Friday, September 4, 2009

Gifts from the Indians and More Polanco Heroics

Photo: AP

So why was there no post yesterday? It’s because I only had an hour to type it and while I was doing so, the fire alarms in the building went off and everyone had to leave. I didn’t have enough time to find another computer lab, so I tried to post a short blog explaining the situation. However, I was using my iPod, and for some reason, it would not let me type into the “body” section of the blog. Therefore, all you got was a tag that said “Technical Difficulties” and a joke about Jhonny Peralta being in the chemistry lab and setting off the fire alarms. At any rate, that gives me two games to cover, though I didn’t get to see a lot of either of them. Let’s start with Wednesday’s game. When I got home from work, it was the bottom of the eighth inning, so all I got to see was a lineout, a groundout, and Rodney in the ninth inning. At any rate, Rick Porcello continued pitching well against the Indians (Though I think it’s a bit premature to say that he “owns” the Indians; after all, Armando Galarraga was pretty dominant against them last year but has struggled against them this year). He was pretty efficient with his pitches, but the Travis Hafner home run still chased him from the game. And Rodney gave us his typical ninth inning. Meanwhile, the Tigers probably would not have done much offensively if not for the fact that the Indians made five errors (and from what I’ve heard, they could easily have had six), with Jhonny Peralta making three of them (at the same time, though, he made two dazzling plays, so I’m not sure you can get more bipolar defensively than that).

Photo: AP

And now for yesterday’s game. I was able to listen to the first few innings on Gameday Audio before going to lab. Once I got out of lab, the Indians had just tied the game. Traffic was a nightmare on the way home, so I listened to the bottom of the eighth, the ninth, and most of the tenth on the radio. I literally saw one pitch on TV, and that was the pitch that Polanco hit for the walk-off sac fly. Not the most dramatic way to walk off, but it still gives you the win, and so I have no complaints. I did not see Nate at all, but obviously he pitched well. They did suffer a bit from SeayLyon not being available, as Ryan Perry and Fu Te Ni couldn’t slam the door, but a couple of good innings from Zach Miner (with a little help from Gerald Laird) gave the offense enough time to get something going. And here’s the broom:

So after a good homestand, it’s time to hit the road again. The Tigers played exactly .500 on their last road trip, which is all you’re asking for. Can they do it again? First stop is St. Petersburg to see the Rays again. The Rays are a much tougher team in their home ballpark, and the Tigers don’t play well indoors anyways (though the Rays just lost 2 of 3 to the Red Sox at the Trop, further damaging their Wild Card chances). Tonight features a rematch from last Sunday, with Justin Verlander going against Jeff Niemann. Justin got the win against the Rays, going eight innings (and he generally never pitched deep into a game against the Rays). It’s tough going up against the same team in such a short span, though. This’ll be the first time since 2006 that Verlander’s pitched inside Tropicana Field. Meanwhile, I said that the Tigers got the win for Verlander in that game, but they did almost nothing against Niemann. They did most of their damage against the Rays’ bullpen. Will a second look at him help? I’ll be at work tonight, but I will be around for the rest of the series this weekend. Your Mood Music for tonight: This morning, we were all hit with the sad, sad, news that Ernie Harwell has incurable cancer. I’m not going to do a separate post on that, as I would not be able to do it justice (since I don’t exactly having memories of him from when I was growing up or anything like that). Hopefully the Tigers hang on, win the Central, and play deep into October, and that somehow Ernie can make it up to Detroit to see his beloved Tigers play in the postseason one more time. And while I couldn’t come up with a 100% appropriate song, I decided to use Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart.” It says quite a few pertinent things, and it’s still upbeat. No need in getting melancholy now. At least, not yet.

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