Category Archives: sweet victory

Happy Real Opening Day!

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The home opener is the Opening Day that matters most, since that’s where the hometown fans get to see real live baseball in front of their faces. Also, the Tigers won, which means I can acknowledge the game without sacrificing my emotional equilibrium and general ability to function in society without snapping irritably at everyone around me. That’s Real Baseball.

I actually have no idea what the deal is with this cartoon. Originally I had big plans for it, but stuff just wasn’t working out. I think I threw out four or five different Paws sketches that looked nothing like this. Then I was going to at least do a background until I got lazy and that didn’t happen either. But it’s the home opener so I felt like I had to have something new up, and this is what was left in an open Photoshop window. Save-as-jpeg and there you go, internet.

How great was it to see Victor Martinez smash the baseball for the first time in home whites? Somewhere between ‘wicked awesomely great’ and ‘perfect’, I should expect.

I really enjoyed getting out to an early lead. It takes the pressure off and keeps the game from getting too stressful, which is nice because I get enough of that from the Red Sox in my life these days, thank you. Close games are fun and low-scoring pitchers’ battles or high-scoring slugfests can both be fun, but sometimes you just want to see a game that doesn’t make your blood pressure skyrocket.

Max inspired good feelings. When he’s on, he’s on. This bodes well if you are willing to take one game against the Royals as a Sign, and I totally am.

I think there was more to this post but I am falling asleep, so this is what you get.

Plus everyone stuck it out on the ballpark despite the cold, wet weather and the ominous Tarp of the Field. If you were perfectly willing to sit through all that because it was Opening Day, congratulations. Mad respect.

’til next year, Comerica

photo by Samara Pearlstein

So that was the last home game of the season.

Everyone got a hit (except for Jhonny and G-Money, which is fine). FredFred threw 8 wicked strong innings. Papa Grande threw a perfect 9th inning. Miggy hit a home run. The Twinkies were sent packing with their heads hanging in sponge-cake-shame. It was in the 50s and the game was quick, just over two hours. All was as it should be.


(unless a meteor strike takes out both the Twinkies and the Wrong Sox, which is unlikely but not impossible, I guess… like, we can’t really rule it out entirely, we do not know all the ways of the universe)

A combination of work and the September Michigan Problem kept me from seeing much baseball this weekend, but I still don’t want it to be over. And I really do not want the playoffs to go on with Twinkies and Yankees and other such creatures. I don’t want to have to watch that sort of filth, but I will watch it, because I will be deprived of Tigers baseball soon enough. IT IS A TRAGEDY even though it’s repeated every year.

But this was a nice win, so I suppose we should concentrate on it. Bask in another Miguel Cabrera blast, and the warm glow of a Rick Porcello Win of Awesomeness. The hilarity of a three-run Ramon Santiago home run. A Brandon Inge double for all you haters out there. Being above .500. The faces that Jose Valverde makes when he is on the mound.

In fact, to celebrate, behold the following. It is composed entirely of photos I took during one single Papa Grande outing (this one).

If that is not a celebration of Tigers baseball, I don’t know what is.

the complete Verlander

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

There it is! The Verlander performance for which we have all been waiting! He threw 116 pitches, yes, but he managed to stretch those out over A WHOLE NINE INNINGS. Justin Verlander! Was! Efficient!


I cannot overstate my happiness with this Verlanderian performance. Dallas Braden pitched a good game, so it was imperative that Verlander be great and not merely piddlingly good. He stepped right up to the task on little kitty paws and extended his little kitty claws and tore the hell out of the Athletics. Just blood everywhere. Then he cleaned his paws off by licking them, as all cats do, while Ryan Sweeney stood there crying.

Actually I’m not really sure where I was going with that, but I guess you can take it as my overall impression of the game.

I was sort of taking notes until I started falling asleep, but one of them said 68-69 pitches for Justin through 6!!!!!!! Obviously I was pretty excited by that. Now, I wasn’t paying super close attention to the pitch selection, but I did note that Justin was striking guys out at a much, uh, gentler rate than usual. I’m sure the Oakland hitters were helping him out some, but he did not seem to be living as squarely in the hit-it-or-die section of the strikezone as he has in the recent past. This was a good thing! Fewer pitches in that zone = fewer fouled-off balls = fewer endless at-bats = efficient Verlander = complete game victory = happy RotT.

Other things:

–Brandon Inge shaved off his mohawk. It seems this is not a hairstyle that many Tigers can stomach for too long. ALSO IT WAS BRANDON INGE’S BIRTHDAY TODAY. He turned 33 years ancient.

–Dallas Braden has one of those hipster tattoos of a mustache on the side of his forefinger, so when he holds his finger up under his nose it makes a fake mustache. Rod and Mario were laughingly incredulous.
Mario: “Now, would YOU go to the trouble of getting a tattoo on your finger, just so you could do that?”
Rod: “Never.”

–I also noticed that Braden had ripped out a section of fabric from the front and center of his undershirt collar. Pretty sure this was done to obliterate the Nike swoosh that usually lives there, and if so… well done, Mr. Braden. Continue the fight against insidious logo creep.

–The first run of the game for anybody came in the top of the 7th, with a Brandon Inge leadoff home run of infinite glory. The game was scoreless for six innings, that’s how wicked the pitching was all ’round.

–Danny Worth, of all cats, was 3-for-3.

–The A’s did not manage to get a single extra-base hit against Verlander. None of them had more than one hit on the night.

–Rajai Davis was wearing his socks up. They’re dark green low stirrups with yellow sanis, and he has a yellow A’s logo on the outsides of his ankles. Pretty sharp. Little white or orange Olde English Ds on the ankles of high Tiger socks would be sweet.

Yankees sent outta town, tail between their legs, even though Tigers are the ones who have tails.

whatever this is, by Samara Pearlstein

Falling asleep, bullet points.

–The Tigers took 3 out of 4 from the Yankees, including two shutouts. The starters all gazed upon the dessicated flesh of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, those old dudes, and instead of recoiling in horror and giving up a thousand runs, they narrowed their eyes and in some cases their hairlines, and they shut that pinstriped business down. What to say? If they could play like this all the time, I would be a happy cat. It won’t happen, so I will remain a surly human.

–I was only able to see the beginning of the game before I had to leave for work. As I was driving home, I called my dad, who told me that the Tigers had won and Justin Verlander had gone 6.2 innings. Immediately I ask, “How many pitches?”

My dad said, “Um… a lot. But he was good!” I’m glad that he was good, but you can’t deflect me from my paranoid obsession with his pitch count, no indeed.

Turns out ‘a lot’ is 119 pitches. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about your Ways just because you shut out the Yankees this time, Justin. Don’t think for one second I’m going to let this pass by. And whatever happened to Leyland keeping him on a pseudo-pitch-count? Were those just empty words? I bet they were. Sigh.

–Since when do the Yankees have someone named ‘Nova’ on their team? Nova? What the hell is this, when did I start following a show on Syfy again? I thought I swore off that stuff after Stargate: Atlantis ended.

–Brennan Boesch is giving me the vapors.

–Eddie Bonine has gotten into 14 games so far this season. He’s thrown 18.2 innings, and his ERA is 0.96. His WHIP is the same. I want to take that knuckleball and cuddle it. I just want to cuddle it so hard.

–Not Tigers, but AL Central: Trey Hillman is out as the manager of the Royals. Ned Yost is in. The last time I saw Ned Yost in person, he was busy shoving his hands down his pants. I’m just saying.

–It’s that time of year, kids and kittens. The Red Sox are coming to Detroit. My brain is about to melt out of my ears. I don’t know if I should be happy that I’m working during both of the weekend games, or if I should be even more upset than usual. What will probably happen is that I’ll stay up to watch the NESN replays at odd hours and then I’ll hate myself even more the next day, and I will write something completely incoherent over here, which won’t be all that different from the usual state of affairs, but there may be more egregious misspellings. Prepare yourselves.

–Mohawk rundown: Johnny Damon, Joel Zumaya, Phil Coke, Brad Thomas, Eddie Bonine, Jeremy Bonderman, Brandon Inge, Fu-Te Ni, Alex Avila, Ryan Perry, bullpen catcher Scott Pickens. Am I missing anyone?

Mohawk cartoons to come at some point tomorrow, when I’m not falling asleep and occasionally drooling on the keyboard. Which I may or may not be doing right now.

Inge hits the stitches off the ball, and other doodle tales

doodle by Samara Pearlstein

You know what’s annoying? When you’re doodling cartoons during the game, planning to get something to use in the post, and one by one the Tigers go through and invalidate each of your doodles as you finish them. It’s like they WANT to be unpredictable and annoying to bloggers. Would it be so bad to start the game playing well, and just… maintain that for the entire length of the game? Would that really be so terrible?

Like tonight: I started out with an Austin Jackson action figure (props to Rod Allen’s ‘Action Jackson’), because he had a couple of hits and seemed like he’d deserve a drawing. Then Inge went yard, and Miggy started piling up hits, and Jackson’s game didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.

So I started a doodle of Jeremy Bonderman frolicking with a happy baseball. Bondo was perfect through 3.2 and that was broken up by a Josh Hamilton singleshot homer, which isn’t so terrible in the grand scheme of things. It was looking like his second good outing in a row. It seemed appropriate. Of course then Bondo put a couple of guys on in the 5th and uncorked an incredibly wild pitch that scored a run… then he loaded the bases in the 6th, madness ensued, Zoom had to come on in the middle of the inning, etc. Another doodle negated.

I was too scared to doodle Zoom, lest the bad doodle mojo strike him down mid-pitch.

THEN I started doodling a Coke can with Phil Coke’s facial hair, which, OK, was probably a mistake in the first place, but how was I to know that Phil Coke would blow the save? I know he got the W at the end of the day, I know he wasn’t ~technically~ tagged with any runs, but he inherited loaded bases and let two of them score, which was totally mean to Zoom, so… no can for today.

Finally, after BRANDON INGE’S SECOND HOME RUN OF THE GAME, I figured he was a safe enough doodle bet, and the hastily rendered image up top there is the result. I swear to Paws, if he had committed an error in the bottom of the 9th or something, I would have just thrown down my pen in rage and you would have had to deal with another lazy-day photo.

Now the Tigers go home (yay!) to play the Twinkies (…eek). They won 5 games on the 11-game Wrong Coast road trip, which is obviously not great, but is also not as terrible as it could have been. I guess? They’re still over .500 (by a sliver), and they actually have the 5th-best record in the AL right now. Weird. Anyways, as frustrating as things have been, they could have been much worse. So let’s concentrate on getting those hamstrings restrung, let’s enjoy the fact that we’ve escaped utter destruction so far, and let’s start playing some cleaner baseball (Justin, FredFred).

Those Twinkies aren’t going to eat themselves, you know.

making Brian Fuentes think dark depressing thoughts

Brian ‘Not Miguel Cabrera, Anyone But Him, Please’ Fuentes, photo by Samara Pearlstein

I was at tonight’s (Wednesday) Red Sox game, which the Sox won on a walkoff double in the 12th. I got home, turned on the TV, and was just in time to see the top of the 9th in the Tigers/Rally Monkeys game.

The top of the 9th where Brian Fuentes– usually so good but fresh off a strained back and short rehab assignment today– immediately gave up the lead to Miguel Cabrera, who hit a game-tying homer to lead off the inning. Then some craziness happened. Carlos Guillen walked. Gerald Laird, in for Avila (who had started the game), came up to the plate. Guillen STOLE SECOND on his gimpy legmeats. Then G-Money walked! Issuing Gerald Laird a base on balls is no easy feat, you know.

Because this seemed too good to be true, Guillen was of course then picked off trying to steal third (for the second out). It seemed like all was lost, and I might be doomed to watch two extra-innings games in the same night. But Laird had advanced to second on the play, Ramon Santiago hit a golf-swing ridiculously bloopy single to score him, and the Tigers took the lead. A slender, delicate lead, but a lead nonetheless.

The Big Potato finished it off with a 1-2-3 bottom half, the Tigers scraped a win after apparently trailing all game long. What do I know, I only saw the last inning. They looked GREAT, so far as I know!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Rally Monkeys might have been better off bringing in Fernando. Sure, he’d pitched in the previous two games, but he’d only thrown 32 pitches total…

I did hear that Bondo had a terrible first inning, and only settled down after. I suppose it’s good that he was able to settle down, but FREAKIN’ HECK, BONDO, I THOUGHT WE WERE PAST THIS. I thought we were done with the first inning shenanigans! Don’t do this to yourself and us again. Please.

Good things happen. I don’t quite trust it, but I like it.

Magglio by Samara Pearlstein

I’m not even sure what to say about these last couple of games. The Tigers won both, so… good. I am still not positive HOW they won on Sunday, but, you know, good. The only thing I know for sure is that Magglio Ordonez is ON FREAKIN’ FIRE. He’s got 12 hits and 6 runs in 6 games so far; he’s batting .462/.517/.769. Obviously that is an unsustainable pace, but do you really care? No. You don’t care. You’re like me, you just enjoy the hell out of the Magglio Ride while it lasts.

I was working during the Saturday game, so I didn’t see it. I know that Bondo apparently did a whole bunch of positive, old-school-Bondo-type things. I know that Magglio hit a two-run homer in other example of pure Magglio gloriousness. I know that it was the Chinese New Year of the Tiger celebration and that Fu-Te Ni, appropriately, got into the game. I know he hit a couple of batters, but it was Year of the Tiger Day, ok, Ni had free reign to do whatever he wanted, and if what he wanted was to be a little bit wild while not ruining the game, so be it.

I did watch on Sunday, though, and… um. Verlander had a disturbingly bad first inning (43 pitches and five runs, including a Luis freakin’ Valbuena grand slam). A true Bondo first inning, actually. Now we have to hope that the First Inning Syndrome was not contagious. It’s bad enough that every little cold gets passed around the clubhouse because ballplayers do not believe in tissues and hand sanitizer; First Inning Syndrome would be even worse. Basically what I’m saying is: WASH YOUR HANDS, BONDO. Sheesh.

After giving up five runs in the first and not scoring any runs themselves until the 5th, the Tigers absolutely should have lost this game. But in baseball, there is no ‘should’! There is only ‘oh yeah that actually happened, huh, look at that’! Still. The Tigers left 18 cats on base. There were three Racist Logo home runs and zero long shots from the Tigers.

But stuff just kept happening. It may have taken them to the 5th to get their first run, but the Tigs scored in every inning after that. Bonine gave up some runs, but the bats kept on clawing back, and suddenly it was the 9th inning, and it looked like this:

–Raburn grounds out.
–Magglio, hero, singles. The crowd begins to act like they believe the Tigers can actually do this thing.
–Miggy walks.
–Carlos Guillen doubles, scoring Magglio and making the score 8-7. The crowd goes nuts.
–Inge grounds out to Asdrubal Cabrera, who makes a fairly insane diving stop on the ball.
–Ramon Santiago walks, loading the bases. A couple of the pitches are borderline, but we’ll take it. Even with two outs, everyone is losing their minds.
–Johnny Damon pinch hits for G-Money. He walks in the tying run on four straight balls. Crowd goes bonkers. The Racist Logo pitcher is thoroughly freaked out.
–With Sizemore up, the Racist Logo pitcher throws one ball, then chucks a wild pitch that the catcher has no chance on. Guillen scores. Tigers win, 8-9. Everybody jumps on everybody else at home plate. Beauty and truth prevail.

So Verlander is saved from a loss, the home opening series is magically transformed into a sweep, Magglio continues his campaign of fabulousness, and all the new cats get to hop around in a walkoff party pile. The best part?

Eddie Bonine started the 9th and had to come out in the middle of his first batter (not sure what happened, I wasn’t paying very close attention). Leyland brought in Phil Coke. The batter had a full count and Coke let him single, but he followed that up with a line-out to third and a double play. The game was 8-6 Racist Logos at that point. Since the rally came in the bottom of the 9th, it was Coke who got the Win-with-a-capital-W.

In light of his immense sadness following what he considered a poor performance, this just warms my cold little heart. See, Phil Coke! I told you it wasn’t so bad.

welcome back to Detroit

cartoon by Samara Pearlstein

The gates have opened, the hot dogs are roasting (or whatever it is they do to make those things nominally cooked). The lights are on, the grass, despite the temperature, is green. Rod and Mario have returned to their accustomed booth. Paws has swept the dust from home plate. It’s the home opener!

And the Tigers won. Which is great, because I had scrawled spring cleaning Paws up there before the game, and his smugly pleased expression would have looked awkward if we’d lost. Thanks for that, Cats.

FredFred gets the win, and although he only went five innings (87 pitches), he looked sharp. He gave up two runs: a singleshot homer from Travis Hafner, and an RBI single from Mike Redmond, who stayed with the ball way deep into the strikezone and just poked it through the defense. Porcello didn’t look that bad in either at-bat. And did I mention how cold it was during the game? Because it was apparently cold. Miserably, Detroit-ly cold. Not-great-for-pitchers-ly cold. FredFred handled it well. It could have been more efficient, it could have been a little cleaner, but I am content.

Inge on Porcello’s lack of big game jitters, after the game: “He’s a better guy than I am, I dunno. He’s toeing the mound with 50,000 people out there and it doesn’t look like it bothers him at all.”

Scott Sizemore got his very first big league hit! A single with one out and a man on in the fifth. He eventually came around to score on a hilarious series of bad defensive events on the part of the Racist Logos. I’m just glad he got it out of the way before the season wore on much longer; if he started pressing to get that first hit, it probably would not have ended happily. (As an aside: in this game, there were two Sizemores [Scott and Grady] and two Cabreras [Miguel and Asdrubal].)

A note on how cold it was: the loudest cheers of the day were on the few occasions when the sun came out. The first time it happened, Rod and Mario had just mentioned Ernie Harwell. Suddenly the sun comes out and the crowd roars. They couldn’t have planned it better, unless Rod Allen can control the clouds with his mind, which I guess is a possibility that must be considered.

Jim Leyland, after the game:
–Porcello wasn’t sharp by his own admission, couldn’t get strike one, had a little trouble with his control, but it was a good sign he could come out when he wasn’t on top of his game and still get the win.
–Agrees that we need to start doing better against starting pitchers.
–He’s “never one to look for excuses”, won’t blame FredFred’s lack of ‘feel’ on the weather. Claims he thought it was going to be brutal, but wasn’t as bad as he expected. “Fans got excited when the sun came out a few times, and so did I. I mean, I’m old. It felt good, believe me.”

FredFred, after the game:
— “In regard to some of the other guys in this clubhouse, I haven’t done much. It’s a good start and I’m happy with what I’ve done so far, but it’s a long season ahead of us…”
–Struggled with his command early in the counts, rest of the team backed him up.
–Agrees with Leyland that the weather was not much of a factor, says he was just a little erratic.
–He was pretty amped up, especially for the first inning. “I was prepared for it, but at the same time, you can’t help being a little excited out there.”
–Calls Joel ‘Zoomy’.

Damon, after the game:
— “We are definitely going to count on all 25 guys here, and also some guys we had to send out at the end of the spring…. you need everybody, guys you can count on, guys like Raburn, guys like Santiago, Kelly. You need those types of players and these guys, they fit well into the system. I think that’s why we’re going to be a very good team.”
–On the burgeoning beard: “It feels a little messy [reporters laugh]. I would shave it, but we’ve been playing good baseball. Who cares what I do? I’ll sacrifice a few o-fers for team victory.”
— “I promise you there’ll be some hits in my future, and some contribution.” Said this with a grin, the reporters laughed.

Phil Coke, after the game:
— “It was a hairy situation, felt like I went out there and handled the hairy situation… Everybody’s got to do something, I might as well make it interesting once or twice.” Stands up, goes on to say that he can’t stand doing that really, felt like he let down his teammates a little bit.
— “It’ll get better from here, I promise.”
–He has freckles! Thank you, HD.
–Asked about how the bullpen feeds off of each other, he starts talking about how they do, and they rally ’round when you might have a guy who struggles. Then he takes himself and his performance today as an example. Holy cats, someone needs to go in there and give the man a hug.

Seriously, Coke faced five batters. He gave up no hits and no runs. He inherited one baserunner, who did not come around to score. He walked two guys and had to leave them for Zoom to deal with, which must be what has got him so down, but Zoom didn’t let either one of them score. It’s not that bad, Phil Coke! Please cheer up!

Tim Allen, Detroit area native, in the booth in the second inning:
–Sadly admits that he is a Lions fan.
–Hates on the FSND headset, says it’s like something “from the ’30s”, asks why they don’t have Bluetooth yet.
–Expresses surprise that Dave Dombrowski went to Western Michigan and got a good job (Allen himself went to Western).
–Big fan of Dave Bing, thinks he respects the city and knows what needs to happen.
–People ask him to do the Buzz Lightyear voice all the time, but it’s disturbing for small children, because he doesn’t look like Buzz Lightyear. Says it’s like a kid seeing a guy in a Mickey Mouse suit with the head off.

Mario, asking about Tim Allen’s comedy start in Detroit: “Were you funny back then?”
Tim Allen: “I’m gonna knock you out. If I can get this headset off, I’m gonna knock you out.”

things Rod Allen said:
— “You know what they say, there ain’t no party like a Detroit party, and that’s absolutely a known fact.”
— “This much I do know, he’s got a big league name! AUStin JACKson!”

Magglio had another good day, Inge had a good day. Adam Everett had yet another hit. The Tigers turned three double plays once again. It would be nice if all of this could have resulted in runs WITHOUT the necessity of a Racist Logo screw-up, but I guess a win is a win. Happy Home Opener to us all.

Dontrelle storms into 2010, sort of.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Six innings! Two runs! More strikeouts than walks! No hyperextension! Dontrelle Willis is BACK!

OK, OK, I will admit that I was not as happy with this outing as Rod and Mario were. Dontrelle threw what felt like a million balls in the first inning. His location was not great. It seemed like a lucky double play was the only thing that kept the inning from turning into a Royal blue bloodbath. He settled down in the second but there was more messiness in the third (a few singles, including a bunt, and a passed ball). It just didn’t look good.

Somehow the double plays kept coming, Dontrelle kept hanging in there, and before you knew it six innings had gone by, the Tigers were only down two runs, and the Royals bullpen was coming into the game, which is an encouraging thing for every batter. The Detroit bullpen was good enough to more or less back Dontrelle and the Detroit bats took advantage of the Danny Hugheses and Luis Mendozas of the world.

Dontrelle did not get the win, but he did have a quality start and while he definitely was not overpowering, he also didn’t look like he was completely melting down out there. This is good. This is what we NEED from him, because the Tigers need all the viable starters they can get and the season will be a lot better with a healthy, effective Dontrelle than it will be if the Tigs have to look to replace him.

So: welcome back, Dontrelle! Please do this again. Many times.

In bat news, Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez both homered. Production from the middle of the lineup! Why I NEVER! In fact, in this game Magglio was 3-for-4 and Miggy was 4-for-5. Can you imagine if this starts to actually work out as planned?

Austin Jackson had a good game at the plate. Inge hopped in as a pinch hitter (Don Kelly started at third) and knocked out a double. Even Adam Everett had a double– he’s off to a nice start too (in a very few at-bats, against the Royals, etc). The only really worrying bit came early in the game when Carlos Guillen was on first base. There was an attempted pick-off throw. Guillen ran back to the bag and stretched to get his foot on it; he came up limping a little, grabbing at his left quad or his groin area. He stayed in for most of the rest of the game and made some outs. He didn’t SEEM to be hurting, but this is Carlos Guillen, so you never know. Hopefully someone will keep an eye on it.

Now, the Tigers were ABYSMAL when it came to hitting with men in scoring position early in the game (i.e. before the bullpen came into play), so we shouldn’t get too excited here. But it’s something.

In non-Dontrelle pitching news, Eddie Bonine got the win. He was in for an inning and loaded the bases, but got out of the jam himself. He was mixing in some offspeed stuff that was moving really well; I wasn’t paying super close attention, but it might have been the knuckleball. If it was… well, throwing a knuckleball in a close game with the bases loaded? That takes balls (baseball and otherwise). Give that reliever some credit, yo.

Papa Grande was able to come back from his unfortunate outing last night and throw a good final frame here, getting a fly ball, a groundout, and a strikeout. He was all pumped up after he K’d Podsednik to end the game. It was good to see him do the closer thing and push the previous game totally out of his brain, and it was good to see him pitch effectively here, even if it wasn’t a save situation (as the Tigers were up by 4 at that point).

I’m… kind of… almost… encouraged? With the home opener tomorrow, dare we hope to dream?

twos are magic for the Tigers

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Dear Detroit Tigers,

Thank you for taking a relatively early lead in Wednesday’s game. Thank you for extending that lead in a timely fashion and preventing the Twinkies from making any sort of comeback. Thank you for making the game relatively low-stress.

Seriously. THANK YOU. Some people harbor hopes of seeing posts on this blog in the future, something that might not happen with more games like the ones we experienced on Tuesday, because I don’t know how much more of that I can take. And hey, I say this unselfishly! It’s not all about me! I don’t know how much more of that sort of thing you cats can take either. I mean, Justin Verlander deserves a stress-free win for once in his life, you know? The infielders deserve to not be wracked with crippling guilt over small errors. If Jim Leyland has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the game, he should feel able to do so, instead of feeling like if he leaves for ten seconds the entire thing will implode like Edgar Renteria in the American League.

I guess what I’m saying is, we all needed that. Good game, Tigers.

Much love,


Now, I was actually in the car for the first half or so of this game. Since my car and I were both traversing New England, not Michigan, I couldn’t get the Tigers game itself, but I had the Red Sox game on, and at one point the announcers spontaneously began talking about Magglio Ordonez, and how the Tigers had had to decide whether or not to let him reach the at-bat quota that would activate the next part of his contract (even though it wasn’t really a choice, the Tigers basically had to let him do so).

I recognize this as a prelude to an update about the Tigers game and got all excited. Sure enough, the Red Sox radio dude said, “And I’ll bet the Tigers are happy they did that (let Magglio keep playing), because he’s just hit a three-run double to break this game wide open, it’s 7-2 Tigers.” Then they went on to talk about how Magglio has actually been pretty hot with the bat of late, but I had stopped paying attention because I was too busy doing victory fistpumps while barreling down a pitch-black, unlighted highway, and that takes concentration. But that kind of willingness to concentrate is what I bring to you, readers.

Magglio, Miggy, and Inge were all 2-for-4 in this one. Santiago was 2-for-3. Inge and Santiago had 2 RBI each, Magglio had the 3 off that double by himself. The Bovine kid allowed only two runs in five innings. The bullpen allowed zero runs on just two collective hits.

Perhaps most important is the fact that Carl ‘Tiger Botherer’ Pavano, who has had a 1.69 ERA against the Tigers this season (compare with his 5.07 overall ERA), was finally, FINALLY worked out and hit around by the Big Cats. ABOUT TIME. Pavano has been SO mediocre this season and SO good against the Tigers that it has just been one huge infuriating mass of grrrrr and arrrrgh. But on Wednesday the Tigers finally managed to bother the Botherer right back. In yer stupid former Yankee face, Pavano!

With this win, the Tigers are back up to a 3 game lead on the Twinkies, and their magic number is TWO. So if they win tomorrow’s game, that’s ALL THE MAGIC, and that would mean… well, you know what it would mean. I don’t even want to type it out for fear of jinxing it.

The Baker vs. GumTime. 1:05 pm EDT. If I can get a wireless connection in the room with the TV maybe I will do a liveblog and you can join me in stressing the hell out over a baseball game I have no material ability to alter in any measurable way. Whee. Go Tigers!