Monday, June 29, 2009

Inge to the Rescue Again

Photo: AP

Maybe the Tigers left Weekend Mojo back in Detroit by accident, and Fu Te Ni kindly brought it with him when he made the trip to Houston (I’d make a joke about losing it like you lose your luggage at the airport, but the Tigers have their own plane so that joke wouldn’t really work). At any rate, it took until the ninth inning, but Brandon Inge came up with the big hit. And the Tigers had been down to their final strike when the strikeout-prone Marcus Thames managed to work a walk, and Inge made Valverde pay for that walk, hobbled as he was (Hopefully, it’s nothing that’ll keep him out of the lineup, cuz right now he’s too valuable both with the glove and with the bat). At any rate, I really didn’t see this game (other than watching a couple of innings on the archives). It was over with before I got home from work. I lucked out and DID have an Internet connection, but it was on a computer that didn’t have any sort of Flash player, so I ended up on the auto-refreshing boxscore/play-by-play on Yahoo Sports (I was also able to listen to an inning and a half on the radio while I was at lunch). In some ways, though, I’m kind of glad I did not get to watch this game, because happy as I am about the Tigers’ win, it would’ve killed me to see Pudge be the last out (I did hear that it was a hard groundball, though, so at least he gave Brandon Inge somewhat of a challenge). And hey, at least with this series over, I can be rid of the mixed feelings I was battling all weekend (Well, Friday and yesterday, at least; I don’t really care about Humberto Quintero). By the way, I said I had more thoughts related to my slideshow, but they’re kinda long, so I’m going to save those for Friday’s post, since Thursday is an off-day.

Yesterday also featured a bunch of roster moves. First up, Nate Robertson was placed on the DL and Fu Te Ni was called up to replace him. Apparently, Nate’s got a mass or cyst in his elbow that is pressing up against his ulnar nerve, causing numbness and tingling in his pitching hand. So why did he wait so long? You’d think that after, oh, his second or third ineffective outing he’d go to the trainers and say that his fingers were numb and tingling. Apparently he learned nothing over the last two years from such struggles as those of Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman (twice), Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, and Todd Jones: Don’t pitch hurt. You’re not effective if you pitch hurt. Also, they decided to make a change in the rotation and swap out Alfredo Figaro and Luke French. French will start on Friday in Minnesota, but he will apparently be available out of the bullpen for the next day or two.

Well, Interleague play in 2009 has come to a close for the Tigers, at least (I know there are still one or two makeup games to be played elsewhere), and though the boys didn’t fare as well as they have in years past, I still say that it beats having to play the Red Sox and Yankees more. Anyways, it’s back to the realm of the DH and onto what has been the Tigers’ favorite division so far this year: the AL West. The Oakland Athletics are last in their division (by a good margin), and they got swept by the Tigers back in May. However, the Tigers have generally not played well in Oakland over the past couple years. At any rate, it’s a late-night affair, and Rick Porcello gets the ball tonight. He ended up with a no-decision his last time out. He hasn’t lost since that game against the Red Sox, but he maybe hasn’t been quite as sharp as he was in May. He’s been throwing more pitches in fewer innings, but so far, he’s been able to limit the damage. The A’s HAVE seen him before, so there is the question of whether or not adjustments will be made, either by Porcello or by the Oakland hitters. He’ll be opposed by Brett Anderson, whom the Tigers beat back in that series in May. He probably pitched better than the numbers would indicate, though, because the A’s infield made four errors behind him (That was that wacky game where the Tigers hit two grand slams and Edwin Jackson pitched three more innings after a rain delay that lasted over an hour). Hope you’ve got the caffeine ready. Your Mood Music for tonight: Oh, how ‘bout some good old-fashioned headbanging? Let’s go back to the early ‘90s and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

1 comment:

  1. I will never understand why players try to play through a serious problem in silence. Let's see, your performance is stinking, you're taking a lot of flack for it, but don't mention that you're hurt, noooo, that would be stupid. Come on, you're not helping yourself or the team. Tell the trainer what's going on so you can get treatment and be back on the roster sooner rather than later (Bonderman).