photo by Samara Pearlstein
It’s pretty late and I am pretty tired. Luckily for you, I took notes on this one. Instead of synthesizing them into some sort of paragraph system I am just going to throw them in here as-is and you are going to deal with it.
–Gio Gonzalez started this game for the A’s. Edgar Gonzalez finished it. In between they had three innings of non-Gonzalezes, so this was a mostly Gonzalez-pitched game on the Athletic’s side of things.
–Armando was rockin’ the one long sleeve early. His throwing arm was sleeved, his glove arm was bare. Jacoby Ellsbury did that a lot last year. Later in the game Armando dropped the other sleeve so that he was sleevily balanced.
–Ryan Raburn got an error because he dropped a ball in foul territory. I know why that’s an error, but still, harsh.
–NOMAR! I forget about him sometimes, take my Red Sox fan card away immediately. And Orlando Cabrera is on the same team, in the very same lineup, oh my goodness, I did not realize that. How awkward. Do you think Orlando Cabrera sometimes starts telling a story to his teammates and he says, “So back in 2004 in Boston…” and then he kind of awkwardly trails off and everyone tries to not look at Nomar? Do you think that happens? I think it does. That ’04 team was the kind of team that would have a lot of stories in it.
Also for some reason it is hilarious to me that Nomar is wearing number 1 now.
–Such a good game for Placido Polanco. He was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI and a run scored, including his first inning two-run homer. Polanco homeruns are like little freaks of nature, so it is always nice to see them supplemented with other solid hitting.
He has the exact same batting average as Curtis Granderson does right now (.259), which freaks me out for some reason… shouldn’t Curtis be higher, with the kind of year Polanco has had? PANICKY PANIC. Curtis’ OPS is a lot higher, though (.704 vs .821).
–Armando has been having Bondo-esque first innings. This is especially evident since tonight he settled down so nicely after that first inning. I almost want to have him talk it out with Bondo, except clearly that will not work because a) Bondo never really worked out his mental pitching issues and b) Bondo does not communicate well, or sometimes at all.
Armando also walked six guys today (in 6.1 innings… he only struck out five), which is not good. Not good at all. But he did get his second consecutive win, which IS good, considering how long he went between wins prior to that last one.
–Every time Adam Everett takes off his helmet I am struck anew by how glorious his hair is. That is some serious blonde-streaked fluff he’s got up there. He has, like, volume and bounce and other things that people desperately try to get out of their shampoos.
–Rod Allen says that Matt Holliday has “no body fat”. He says it with relish.
–I am so heartily sick of those Foundation for a Better Life ads. I don’t particularly enjoy having ‘behavioral values’ shoveled into my face while I’m trying to watch a baseball game. To be quite honest I find the whole thing skeevy, partly because its founder/funder is skeevy, and partly because I just object to the tone of the whole campaign itself. I’m a fan of a baseball team that employs Fernando Rodney, I am not going to get excited over someone cloyingly insisting that I take “optimism” and “pass it on,” you moose-lickers.
–A shot of Fu-Te Ni on the bullpen bench. He appeared to be either talking to himself, or singing to himself. Freddy Dolsi was sitting next to him. They were not speaking to one another.
–They have got to get a new font for the on-screen player stats, Rod Allen can’t read them half the time. Today he couldn’t tell if Zoom had allowed 16 or 18 walks because the 6 looked ambiguous (it was 16 before the game).
–Magglio didn’t look so hot at the plate tonight, he was taking some bad swings, didn’t seem to be seeing the ball well at all. His one hit was pretty bloopy, if I may use that word. So clearly cutting off the hair was not some sort of panacea, THINK ABOUT THAT NEXT TIME, MAGGLIO.
–Zoom had to momentarily hold things up in the 8th so that he could take his glove off and properly bite a loose bit of fingernail or skin or something off of his throwing hand. He was shaking his hand a ton, and after the inning ended he had a huge crowd of Tigers and Tigers trainers staring at his thumb in the dugout. Inge was all over his shoulder.
No word as of right now what it was, a blister or a hangnail or what. I would imagine there probably will be in an hour or so, but screw you guys, I’m going to sleep as soon as I post this.
–No hitting at all yesterday, so much hitting today. Whatever, Tigers. Clearly I don’t understand you and you don’t want me to understand. Be that way.
–In the 9th inning, Miguel Cabrera swung so hard that he let go of the bat and it went flying… but he made contact. The ball ended up being caught by the second baseman, who backpedaled out to the outfield grass, but Miggy was watching the bat and didn’t move from home. What if it had landed, or the fielder had dropped it? So weird. I can’t remember the last time I saw a player lose his bat and make contact, usually it happens on wild misses.
–Someone in the crowd near the end of the game was screaming like a loon during Tigers pitcher windups.
–FERNANDO. This was a textbook example of What He Does in his ongoing Attempts to Kill Us All.
Polanco had singled in a run in the top of the 9th, so the score going into the bottom of the inning was 5-1 Tigers and, thus, no longer a save situation. Fernando was all warmed up, though, so Leyland put him in. Rod and Mario say a bunch of things about him having a quick, clean inning so that he could pitch in tomorrow’s day game if needed.
He immediately walks Nomar on five pitches. I begin grinding my teeth. Jack Cust flies out to left. I temporarily cease dental destruction. I even dare to think something along the lines of, “It’s late, maybe he will just finish the game and I can go to sleep.”
So of course (OF COURSE) he throws a few pitches to Mark Ellis and then Ellis hits a two-run homer to make it 5-3. And then Adam Kennedy singles. Why? Why prolong the agony? Because this is what Fernando Rodney does. THIS IS WHAT HE DOES. You have probably already looked at the boxscore for this game and so you know that we turned a double play to get out of the inning and did not lose, but Fernando had to come in and give up a walk and two hits and two runs. He basically forced Leyland to get Brandon Lyon warm in the bullpen, in case things got even more epically dire.
He only (?) threw 19 pitches, so it’s at least theoretically possible that he would be available in the Wednesday afternoon game, but even if there were no actual negative impacts to the Tigers’ record, this was still an infuriating performance. He drives me clean out of my mind. WHY DOES HE DO THIS? I ALREADY LIVED THROUGH TODD JONES, OK, I THOUGHT THAT TIME WAS OVER.
–Twice in the first two innings, the Tigers had a man caught out between third base and home. TWICE! That’s unacceptable. If it’s bad to make an out at third, it’s even worse to make an out halfway to home. I don’t want to see those sorts of shenanigans again.