Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Snatched From the Claws of Loss

A comeback win is a pretty powerful intoxicant. I was feeling the effects all the way home from the game. Not so much that I couldn't drive, Mr. Officer.

Someone has mentioned before that Ichiro spends the entire game stretching, I can affirm that. I was sitting in right field, and that's his constant MO, lunges, squats---the WHOLE game. I even spied him stretching on second base in the 9th inning after he hit that double! For the record, Polanco does quite a bit of stretching himself.

Pretty Little Ricky is showing us he's not hitting the wall (at least not yet). Well, maybe he did hit a bit of a wall in the sixth there, but...Ryan Perry showed up to save the day! Striking out the side in the 7th was his way of emphasizing that he paid attention in school down in Toledo. Control problems corrected.

I was going to gloss over Seay's rough inning, but I'll say a couple words. First, he could not find the strike zone, and then Leyland had him issue two intentional passes on top of it. He threw 19 balls and 8 strikes. Rogo pointed out to me that Suzuki's double came off a pitch that was WAY inside, too, so make that 20 balls and 7 strikes.

King Felix had us pretty well stymied, but I had hope, because his pitch count looked like he wouldn't go out there for the 8th. Sure enough, Mark Lowe trotted in from the bullpen, and the Tigers' comeback began with a bang from the young Alex Avila. His head will soon eclipse Polanco's, and they'll be special ordering more extra-large caps.

The botched pickle/steal of home play was a microcosm of our season--roller-coaster thrills. The depths of despair were followed by a crest of elation.

A final note about this game. I was shocked to hear the crowd chanting ROD-ney, ROD-ney! in the ninth. Someone on sports talk radio said that they had "ROD-ney" posted on the scoreboard to induce the chant, but I honestly didn't see it. That would make sense, though, since I have not heard too many people embrace Rodney in the closer role. I'm a little surprised that he's had such a rough go with fans, since his predecessor Todd Jones gave fans a similar carnival ride feel in his outings. Ah well, hope Fernando enjoyed the cheers without the knowledge they were manufactured.

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