It looked as though there might not be a game at all, what with all the rain, but luckily the rain stopped shortly after the gates opened. The game even started on time and they were able to have Mexican dancers perform on the field beforehand. They also had that ceremony where they named off all the Latin players on the team and they stood in front of their respective country’s flag (It was alarming to see how thin the ranks of healthy Venezuelans has gotten; we’re down to Cabrera, Galarraga, and Gonzalez). They also showed a video montage of the more well-known Latinos to have played for the Tigers (along with all of the current Latin players), which means I got a brief cameo of Pudge (along with a crappy picture). Also, this is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I spent almost the entire game thinking Johnny Damon had been traded, because it took longer than usual for the lineup to be posted, Cabrera was the DH on a night where the Indians had a right-hander on the mound, I couldn’t see Damon in the dugout, and there was someone else in the dugout I didn’t recognize (looked kind of like Danny Worth, though). Then Damon came out of the dugout to warm up Valverde in the ninth inning, so that put an end to that rumor (and I’ve since noticed he shows up in the background of a couple of my dugout pictures). And I came away from the game with a Miguel Cabrera hat, which was cool (my first major league giveaway promotion; the only other thing I’ve ever gotten was a lei at a Mud Hens game). Oh, and if you care to look, here are my photos of the game (They aren’t my best crop ever).
As for the game itself, Max Scherzer did a nice job. I got the feeling he was fighting it a little bit, but when you’re fighting it and still go seven innings while only giving up two runs, that’s pretty impressive. It was also my first time seeing Phil Coke in person, but my third time seeing Jose Valverde, who looked like he was on form in this game. Meanwhile, the offense did more against Josh Tomlin than any other team has so far this year. The offense was spread around, so there really isn’t anyone to highlight. Don Kelly homered, which was entertaining. The other RBIs belonged to Raburn, Inge, and Boesch. It was nice to see Boesch finally come through after an intentional walk to Cabrera (so much for my hope that sub-.500 teams would be more willing to pitch to him).
The series wraps up today with the afternoon game. Justin Verlander is coming off a loss to the Yankees in which he say he felt the worst he’s ever felt in his career. He hasn’t been particularly sharp against the Indians this year, although he hasn’t done badly except for that start back in April. The Indians will start Jeanmar Gomez, who had an ERA of over 5 in the minor leagues. Then he came up and beat the Tigers back in July, and has pitched well ever since. He has yet to give up more than two earned runs in a game.