Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Games Attended 2009: Part the Third

Well, here I am again to regurgitate some 2009 fodder for your reading pleasure (or pain as the case may be). Part three of this series looks at offensive performances. Not offensive as in repugnant, but you know, offense as in the boys who wield the bats. Well, I will cover the good, the bad, and the otherwise notable for games I attended in 2009, so I guess offensive does work in both senses, but I digress.

I saw the Tigers get skunked only once in 2009, and that was not even at Comerica Park. The game was September 25 in Chicago at the Cell. Poor Eddie Bonine pitched pretty much brilliantly for 6 2/3 innings, and we couldn't bring a single baserunner around to score. We got a man to second base in the second, third and sixth innings, but failed miserably at bringing them home. Jake Peavy was on the hill for the Sox, so that tells you a little bit. Polanco had three singles, and everyone else pretty much whiffed all day. Peavy ended up with 8 Ks over seven innings pitched, and our Bengals racked up 12 strikeouts for the game. Not exactly the road victory I was hoping for, but nobody poured beer on me, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

The Tigers score 10 runs or more three times at games I saw in person during the 2009 season. The greatest offensive outburst I witnessed last year occurred the day after the game I described above, again in Chicago against the White Sox (is this starting to feel like the Twilight Zone or what?). The Tigers whomped the Sox 12-5 on September 26, and after this game Ozzie Guillen got a mite testy, so I dug out the quote for you:

"If they think the season's over for them, yes," Guillen said. "If they think it's over for me, no. I want to make it clear: There's a bunch of [expletives] out there watching football games like a piece of [expletive] with no pride. By the way they [expletive] play, that's embarrassing. If you don't have pride about the way you play, get another job.

"I'm not in a pennant race, but at least I have some pride. When you get [to the clubhouse] and turn on a stupid-ass football game when those [expletive] football players don't give a [expletive] about you, that's embarrassing. We've got seven games [left]. They are going to pull their [expletive] together, period. I don't mind losing a game, but when you lose a game and you don't care about it, we are going to have a problem. To get your asses kicked like that and all of a sudden, you're watching football games? That's a bunch of [expletive]."

It's ALWAYS a barrel of laughs to hear Ozzie hold forth. Unfortunately, his scathing words on this occasion had the proper effect, because the Sox then proceeded to beat the Tigers two out of three in the final series of the season, and you know what happened after that. Sorry to break open old wounds.

Back to the game. Miguel Cabrera had a four hit, four RBI night, Curtis Granderson plated three, Polanco and Ordóñez each knocked two home, and Adam Everett got in on the action by bringing in one of his own. We batted around twice, scoring four runs in both the 7th and 8th innings. An entertaining away game to attend, no?

It's a little difficult to choose just one, but my offensive performance of the year (for games attended) goes to:

Ramon Santiago

May 17, 1009 vs. Oakland Athletics

Ramon had four at bats, four hits, four RBI, and his hits came like this:

2nd - triple, RBI

3rd - home run (to deep center field!), 3 RBI

5th - single

7th - single

One other notable performance that comes to mind is from July 21 vs. the Seattle Mariners. The rumors about the Tigers cutting Magglio were swirling so fast it appeared a tornado was imminent. He was embattled and beleaguered. My Tiger's future as a wearer of the Old English D was murkier than Lake Erie. On that day, Magglio swatted a grand slam in the first inning off Garrett Olson, and I felt that if he was going to be gone, that was the way to go out. Please don't point out (if you remember) that the blast came off of a 79 MPH curve. Such scoffing has no impact on me.

Have you got what it takes to stomach a fourth installment?

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