Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
In the first inning of this series finale, Ramon Santiago hit a one-out double down the right field line. With two outs and first base open, Miguel Cabrera strode to the plate, and Maddon pitched to him. Once again, strategy works, and Miggy strikes out swinging, stranding Santiago in scoring position. The frequency of this occurrence begins to wear me out. I don’t blame Miguel Cabrera. He can’t be 100% of our offense. It’s just that it appears that no break will ever come our way, whether it be incredible defensive plays, biased umpiring or voodoo.
It’s possible that I am a mite cranky due to our recent fall off a cliff, but if I have to see another Sam Bernstein commercial, or watch the Labatt Light Refreshment Duo even once more, I may take a fork to my own eyeballs. Not sure if that’s an overreaction, but like I said, I may be slightly irrational at the moment.
In the bottom of the second, former Tiger Carlos Peña hit a bomb to right field. Rod and Mario tell us it hit a catwalk BEYOND the right field wall. I just nod mechanically, yes that’s how things are going for us at the moment. At least I didn’t burst into tears.
Next, a pop foul drops harmlessly between Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago. Tears threaten but do not fall.
Will Rhymes leads off the third with a standup triple. It coaxes a small, no teeth showing smile. Rod says that Will looks like a track star the way he runs with his hands pumping up and down. Rod. You do go on. Hey, maybe Rhymes will hit for the cycle today. (Sarcastic laughter.) Sorry. I know that hardened cynicism is ugly. I’ll try to be sunnier.
Jhonny Peralta arrives in the Tiger dugout during the third inning. Sporting an awkward smile, he is greeted by handshakes and hugs. Must feel a bit odd to arrive mid-game. He is wearing number 27.
Ever informative, Rod lets the viewer know that the Tigers are 3 for 23 with RISP this series. Rod, need I remind you that tears are barely being held at bay here? Geez. Santiago beats out a double play to score Rhymes, and we’re tied at 1.
I absolutely adore the Rays striped socks. They really are all that. The dark blue socks are punctuated by rings of white and powder blue. Very nice. Every one of them should wear high socks at all times.
Cabrera makes a great diving stop on a grounder, but Crawford is too fast, and Porcello can’t beat him to the bag. Bases loaded. Eyes momentarily fill up. Choked back in time to see Porcello strike Longoria out for the second time. Two outs, bases still juiced. Two runs score on a liner that ricochets off Cabrera’s glove. Tough break number 5,427 for the Tigers. Sob. Hey, I held back as long as I could. You’re lucky I wasn’t boo hoo-ing two innings ago. Bases re-loaded on a walk to Matt Joyce. Forget that he saved a helpless kitten when he was here in Detroit. He hit a grand slam to squash Scherzer’s no-hitter on Monday. He’s on my list.
Boesch’s first hit of the series comes on a broken-bat infield single to short. We will take that, along with any other help we can get. Could the thunder rumbling outside the Trop strike any of the Rays occupants inside? Just asking. Raburn swings under an elevated fastball to run the count full. I can never say this enough about the high hard ones, “can’t him ‘em, can’t lay off ‘em.” It holds true most of the time.
The stupid carpet at the Trop is said to be wearing on free-agent-to-be Carl Crawford. He has a sore back every night from standing on the artificial surface. Can anyone steal him from the Yankees? I would appreciate that.
Ha. Laird comes up with runners on first and second with one out. Would you take the over or the under if I said the odds on him hitting into a double play were set at 85%? I’m not going to apologize for being jaded any more. It’s just what this season has done to me. Deal with it. I have to. Well he flies out to right, so at least it wasn’t the GIDP. It’s up to little Rhymes now, who sort of resembles a flea. Joyce runs down a fly ball, which had threatened to shoot the gap in right. Side retired. Bernstein commercial follows. I change the channel.
Miggy strikes out looking to start the sixth. Price has struck him out three times today for sobbing out loud! I almost just said “what more could happen to us?” but that would have brought on a hailstorm of destruction, so I refrained. Boesch strikes out. Quickly. I mean, he was hardly at the plate for three seconds. Two outs. None on. Raburn at the plate. He singles to bring Laird to the dish. Laird ground out weakly to second. Ahem. Another Bernstein commercial.
Porcello has now retired 9 straight batters and there are two outs in the bottom of the sixth for Willy Aybar. Porcello strikes him out for another 1-2-3 inning. There’s a little bright spot.
Price balks Worth over to second in the seventh with one out for Austin Jackson. A RISP? Oh, sadly, we can predict what will happen next. Well, we did score one run, but then Maddon walks Cabrera AGAIN to load up the bases when runners were on first and second, and Boesch grounds out weakly. I…just…
Porcello then dispatches the Rays in order to help me retain the vestiges of sanity. Thanks. Rod and Mario marvel about that new-fangled gadget the iPod touch. Guys. Please.
In the top of the eighth, we are carved up like so much roast beef. Porcello comes back out and gives up a single, then balks the runner to second. Are you serious? The balk looked suspect to me. Umpires are in a conspiracy against the Tigers. I am now convinced. Groundball advances runner to third. Leyland walks Longoria intentionally. Brings in Coke to pitch to Peña. AGAIN a groundball glances off Cabrera’s glove to score a run. Some evil puppeteer is orchestrating this game with the deliberate intention of driving Tigers fans to Bedlam. There IS NO OTHER explanation for the repetition of such horrors.Down 4-2 and here come our last at bats. Danny Worth flies out to right to lead us off. Woo hoo! Austin Jackson does have an RBI single today, soooo let’s see what he can do with nobody on and one out. He chases two high hard ones to strike out. Here we go kids! Ramon Santiago remains our last hope of avoiding a four game sweep at the Trop. He grounds weakly right back to the mound to end this thing. Excuse me while I go lose my lunch and my mind.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
I had a Detroit Tigers bracelet that looked much like the one pictured above, but it had blue stitching instead of red. Late last season, the bracelet went missing. I wore it to every game, so I was extremely disturbed that it was apparently lost.
Lo and behold, what did I find last week? The very same Tigers bracelet, which had found its way into a hole in the lining of my purse, and had been languishing in the very bag I use only for Tigers games. So, in point of fact, it had accompanied me to the games, but was not adorning my wrist. Well, lost treasure was found, and I wore the bracelet to last night’s game.
And what do you know?? After the Jays inexplicably pitch to Miguel Cabrera, but intentionally walk Brennan Boesch, unlikely hero Ryan Raburn hits a three-run double to put us ahead for good. Yes, the lucky bracelet is responsible. Yes, you can thank me for the win. Yes, I believe in its power. You should too. It may salvage this wreck of a season. It may help Magglio Ordóñez’ ankle to heal in record time. I am only sorry I wasn’t there Saturday night with my talisman to prevent the injury from happening in the first place. I’m sorry Magglio. I let you down.
Hey, if you send money, I will travel to St. Pete and bring us victory against the Rays. I am willing to make such sacrifices.
Rogo of DesigNate Robertson and I agreed, it felt like someone close to you died after Saturday night’s game. It was if our season had suddenly been terminated, but we still have to go through the motions for two more months. Now don’t get me wrong. I haven’t totally given up on us, but things are looking more than a little bleak, you know? I hope the young rooks go out there and play their tails off, and show everyone a little something, but you just can’t bank on it. Things might get a little weighty for them. Two outs, two on, down a pair of runs…that sort of thing.
So, encourage the youngsters, pull for them, and be patient with them...and never underestimate the power of the bracelet.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
In the fourth inning of today’s game, Austin Jackson hit a soft ground ball right back to pitcher Ricky Romero. It was as sure an out any, yet Jackson ran down the line as if he sniffed an infield hit. He was thrown out easily, but I was impressed by Jackson’s hustle. Now, some might say work smarter not harder, meaning Jackson should have jogged down the line, because in case of an error, he would still have time to make it to first safely. I think young Jackson just has an all-out mentality, which is impossible not to admire. He shows us every night that he never gives up on a ball. Many times, I’ve thought he had no shot at getting to a ball, and he has proven me wrong more often than not. A lot of people have joked about how Jackson has put Curtis Granderson out of the minds of Detroit fans. It’s hard to argue that he hasn’t. He’s played defense way above expectations, and his hitting has been fantastic too, if overshadowed a little by fellow rookie Brennan Boesch. I grant you his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is outrageous and unsustainable, but if he cuts down on strikeouts as that number comes back to earth, he’ll be ok.
Well, all’s well that ends well here today as Papa Grande got the save, and got right back on the hill after the wildness that characterized last night’s outing—an outing calculated to give us all nightmares. Thank you Big Potato for showing us that was just an anomaly. WHEW.In the Fox post-game show, Ryan Fields interviewed Miguel Cabrera. He asked Miggy how he continues to come through in the clutch. The Puma played the humble hero’s role, deflecting the praise, giving credit instead to teammates for getting on base in those big situations, and saying how they all have to work together to get it done. Adorable. And I really don’t get why people whine about a big language barrier with Miguel. I speak virtually no Spanish, and I understood him perfectly. Sure, there’s an accent, but if you just listen a smidge more carefully than usual, you’ll be fine. I like when it’s not just Brandon Inge in the post game interviews.