Sunday, April 17, 2005
On Thursday I will be at the Tigers game with my dad. Then I am going home. Back east. For the summer. So it'll be getting a bit more Red Sox-heavy around here pretty soon. In the meantime, I'm gleaning as much as I can from these last few days of Tigers on the real TV*.
I can’t even… they start off the game with a story about Brian Anderson, the starting pitcher for the Royals. Apparently he was in a hotel on a team trip and went out to get a soda. The door closed behind him, leaving him naked and keyless in the hall. So he went down to the exercise room "holding a USA Today in front of him" and was able to get a towel. WHY DID WE NEED TO HEAR THAT? John Keating, what the HELL?
“Jose [Lima] is a man of his own, he’s got a lot of enthusiasm.” –Ernie Harwell. Oh, no kidding.
Someone remind me again why we have Brandon Inge in the leadoff spot. I mean, I love the guy to death, I really do, but. His OBP? Not so hot. I guess this is just a ‘we don’t exactly have anything better’ kind of deal, huh?
Pudge DHing. Weird. I feel like we're wasting valuable Pudge ability or something. I mean, hello, we're talking about Pudge Rodriguez here, he's maybe kind of good behind the plate. Maybe. Just a smidge. Still, I have a lot of confidence in 44th Round. He can get the job done.
Wild pitch went waaay away from Joe Buck and Guillen’s onto second easy. Ruben Gotay makes a sharp out, but Guillen’s on third. Two down for DaMeat. Ugh. DaMeat dribbles it to third for an easy out. BORING INNING. I don't like boring innings. Boring innings are ones in which we do not score.
BONDY BONDY BONDY BONDY BONDY BONDY
Jeremy, my man, my guy, my dumpy lovable starting pitcher, I am begging you here. We need this game. We need you to need this game. I know you’ve got 44th Round behind the plate, but you need to give us your A game here.
Just remember, Bondy, Bondo, ol’ buddy. Cleveland never happened. OK? We promise to forget about it if you do.
Dude. Mike Sweeney’s the captain of the Royals, and he wears the C. He wears the C! OK, so shut up about Varitek. It’s alright because other people are doing it.
Bondy sends one past DaMeat over at first on a wild pickoff move, and the Royals runner is over to second. Settle, Bondy, settle. Just keep your cool out there.
One K after one inning.
OK, I don’t like Brian Anderson. I don’t like him because he’s the opposing pitcher, and I don’t like him because he’s got a lot of tattoos, and I don’t like him because he’s shutting us down right now.
But from a completely formalist aesthetic perspective, the tight pants plus the high royal blue socks plus FSN’s posterior camera shot? I’m just sayin’ the view is a nice one, that’s all.
Not Joe Buck, though. I hate it when the catchers wear the hockey masks. I like the old fashioned catchers masks, a la Jason Varitek or, yes, Pudge. Joe Buck wears a hardcore hockey helmet. And a 1-2-3 inning, what the FUCK happened to our much-vaunted bats? Kitties, this is unacceptable behavior.
Ha ha, Kwame ad. Kwame ad! I swear to god you could not make a cartoon character a more perfect mayor of Detroit. The absurd, bigger-than-Jose-Canseco’s shoulders! The enormous suits. The wide-knotted shiny ties to try to make his neck look smaller. The scandals. The thuggery. Detroit would not be half so fun without Kwame.
Well, we made Terrence Long put on some strong brakes rounding first. Yeah, upon replay that pitch was indeed by his shoetops. How the hell did he pull that? Great. Just great.
Grr! Might’ve had a double play there, but Long slid into second all over Omah. He actually had to brace his hands on Long’s back to keep from being bowled completely over. Ugh.
Hey, then Omah gets a ball hit kind of behind him, but he picks it anyways and shoots it along to first in an impressive display, and that’s the inning. I don’t like watching DaMeat at first. Give me back my Carlos Pena.
The Royals have a $36 million payroll this year. I feel vaguely guilty about this, but only vaguely.
Nook Logan’s popping sunflower seeds in the dugout. I know it’s baseball convention,, but do these guys actually like sunflower seeds? I mean, they’re not all that tasty, really. And they make a mess, and you get bits of shell stuck in your teeth and stuff.
That was another 1-2-3 inning, in case you couldn’t tell by my less-than-enthused commentary. We’re not really doing much to give Bonderman a comfy safety pillow here.
44th Round makes a nice pounce on a stuttery little bunt and fires it on a laser line that even DaMeat can’t miss. Nice. 44th Round, for the record, does not wear a hockey mask.
K number two for Bondy. Good pitcher! Good pitcher! You earn a hearty pat on the rump there, Bondy.
1-2-3, but for the good guys this time. BATS. I’M LOOKING AT YOU. BONDY’S DOING HIS JOB, TIME TO GRAB YOUR TIGER WHISKERS, CLENCH YOUR TIGER PAWS, AND PICK HIM THE FUCK UP.
“I like Pudge, because he plays his heart out! I mean, the guy’s an 11-time All Star! My Dad says Guillen is the best shortstop since Alan Trammell. WHO’S YOUR TIGER?” WHO'S YOUR TIGER? WHO'S YOUR TIGER? WHO'S YOUR TIGER? That won't make any sense to you unless you've been watching the games on FSN, I guess.
Apparently it’s the 50th anniversary of baseball in Kansas City. Pfft. Young’uns. Guillen rips one along the foul line, by the by, and has a double. I do hope his knee’s feeling better. It’s natural grass here in KC, so he should be OK.
PUDGE. Mmm. Perfect bunt. No play for anyone, Pudge to first, Guillen to third. Way to get it DONE, Pudge.
DaMeat snips one into the gap, Guillen’s home, Pudge speeds around second like it’s hardly there and is on third. 1-0 Tigs.
Rondell White sac fly, Pudge scoots home, 2-0 Tigs. DaMeat flops into second base like a hooked fish, but somehow the second baseman can’t handle it cleanly and he’s safe.
That sounds really sedate, but my true state of mind during this little rally was something more like this:
AAAHHH PUDGE THAT WAS AN AWESOME BUNT PUDGEPUDGEPUDGEPUDGE! LOOK AT HIM GO! LOOKATHIMGO! RUNPUDGERUN! HE SO FAST! MY PUDGE IS SO FAST NOW! DAMEAT! LOOKIT HIM SLIDE! HA HA, DAMEAT, WAY TO HUSTLE!
Then we have a couple of pop flys and that’s the inning, but hey. Look. They were listening. Good Tigers! Good kitties. Kibble for all. ‘Specially for you, Pudge. You can afford to have some snack food now.
Another nice catch by Omah. I’m not so sure I like seeing his shoulder tested like this so much. Matt Stairs double. Poobuckets.
Mario says, “We’re so used to seeing the graceful moves of Carlos Pena on first, but that was a nice hop by Dmitri.” Heh. Yeah, DaMeat’s a lot of things, but ‘graceful’ isn’t one of them.
Oh! Oh, Brandon Inge just made a beautiful running catch to get us out of the inning… if he hadn’t caught that, it totally would have scored the guy on third. Oh, that was a very sweet catch, that was. Bingey!
So, Omah, when are you going to hit a ball that’s not a pop up? When is this going to happen? Sometime this season, perchance?
Eh, uneventful inning. Except I just learned that Brandon Inge and his wife live in Ann Arbor during the offseason. In! Ann Arbor! How did I not know this before?? Anyways, I’ll bet he doesn’t live on campus, and Ann Arbor is frikking huge, and I haven’t got a car, so my stalking abilities are sadly stunted here.
Heh. The ball went under the glove of Bingey, but Guillen was crossing right behind him and scooped it up with ease for the out. Way to keep your eye on the ball, Carlos. And I must say, DaMeat has yet to embarrass himself on first base. He’s actually made a couple good stretches.
Blargh. Back-to-back hits. Men on first and second, two outs. C’mon Bondy. Settle. Settle. 44th Round is chatting with him, settle him down out there 44th Round.
Oh wow, Rondell White just came out of pretty much nowhere to fall over and catch a ball that Craigger and Guillen were already converging on. Phew. Got out of that one.
You know, it’s kind of sad that no one give a shit about the Royals. They have what looks like a truly beautiful park here. They’ve got those nice royal blue jerseys, which look great with the classic lettering and the crisp white pants. They’ve got, well, they’ve got a ton of youth on their team, which must be exciting in a certain way… I mean, you really have got nowhere to look but forward, as opposed to, say, the Yankees, whose youngest player is 28 and won’t be on the team once Wallpuncher comes back off the DL, and all you can look forward to is the slow, aging disintegration of all your heroes.
So I guess it’s sad that no one cares about the Royals. Of course, they sucked like a teamful of lampreys last year, but still. You know what I mean.
Carlos Guillen gets a nice double there, Long could’ve had it but ran just a tiny bit short. Pudge sac flies him to third. What’s all this small ball we’ve got going on today with Pudge? Maybe he was so embarrassed by the Twinkie series that he’s started taking on their tactics.
Ah, and Rondell grounds out. I really wish we hadn’t stranded Guillen. That stuff always seems to come back and bite us on our stripey bums.
And Mike Sweeney, Royals captain, takes the very first pitch he sees and fires it into the stands. 2-1 Tigs. Keep it together, Bondy. We’re still leading. You’re still our guy. You da Tiger, Bondy, you da Tiger! Bare your teeth and dig your claws into the dirt and lash your tail and get these fuckers out.
OK, 3 pop flys. I knew we should’ve gotten Guillen in. Make it up this inning. You hear me, kitties? MAKE IT UP THIS INNING.
Craigger flips one off the centerfield wall for a double to lead us off. Craigger, you’re staying in the Red Sox Corner for now. Your good deeds have not gone unnoticed.
Oh my god, two outs. Don’t strand him. Don’t strand him or you’ll totally regret it. You KNOW you’ll regret it if you strand him, so don’t frikking do it.
Base hit by Omah, he’s out at second, but not before Craigger comes in! 3-1 Tigs. OK, see, that was all I asked for. I am so pleased that they are actually listening to me today. You put the dude on base, you bring him home, that is how we play Tigers baseball, right? Yes. Good.
Look at this, 7th inning and both starters are still in. Impressive. And fuck knows our bullpen could use the rest. We’ve reached the point where I’d really rather not see Urbina on the mound with the game this close, and German’s been overworked lately, and The Farns may or may not be injured, and Percy’s a one-inning kind of guy and I have no idea who the hell is left after that. Good? Ginter?
Bondy nearly taps Angel Berroa after Berroa takes a bloody long time getting into the batter’s box. I think Bondy was just annoyed with him. No harm done, just a little message pitch, as it were.
Another K for Bondy, 3 by my count but 4 by Rod and Mario’s. Did I miss one somewhere? Must’ve. Eh.
1-2-3 inning. He’s thrown 90 pitches after 7 innings. I do wish he had a few more Ks, just because I know he’s capable of it, but this is what I like to see.
Dammit, Bingey pops up. He’s had a very anemic day at the plate. Dammit, Inge, you’re not allowed to be that hot if you’re not producing.
Pudge’s batting gloves today are blue and safety-jacket acid orange. Nice. And he tweaks one hard down the foul line for a double, so extra nice. They’re walking DaMeat intentionally, what with the open base at first and the two outs and all. Rondell, it would be really nice if you could maybe make them pay for this a little. Because you know that you have two guys on base, and you know that stranding guys on base makes me sad.
And you don’t want to make me pout, Rondell, do you.?
There goes Brian Anderson. Yeah, he does deserve that applause. We’re leading, but he held us pretty tightly all game long. A quick and reluctant round of applause for Brian Anderson and his ass, at which we have been staring for 8 innings now.
So who’s this guy? Shawn Camp. I know nothing of him. Ooo, hey, Carlos Pena’s pinch running for DaMeat at first. Pena! Yay!
And Rondell hits right to third, that’s that. I don’t like it. I don’t like this stranding of runners business. A squandering of resources, that’s what it is. Hrmph.
Wow, there’s actually a ‘Let’s go Royals’ chant going on right now. Good for you, Kansas City fans. I didn’t think they had it in ‘em.
4th K of the day. Or 5th. Depending on whether you’re going on my count or Rod and Mario’s. They’re holding fast with their count here, so once again I am thrown into doubt. I have been trying to do other stuff, so it’s perfectly possible I missed one.
1-2-3 8th for Bondy. Oh, how cool would it be if he got a complete game? They showed Percy standing up in the bullpen (and presumably warming), but no heat’s come off of Bondy’s fastball yet, he’s still tossing in the mid-to-low 90’s range, and I think he’s still under or right around 100 pitches. Oh, that would be sweet.
Craig Monroe’s pants are Manny Ramirez-level baggy. Craigger, you’re playing baseball, not rapping, you don’t have to have your pants sagging at the knees like that. And he walks to lead it off. There haven’t been a lot of walks today on either side.
Jeez, Camp, stop throwing to first already! Just make your pitch already! The River Thames awaits! It’s not like Craigger’s some kind of insane speed demon out there or something.
They just showed Bondy in the dugout, sitting between Carlos Pena and Nate Robertson. Bondy was demonstrating something to Nate, and he held his hands up a few inches apart like he was saying “this big”, and then he gestured sort of towards his lap. I’m just going to sit here and assume that conversation is not about what it looks like. Hee hee.
Rod Allen, talking about how many bases the DRays have stolen already this season: “Lou Piniella’s got some rabbits on that team!”
After checking Craigger at first base a bajillion times, and working a full count on The River Thames, Camp finally gives up a base hit and Craigger’s around to third, we’ve got men on both corners. No outs. We all know what I want to see happen here.
44th Round flips one right past the second baseman, if he’d been standing more to the first base side that could’ve been a double play, but it is not, Craigger’s in, 4-1 Tigs. Men on the corners again, still no outs. I’m shaking the kibble can, guys! You can hear it! You want the kibble! It’s so close! You are so close to earning the kibble!
Nate Field is the new pitcher for the Royals. Again, I know nothing about this kid. Sorry.
Damn, I’m tired. Want coffee. I was going to get some this morning, but I had to wait in the dorm because I had some boxes being delivered for move-out. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go and sit with my books and take some notes for my art philosophy paper and drink coffee in Starbucks like some hideous stereotype of a college student. If an art student also majoring in zoology with a green streak in her hair and an obsession with baseball can be called stereotypical.
Brandon Inge! BINGEY! Hits a floater out to centerfield, hits the wall, Bingey’s around to third for a triple and both The River Thames and 44th Round are in to score. 6-1, Tigs, and Bingey finally snaps his little one-game hitting slump. Hugs and kisses for you, Bingey. You are allowed to be hot again.
Base hit for Guillen, right up the left side gap, and Bingey scores! 7-1, Tigs. This is more like it. This is more what we should be doing against the Royals. Gotta feel a bit bad for Brian Anderson, though, the poor guy pitched a heckuva game and his bullpen is just hemorrhaging all over the field. We know how that feels, all too well, so I can’t help but toss a small morsel of pity over into that Royals dugout.
And Pudge hits one off the wall, Guillen to third, Pudge to second because he’s a speedy li’l devil these days. Pudge is reaffirming his reputation as a doubles hitter. His 416th career double, that was.
Let’s see who’s pitching.
*suffers stoically through yet another Wallsides Windows ad.* We can do that! We are the factory!
Oh, OK, see, I like this ad. It has that clip of Mike Maroth pumping his fist after throwing a one-hitter against the Yankees in the rain last year. That was a sweet thing.
Aw, Percy’s in. Darn. I was hoping to see a complete game. But we’ll have to take it. I guess the final number on Bondy is indeed 5 K. I don’t know where I missed one, but oh well, such is life.
Hmmm. The first guy popped out, but Percy walks the second guy. Now, he’s not Ugie, so I’m not saying anything here. But Percy. Remember. Be the Tiger.
Another pop fly. Two outs.
Angel Berroa, who’s been a bit of a Tiger killer in the past, hits into the final out and that is that. That was a fine piece of Tigers baseball. Of course, it was against the Royals. But it was just what we needed after the last few games… that Twins series, and that horrible and inexplicable loss last night (no, not inexplicable… the explanation is, mostly, ‘Ugueth Urbina’). A nice, solid outing from Bonderman, a nice, solid showing from the bats, nothing too egregious in the field.
First road win of the season.
Alan Trammell, on the win: “It feels great. I mean, we needed to stop the bleeding.”
“I know we looked OK, and then we hit this road trip, and the Twinkies kind of humbled us a bit.” OMG TRAM CALLS THEM THE TWINKIES TOO! FANTASTIC! He also called Bondy his ‘ace’. Aaaahhhh. My little heart, it goes pitterpat. Anyways, that should be enough for now. Good game. Nothing to get too wild and crazy over, but good game.
Now it's all on you, Exceptional Mental Makeup Mike. Go get 'em tomorrow, Tiger!
*As opposed to MLB TV on my computer, which is titchy small and will probably buffer like shit over the occasionally patchy wireless I have at home.