There was Justin, racking up 35 pitches in the first inning, and 80 over 3 2/3, before being bombed out of the game.
There was a reliever (granted it was Eddie Bonine, who made five starts with the big club last year, but no relief appearances), letting inherited runners score--with flair, though--a three run homer to the first batter faced! To be fair, he then settled down, and did just fine.
There was another reliever (ok, another one who wasn't with the Tigers in 2008, Juan Rincon) who had runners circling the bases like little tots getting dizzy on the Big Cat Carousel.
It's the events of the game that gave the feel of 2008, not necessarily the personnel, except for Verlander, who was impersonating his filthy-in-a-bad-way 2008 performances spot on.
On the bright side--believe it--Nate Robertson looked pretty darn good in relief. Let's hope that bulldog pitches "more left-handed" and earns his spot back, so we can have at least one lefty in the rotation.
Well, the first one is under our belt, and I admit that I was a little nervous before the game. Geez, I'm not even a player. What a doorknob.
I started my blog after the season last year, so this is my first "in-season" post after a game. I haven't read any other commentary (neither mainstream media nor blogs) yet, and didn't even watch "Tigers Live" after the game on FSN due to the NCAA championship. I'm glad, because I don't want to inadvertently be influenced by others' analysis. So, anything here that echos anything else is purely coincidental, ya dig?
Here are a couple of final notes:
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Bonine was facing second baseman Aaron Hill, and threw a spectacular pitch on a 2-2 count to strike him out. The bottom dropped out so well that the ball got away from Laird and he had to track it down and complete the strikeout by throwing over to first. That pitch was a little diamond (ok, maybe a diamelle--one of those synthetic diamonds) in a steaming pile of manure that was our pitching tonight.
I liked what Rod Allen said about Gerald Laird and his take on Nate Robertson's pitching performances from last year. Texas got a hold of him pretty good a couple times last year (hey, who didn't?), so Laird saw what was happening. Rod suggested that maybe Laird can give Robertson a fresh perspective on his pitching. I hope that's true. Take all the advice you can get, Nate, and use it to make us all forget your irrational, malcontented ravings about not starting.
I'm going to be like a pitcher tonight, and put a bad game QUICKLY out of mind. Move on. The rest of the Jays staff isn't exactly Roy Halladay, and we did get to him a little tonight.
Tomorrow's game will be played in 2009.