Category Archives: Ryan Raburn

Terrible Cartoons from the 8/24 game


all illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Most importantly, CONGRATULATIONS TO BRANDON INGE ON THE OCCASION OF HIS 1,000th MAJOR LEAGUE HIT!! Let us note that all 1,000 of these hits were of direct benefit to the Tigers, because Brandon Inge The Wonderful has been a Tiger the entire time.

Do you know how special that is? DO YOU YOU KNOW HOW IT WARMS MY COLD BLOGGER HEART?

Relatedly, last night I had a nightmare that the Wrong Sox had claimed Brandon Inge off of waivers (this is an actual nightmare that I had). It was so realistic that I woke up like this:

and had to turn on my computer and check the internet to make sure it was really just a dream, and not something that had happened in real life. Because how terrible would that be, right? It was not a good dream and my unconscious needs to not repeat it any time soon. I understand that this probably says some worrying things about my state of mind at the moment, but I’m sharing with you lot anyways.

Late in the Wednesday night game, Rod Allen was talking about Will Rhymes, and called him MIGHTY MOUSE. What immediately sprang to mind:

Rod actually said that Will Rhymes WAS Mighty Mouse, but this was my first thought. Just imagine the adventures they would have together! I know Mighty Mouse usually fought AGAINST cats, not with them, but I feel certain that he would make an exception for Will Rhymes. I don’t know if Rod came up with this one by himself but it is wonderful in any event.

Another thing that Rod said: “Ryan Raburn is ON FIRE!”

Which he is. Rhino was 2-for-4 with a home run in this game, and he is now batting .311/.363/.595 for the month of August. To give you a point of comparison, Miguel Cabrera is batting .284/.478/.552 in the same month (sidenote: gaze upon that .478 OBP in wonder, and behold the result of all those intentional and semi-intentional walks).

Now, obviously Rhino is Rhino and Miggy is Miggy, but for this one month, Raburn is really surfin’ the heck outta those flames.

Oh, and I guess FredFred had a good game today too. I should probably throw some love at the poor beleaguered pitching staff while I’m doin’ this Terrible Cartoon thing.

There.

PS: With this win the Tigers have achieved the ~*~magical .500~*~ record. Sarcastic hooray!

PPS: Traitor Damon is staying. The fact that I still call him ‘Traitor Damon’ should really tell you all you need to know about why he did not want to go back to Boston.

some little cats make big contributions


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I enjoy it when the Tigers beat up on the teams they are supposed to be able to beat. It’s like things are temporarily Right in this little corner of the world. Jeremy Bonderman is a legitimate pitcher: ah yes, that is the proper state of things. The Royals bullpen is bad: yes, yes, all is as it should be! And so on.

There was SOME weirdness, though, because the Tigers’ big offensive producers were some rather small cats tonight. Partly this is because nobody in their right mind would pitch to Miguel Cabrera anymore (1-for-3 with 2 runs scored in this one [he was walked twice, intentionally both times]). But that is not all.

–Ryan Raburn is having a wicked awesome month. He is batting .286/.333/.571 in the month of August so far. He has an OPS of .905. That’s, like… crazy. In a postgame interview tonight, he was asked what he had been eating to make his bat so freakishly hot of late. His response:

“I think it’s just my wife came into town, she’s got quite a few hits in her.”

Oh dear.

–Will Rhymes With Pretty Good Little Ballplayer. I mean, he is smart and tiny and he has almost-Magglio hair and he’s been hot since he’s been up, he can hit some and he can field the ball pretty well, he is not generally overwhelmed by the big league experience just yet… can we keep him? Please, Mr. Leyland? Can we, can we, pleeeaaaaaaase?

–Brandon Inge is a catdamend hero. He just is, and the sooner you accept that fact into your heart and your life, the happier you will be.

Those are the important facts.

Now, what else? Traitor Damon went 2-for-4 after hearing that he had been claimed on waivers by the Red Sox. The Only Casper in MLB was 0-for-2. Jeremy Bonderman gave up a run in the first, but buckled down after and managed to get through six. He didn’t walk anyone, although whether this is due to his control or some Royalist penchant for swinging away, I cannot say for sure. I’ll take it as a positive.

riding the Rhino to victory


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

True blogger story time. I prefer to get post cartoons one of three ways: a) something drawn, scanned, and colored quickly right after a game; b) a cartoon I have used before, or one that was just hanging out on my hard drive because I scanned it in and then forgot about it or something; and c) a cartoon I draw right BEFORE a game, hoping it will still be relevant after the game.

The ideal way to do this, of course, is (a), because you never know what sorts of shenanigans are going to go down, who’s going to have a good or spectacularly bad game, etc. But (b) happens a lot when I’m really busy and don’t have time to go through the whole draw/scan/color thing, or the game runs really late and I’m tired by the end and it’s all I can do to type words that are mostly spelled properly. I usually only do (c) if I know for a fact that I’m going to be tired/I have an exceptionally early morning the next day/I know I’m going to miss a good chunk of the game, and I haven’t posted a new cartoon in a while so I’m starting to guilt myself about it.

HOWEVER, almost EVERY SINGLE TIME I doodle a Terrible Cartoon before the game, the player in the cartoon fails horrifically during the game. Even if I have drawn something generic and innocuous, like Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat– that will be the day when Miggy goes 0-for-5 and also bobbles an easy play at first. Almost without fail. Paws forbid I’ve gone with a cartoon of the starting pitcher, he’ll have to exit early because he’s crying blood on the mound.

Today I had Ryan Raburn riding the rhino done well before the game… and Rhino had a two-run homer that ended up being almost all the Tiger scoring for the night! At Yankee Stadium! And the Tigers won! (Even though Papa Grande did his very best to Fernando us.) YES. Victory! Thank you for bucking the trend, Rhino, and making everyone’s lives easier.

Oh, and while I was away, apparently this happened?

What is this? Fighting the other team, yes, I approve. Fighting each other, NO. Bad kitties!

Manager Jim Leyland didn’t mind the scuffle. In fact, he said, “I kind of liked it.”

The passion. The intensity.

Perhaps Johnny Damon summed it up best: “All I know is dissension breeds winners … we should’ve done it a long time ago.”
Shawn Windsor/Detroit Free Press

This is such a sack of hairballs. If the Tigers had lost that game, this sort of thing would be seen as a sign of a cancer-riddled clubhouse, tempers flaring fruitlessly, all sort of badness. But because they won, it’s a ‘winners’ thing? Please. The one good bit is the fact that Gerald Laird came running to Alex Avila’s defense, because this team really is chock full of kittens, they’re just lil’ fuzzy babies, and SOMEone’s got to look out for them.

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.

Miguel Cabrera’s birthday win


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera turned 27 years old today! On Saturday, Ryan Raburn turned 29! Happy birthday, kittens! I hope you got lots of awesome presents and cake, although Miggy said that he didn’t get anything from his teammates because they’re all cheap. You should be ashamed of yourself with that zillion-dollar contract, Magglio.

At least Miggy got a win for his birthday. That’s something, even if he had to do most of it himself, driving home three of the Tigers’ four runs with one swing of his mighty birthday bat. Poor Ryan Raburn went 0-for-4 on his birthday, and they lost. Celebrate today, Ryan! Miggy will share his cake with you.

Things:

–I didn’t see Saturday’s game, therefore it does not exist. I’m sorry, has Justin Verlander pitched yet? No? He can’t have pitched, that would mean a combination of Ryan Rowland-Smith and the Seattle bullpen out-pitched him, and I think we all know that is not a possible thing. I guess they’ll just be skipping his spot in the rotation this time around. Oh well! Onwards.

–Best thing about Ryan Rowland-Smith is his Twitter handle. Hyphen18? Adorkable. He also uses exclamation points a lot, which makes him seem incredibly hyper.

–Seriously, poor Rhino. Batting .188/.381/.250, reinforcing that line on his birthday. And he doesn’t get to play the next day to try to make up for it. Hang in there, li’l guy.

–Snell. How is that hard to say? SNELL, pronounced exactly like you would think. Rod Allen cannot stop calling him “Ian Schnell“. I don’t even know where he’s getting that pronunciation from, but it is consistent.

–I note that Alex Avila has stopped fighting the inevitable and is letting his beard grow out. Of course he might just be doing it for hockey or something, but his face is clearly incapable of remaining clean-shaven for more than five minutes post-razor anyways; he may as well learn to rock it.

–I also notice that Phil Coke got a haircut, although he is for now at least keeping the facial hair (and PLEASE keep the facial hair, Mr. Coke, I beg you on behalf of cartoonists everywhere). I guess the teasing got to be a bit much.

With Coke’s Fu Manchu and hair style resembling a mullet, the Tigers also acquired a new target for ribbing out in the bullpen.

“We need to perm his hair, man,” reliever Joel Zumaya, after breaking into laughter, said prior to a recent Tigers home game. “Me and (Eddie) Bonine were joking around a bit. I heard it’s kind of a touchy subject, his hair. We’re going to buy (wigs) and come out in the bullpen with this long hair.”

Coke responded to his teammate, who fashions a buzz cut: “Well, he’s just hatin’ — just hatin’.”
Scott DeCamp/Kalamazoo Gazette, via Mlive.com

Don’t ever worry about what Zoom thinks when it comes to facial hair styling and tonsorial dressing, Phil Coke. Just look at what he has on HIS chin. I mean, honestly.

–Starting to feel a little less worried about Max Scherzer. It’s still early, of course, the league doesn’t really know him yet, etc, but he’s not such a terrifying total unknown to us Tigers fans anymore, and that’s nice. I like to have a minimal amount of complete panic in my day.

–The Tigers head out to Anaheim/LA/whatever next. Fernando’s with the Rally Monkeys. Prepare yourselves.

–I have not yet come across a commercial so disgusting that I turned off a baseball game to avoid it. But those new Labatt Blue Light ‘Refreshment Duo’ ads might be the ones to do it. I know I joke a lot about things like the overplayed Little Caesar’s ads and the April in the D ads and even the uncomfortable undertones in the Foundation for a Better Life ads, all that, but those Labatt Blue commercials honestly, truly make me want to put the remote through the screen. Or completely dissociate myself from the entire baseball fandom demographic which apparently makes an ad like that acceptable.

They are not cute, they are not funny, and I don’t really care if this makes some of you think I’m a humorless feminazi or whatever eyerollingly stupid term you want to use. Not cool, Labatt. Not cool.

Tigers ride to Cleveland victory

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

It is apparently That Time of the Year: the bugs are back in Cleveland. Nobody is quite sure what kind of bugs they are– people seemed to think they were some sort of gnat when they harassed the Yankees out of town a couple seasons ago– but Mario said something about flying ants on Tuesday night’s broadcast, so flying ants are what we’ve got here, at least until someone comes and tells us otherwise.

Riding the bugs to victory: Edwin Jackson and Ryan Raburn.

Jackson threw 7 wicked good, awesomesauce innings, suffering stoically through his usual lack of run support by giving up a grand total of ZERO runs. The Racist Logos didn’t even hit him hard. Choo had a double, but that was it for extra base hits. Sure, it wasn’t a sexy zillion-strikeout Verlander-esque outing (Jackson K’d two in those seven innings, and walked three), but it was a bloody good start, and it was exactly what we needed/wanted to see from Jackson, especially as it had started to look like he was tiring late in the season.

Folks who haven’t been watching Jackson lately, just looking at his overall numbers, would probably sporfle at that, but he actually hadn’t held a team run-less since May, and he’d given up 17 runs in his last four games prior to this one. He’s still fairly young and he’s only been a starter since 2007, so season fatigue is a real, pants-wettingly scary possibility down the stretch here. A 100+ pitch game, in September, where Jackson DIDN’T look like he was sucking wind at the end, is a serious relief. Hopefully it won’t end up being a temporary sort of relief.

As for Raburn, oh, you know, he just went 2-for-3 with two walks and a home run that took on additional importance given the low-scoring nature of the game. On a night where EVERY baserunner was of vital importance, he got on base four times. OK, so he was caught stealing at one point, but he also made a great throw from the outfield to nail Matt LaPorta at home, and I reckon that more than makes up for it.

Magglio also had three hits (a double and two singles) and a walk, so his average is sitting at a very light and fluffy .295 right now (I say ‘light and fluffy’ because his OPS is an unfortunate .765). Maybe he’s trying to fool us into feeling better about his contract situation.

Due to the fact that the stupid Wrong Sox can’t do ANYTHING right, the Tigers really, really needed this win, and will probably continue to desperately need every win from here on out, because the Twinkies are refusing to lie down and decently die, and the wild card ain’t comin’ from this division. Tonight FredFred goes up against Justin Masterson, a pitching matchup I am very much looking forward to watching. Children dueling on the mound! Someone call CPS!

thank cats for Raburn

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Jackson pitched well, the bullpen pitched REALLY well, but we can all thank Ryan Raburn for Friday night/Saturday morning’s Tigers win. The game was 3-2 in the end; he hit two home runs. You can do the math.

Real quick, ’cause I have to be up in less than five hours:

–Two errors, bad. But one was made by Jackson, who pitched so nicely, and the other by Raburn, who provided the aforementioned offense. So… temporary pass.

–I know he’s been having a bit of a rough stretch, and I know he’s always hit worse against lefties, and I know he could probably use a little rest (as everyone probably could, this time of year). But I hate to sit Granderson two nights in a row when we’re vying for the division title. It hearkens back to the days when he would routinely sit out against lefties. I dunno. He’s supposed to be moving in the opposite direction, working on obliterating those splits. Because Curtis Granderson is perfect I think I have decided to blame management for not letting him face lefties so that he can work through this.

–If any Tigers pitcher walks Kurt Suzuki ever again, I will vomit up my spleen, and then throw my spleen at the TV. You know how the Tigers never take walks? Suzuki walks even less than that. Walking him is straight-up embarrassing. Don’t do it.

–Mario says SeayLyon a lot, I enjoy it each and every time.

–Not a bad night for Gerald Laird. In a game where nobody was hitting, he got a single and walked twice. I’m sure he has The Fear these days, what with Alex Avila being declared the savior of mankind and all. A solid offensive effort from G-Money is a good reaction.

–Adam Everett sure did leave a lot of dudes on base tonight. I know he’s not really supposed to hit, but there it is.

–So weird to see the football field markings on the Coliseum diamond. It can’t almost be football season! I’m not ready yet!

Tigers finally win; world, Dustin Nippert reel in embarrassment and horror


Dustin Nippert is a sad, sad Ranger. Photo by Samara Pearlstein

You’re facing a team that has lost the last billion games in a variety of awful, heart-breaking ways. You’re facing a team that has had a power deficit, a walking problem, a deliriously bad bullpen, disgustingly inconsistent and exhausted starting pitching. What do you do?

If you’re Dustin Nippert, apparently you shriek and run in the opposite direction while flailing your arms dramatically in the air.

When you pitch worse than Freddy Garcia, a guy who was basically getting a start as an ‘eh, can’t hurt, may as well see what he can do after having spent months and months and months not pitching at this level’ experiment, you probably feel pretty bad. Check it:

Freddy Garcia: 5.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 59 pitches.
Dustin Nippert: 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 4 walks, 6 Ks, 101 pitches.

Eeee-yowch. Gigantic sadface for Dustin Nippert. Of course Nippert’s bullpen backed him up, with two of the six Texas relievers who pitched tonight also giving up 5 earned runs each. The Tigers ended up scoring 17 in all – and that with only ONE home run, a three-run job by Miggy in the 6th. The Tigs managed to walk 9 times in this one. They had 10 walks in the previous three games COMBINED.

Ryan Raburn tripled in a park that WASN’T Comerica. If that doesn’t illustrate the kind of struggles the Rangers had in this one, nothing will.

Despite the crazy offensive output, despite the surprising and mildly gratifying quality of Garcia’s effort, things were not entirely good for the Tigers. How could that be, right? I mean, a cleanly played game from all quarters? UNPOSSIBLE! I am speaking of course about Nate Robertson, who came on in relief of Garcia and gave up 3 runs in 2.2 innings. Not the worst outing he’s had, not by a long shot, but in a game where the starter didn’t give up a single earned run in spite of the fact that he was probably stiffer than Gary Sheffield’s knees, it’s kind of discouraging to see a reliever give up more than that.

At least it would be if I hadn’t already reached a kind of saturation point of discouragement so far as Nate’s concerned.

The Race to .500!

… is pretty much impossible at this point. We still have 1 loss left to spare, but this win was more about delaying the inevitable than it was about helping us achieve our last and surely most pathetic goal for the season.

Thursday is an offday, and then on Friday we’re back in the real time zone to take on the Racist Logos at 7:05 pm EDT. Arrrrrmando vs. Dr. Fausto Carmona. I kind of wanted to see Armando skip this start and get some rest, because he’s seemed gassed in his last couple of starts, but I’m not the manager so whatever. Who am I to comment on what we do with our best but over-stretched pitcher at the end of a bad season in a series with basically no meaning? Tasty, tasty futility. Go Tigers!

the race to .500


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

September in tha D! Are you ready for this? Are you ready for the extraordinary excitement that will be The Race to .500?!?!!?

As we finish out the season we will be playing teams who are fighting for their divisions, teams who will be fighting for the wild card, for any playoff berth at all. The Tigers? We’re fighting for the more symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing EVEN SPLIT. We aim for perfection… PERFECT MEDIOCRITY. The mathematical beauty of .500, that is our objective.

We need a minimum of 81 wins to achieve this majestic goal! Right now we have 67! There are 23 games left in the season! We need to win at least 14 of those games to reach .500! This means that we are only allowed 9 more losses for the entire rest of the month. START YOUR COUNTDOWN, FOLKS AND FELINES!

Bits and pieces from the Wednesday night game, ’cause I need to be in bed about two hours ago:

– Lots of ‘USA, USA’ chants for Olympian Mike Hessman. He obliged the crowd with a late-inning home run. Rod and Mario spent quite a while talking about how he didn’t get to see any of the basketball or swimming because even if you’re an Olympic athlete, you need to get tickets to watch other events, and the tickets would get snatched up early in the morning.

– Renteria was tossed in the 6th for arguing about being called out on a checked swing (lots of rumbling about the strikezone tonight too) so the camera focused on Ramon Santiago, who was readying his glove in the dugout. He was talking to Ryan Raburn, and as he got up he appeared to reach out and TWEAK RABURN’S NOSE. It’s kind of hard to see because he’s between the camera and Raburn, but I definitely did a doubletake. A doubletake of POTENTIAL GLEE.

– The crowd kept chanting ‘Gary! Gary! Gary!’ when Sheffield was up, and then booing loudly if he made an out. Rod and Mario were perplexed and amused by this. Obviously they’re not familiar with Sheff’s deep, twisted need to be booed to psych himself up at the plate.

– After the game, Magglio, Joyce, Granderson, and Santiago all met for a GROUP HUG. Like, a big circular hug. I squee’d.

Thursday we’ve got a day game, 1:05 pm EDT. Kenny vs. Ervin Santana. Remember: there’s a maximum of 9 losses allowed for the entire rest of the month. I hope Kenny is bearing that in mind. Go Tigers!

Tigers salvage a tiny shred of dignity


photo by Samara Pearlstein

It’s not a huge honkin’ load of dignity. It’s not much at all. But it’s a little tiny shred, and it’s more than we had yesterday, so what the hell, let’s celebrate it.

Zach Miner had a quality start! Six innings! One earned run! Three Ks! ZERO walks! Second-lowest ERA for a starting Tiger pitcher! Third-lowest WHIP for a starting Tiger pitcher! Woo, woo, WOO! Yeah! ZACH MINER! Don’t you love that our second-best starter right now is Zach Miner? Zach Miner, with his doofy hair and his crazy awkwardly half-folded rally hats and his adorable tendency to hang out in the dugout with Arrrrrmando! Zach Miner, getting a shot again this season because everyone else is either dead or dead terrible.

Zach Miner: for the win.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera had all sorts of hits! Three-for-three with 3 RBI! Two walks! Big home run! Twenty-one home runs now! Power! Hitting! Hitting for power! Totally justifying the trade we made to pry him out of Florida! He also made some nice stretches at first for double plays in this series! Plus the cuddling a couple of days ago! Miguel Cabrera, YEAH!

He got rid of the high socks, though, which is most assuredly NOT a good thing.

Carlos Guillen! Two-for-two with THREE walks! A double! A triple! Three runs scored! Especially good because Carlos has not been hitting all that wonderfully this season. But let’s not concentrate on that! Hitting TODAY! Happiness and sunshine!

Fernando Rodney! Another good outing! Two really good outings in a row for Fernando! It’s like Bizarro Baseball World! It’s like Fernando Rodney circa 2005-2006! Fernando is good at baseball! Fernando can throw his pitches for strikes that are not hit a million miles in the opposite direction! Maybe this is the start of a beautiful thing, where, having done it twice, Fernando realizes he really CAN do it, and no longer gets psyched out by tense pitching situations! Or maybe it is all a temporary illusion. Happy illusion! Happy illusion!

Ryan Raburn did not get any hits (he subbed in for The River and only had two at-bats anyways), but he made two amazing plays from the outfield to save our kitty bacon, and the game. I think in both cases the tying runs were on base. The first good play was admittedly half a bad play on the part of the Wrong Sox: they sent Jim Thome home when they probably shouldn’t have done so, and Raburn nailed him (via Santiago) at the plate. The second one was a glorious, heart-clenching diving catch to bail out Fernando. All’s well that ends well.

Tomorrow we welcome the skidding Oakland A’s into town for a 7:05 pm EDT game. Kenny takes on Dallas Braden. What is it with the A’s and pitchers with Texan city names? Frikkin’ weird.

Anyways, I am going to be in Florida from Friday afternoon to Monday night (sadly not a baseball-related trip), so it will be quiet around here until probably Tuesday. Play nice ’til then, don’t let the bigger cats steal your kibble, and Go Tigers!