Dontrelle hugging and hopping in a circle in the dugout. BEAUTIFUL

–OK, I have put off discussing this for long enough. The McDonald’s player of the game fan vote thing: why is Brandon Inge ALWAYS in the top 3? It’s not that I fail to appreciate him, as you all know, but it seems like every single day, regardless of what he’s done on the field or at the plate, Inge is up there in that voting. Who exactly is texting in those votes (I won’t do it because I’m pretty sure once you do, you get text messages from McDonalds)? What sort of crazed IngeHordes have control over this fan vote?

Ramon triumphant

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Praise be to Paws! The Tigers have signed Ramon Santiago to a two-year, $2.5 million contract. You can all let out that anxious breath you’ve been collectively holding. It will all be OK now. Ramon is here to soothe, to calm, to gaze soulfully out at the field from the bench, to occasionally field the baseball.

In all seriousness, this is a good thing. Is it the move that will tip the Tigers over from Potential ‘Rebuilding Year’ to Legitimate Division Title Contenders? Yes, yes, Ramon will save us all! No, it is not. But Mr. Santiago has been good to us defensively and he hits better than Adam Everett (not that this is difficult). I know he’d much rather be starting, but he’s a solid choice for infield backup and if worst comes to worst and Everett breaks a hip or something, well, there are worse things in this world than Ramon Santiago getting a few more starts.

He can also play a little second base here and there, which takes on EXTREME importance when you remember that the Tigers’ current second baseman is Scott Sizemore, he of the Zero Career Big League At-Bats. We need someone who can step smoothly in at second if/when Sizemore gets himself into a slump, starts feeling unaccustomedly sore, crumples tragically under the pressure, contracts swine flu, whatever. Santiago is just the cat for that.

Now here’s something strange:

According to Jon Paul Morosi’s Twitter (ugh), lefty reliever Brad Thomas’ contract will be for $1 million. Ummmmm. Yeah. This Brad Thomas, the one who spent 2008 and 2009 pitching in Korea, and before that was pitching in Japan, and last pitched in a MLB game in 2004. And he only pitched in three games that season. In fact he has only pitched in 11 games at the big league level in his ENTIRE CAREER.

And he’s 32 years old. Did I mention that? Because he is. Thirty-two.

The Tigers are (allegedly) (according to Mr. Morosi) paying him a million dollars? In a season where they’re trying to cut payroll? Really? WHY?