Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Into the Break + Further Adventures with the Mud Hens

I’m going to be brief in my discussion of Sunday’s game, because there really wasn’t much to get excited about. Andy Oliver didn’t have enough command and made an early exit. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out in the second half as far as he, Porcello, and Galarraga are concerned (well, “interesting” is probably the wrong word, because someone’s going to be left out in the cold). Carl Pavano was about as tough as he’s been. The Tigers tried to make a comeback late, but the inherited runners and add-on runs that scored off the Tigers’ bullpen was too much to overcome.

After that game, I headed out to see the Mud Hens for the second night in a row. That game had two different rain delays, and the Mud Hens lost 6-4, but most of the fun happened before the game started. As it turns out, Armando Galarraga was not there (which makes sense, since he is not scheduled to pitch in Toledo at all), but I came away with a satisfactory amount of consolation prizes and no regrets (Hey, I did all I could). I kind of met Alfredo Figaro, who was the starting pitcher that night. I was hanging out around the dugout with a bunch of kids, two dads, and a guy about my age who had no kids. Figaro (not in uniform yet) came into the dugout talking on a cell phone. After he finished, one of the dads yelled out, “You ready to mow ‘em down?” Figaro kind of unenthusiastically said yeah and yawned. The dad observed that he looked tired, and he said his friend was bringing a Red Bull. He then unlatched the gate that we were standing in front of and tried to open it, but the latch was stuck on the padding. A couple of us (including me) tried to help him open it, with no success. Finally, he just decided to jump over the gate. When we saw him again a few minutes later, he was back on the field, Red Bull in hand. I never got his autograph, but I got plenty others to join Scot Drucker and Robbie Weinhardt’s signatures on my baseball. My final haul: LJ Gagnier, Brendan Wise, Brent Dlugach, Robinzon Diaz, Casper Wells, Jeff Frazier, Casey Fien, and Rick Porcello. That’s right, folks. I met Rick Porcello. And I made him blush. I told him he had done a nice job the night before (which he had) and he got all shy and sheepishly said thanks. By the way, the Tigers’ front office was smart to have Porcello start Saturday instead of Sunday, because the rain delay was long enough to chase Alfredo Figaro after just two innings.

Well, I suppose I could preview the All-Star Game. I watched the Home Run Derby last night, although it was a lot less interesting once Miguel Cabrera was eliminated. He definitely hit the most majestic shots of anyone, though. And hopefully he’ll get a hit or two tonight, because apparently he’s hitless in his previous All-Star appearances. Jose Valverde has been designated as the closer for the American League, and I never congratulated Justin Verlander on his late All-Star selection to replace CC Sabathia/Jered Weaver (long story). Hopefully we’ll see him tonight as well. At any rate, this might just be the NL’s year because their pitching seems especially strong, but I’ll be rooting for the AL all the way. Also, head on over to Bless You Boys tonight to see me unveil my All-Star Photoshops for this year.

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