I know I've been avoidant lately. I know the Tigers are in the midst of the most important two week stretch of their season with 13 straight games against A.L. Central co-leader Cleveland and current Wild Card leader New York. I know Tigers fans across Michigan have been refreshing this page every minute for the past two days with pleading eyes, waiting to read what impressions these past two games have made on me and I have left you all wanting, yearning and twisting in the wind for me to drop knowledge bombs and enlighten the masses. I also know that I have failed you, my loyal fanbase of Canadian readers who mistakenly stumble across my website while doing a Google Image Search for Kate Beckinsale photos, (seriously check my site meter, like 90% of my traffic is accounted for by the scenario I just laid out) for I have yet to write about any of the games in this series. However I have been pre-occupied by other important manners for the past 48 hours and it's NOT because I've been obsessively playing Madden '08 like all those sexless, loner, acne ridden and jobless nerds. No. My time has been devoted to a more pressing need. Organizing the most kickass High School Musical 2 Premiere Party in the city of Detroit. I've made a cake, bought both Original Cast Recordings, choreographed a dance, and after the movie ends we can talk about how brilliant it was (They all get summer jobs!!!) how dreamy Zac Efron is (OMG did you see his Rolling Stone cover?!?!) and stickers and puppies and unicorns. Wait, this fictitious story sounds way worse than what I've actually been doing for the past 48 hours, which is.....sitting around my parents house, pantsless, playing Madden 08. I tried to conceal my addiction to the Madden franchise but it proved impossible. That foul temptress has a powerful hold over my heart and emotions and though it does nothing but spurn my advances year after year I hold out hope that one day I can teach it to love me the same way I love it. Enough of this nonsense, I've decided to take a short break from Madden and instead of emptying my colostomy bag or chronically masturbating I will jot down a few of my thoughts from the Tigers split with the Indians in their recent 2 game series.
Game 1: This may have been the most exciting and well played game the Tigers have had this season.
1: The game began, of course, with the Tigers falling behind 2-0 in the first inning after Bonderman threw one of the biggest meatballs I've ever seen to Grady Sizemore who promptly deposited it beyond the wall in right field for his twentieth homerun of the season. This led to a long string of profanities and an exasperated phone call from my friend T.J. which led to us spending the next ten minutes discussing Bonderman's struggles in the first inning and brainstorming solutions to his problem, most of which were hate filled and mean-spirited. However Bonderman settled down and pitched six shutout innings after the first inning, which bought the Tigers enough time to scratch out two runs against Captain Cheeseburger before he turned it over to Byrdak who appeared to give up the go ahead run to Travis Hafner in the 8th before.....
2: Curtis Granderson made one of the most clutch catches I've ever seen and this is coming from someone who saw Willie Mays, in person, make a spectacular over the shoulder grab in Game 7 of the 1936 Olympics off the bat of Mephistopheles with the fate of humanity and the eternal struggle between good and evil hanging in the balance and it wasn't 1/10th as clutch as Granderson's grab in the 8th inning last night. I'm way to lazy to fact check that last sentence so I'm just going to assume everything in it is true and move on.
3: What a relief to see Fernando Rodney strike out the side in the ninth. After he gave up a leadoff double to start the ninth I thought a major meltdown was imminent. One that would be responsible for the birth thousands of flipper babies in the Cleveland area over the next several years. Instead of a meltdown, Rodney ended up striking out the next two guys on mid to high nineties fastballs before getting the third batter to feebly swing at one of his gross ass changeups. It reminded me of Rodney's dominant performances from the beginning of last season and gave me hope that the Tigers might actually have ONE effective and reliable reliever for the stretch run.
1: The Tigers were without Polanco, Pudge, C-Mo (who cares anyways) and potentially Todd Jones because Justin Verlander had infected them all with the cholera he had contracted from that 19th centrury opium den he insists on hanging out in. (Note: This last sentence may not be true). So the Tigers had to cobble together a lineup that included Mark Salas behind the plate and Skeeter Barnes at second. I only included this note becuase it gave me a twenty minute long excuse to poke around baseball-reference.com and pore over the stats of the early 90's Tigers.
2: I was impressed with Jairface Chippenjens in his debut, (where else can you find tortured nonsensical references to "The Tick" on a blog about the Tigers? Wait, you said several places and there is a blog dedicated to the Tigers that's written from The Tick's point of view. Fuck it, I give up. Every angle is covered nowadays). He threw much harder than I expected and I think he is worthy of a second start especially given Andrew Miller's struggles in his rehab start this evening.
3: There was nothing the Tigers could do against Fausto Carmon tonight. He pitched a great game and had total control of the lower portion of the strike zone. Those types of pitchers seem to own the Tigers and I am definitely not looking forward to watching us try to match up against Chien-Ming Wang in the upcoming Yankees Series.
Now if you'll excuse me I have to get back to my Madden Franchise and register my 40th sack of the season with Ernie Sims. Or maybe hang myself, whichever is less depressing. The results of this exciting question and more on the next fascinating post here on the Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass.