Saturday, August 27, 2005
I wasn't expecting there to be a great many Tigers hats floating around Fenway for this series. But last night, I saw a single Tigers hat on the way into the park (on a guy toting a small child in Red Sox gear), a single Tigers hat the entire time I was in the park (on a small child whose father had no team gear on; who knows, it might've been a little league hat), and a single Tigers hat on the way out (on an older gentleman). I had a Tigers hat on, and my brother had a Tigers tshirt on, so that makes for a grand total of 5 Tigers fans I saw all. night. long.
JJ looked OK early, but my brother was already shaking his head and saying he'd never seen so many balls in the dirt. He fell apart in the third inning, the fifth inning, and the start of the sixth inning, and the only reason he didn't seem to fall apart in the fourth was because he got lucky... Mueller absolutely smoked a ball into left field, but right at Craig Monroe, and Dougie gave a ball a long, high ride, but it died just at the track and fell into Granderson's glove. Spurling and Walker were both surprisingly, well, not sucktastic, but by then of course the damage was done.
As for the Sox pitching, well. There weren't many walks given up, which you can probably put down more to the Tigers' complete inability to take a pitch than to Sox control. The third inning was kind of funny, one-two-three, every out made by Kevin Millar over at first.
Of course, the fourth was where the troubles began. Craigger worked himself a leadoff walk, which should have been an immediate warning sign, since "Tiger walking" generally equals "pitcher not having any idea where the ball is going". Then Brandon Inge smashed a two-run homer to center, surprising the hell out of the crowd and quieting everyone.
John "wicked dangerous hitter" McDonald followed it up with a double, and then Curtis Granderson hit... well, he hit the ball, and it went down the first base line, that much we're all agreed upon. Was it a homerun? From where I was sitting, we had a view straight down the first base line, and... you know, as I was watching it, I thought that it had just bent fair around the pole. The woman sitting next to me thought that it had hit the pole, and everyone else around us, including my brother, thought that it had been blatantly foul.
The umpires called it a homerun, though, so what's done is done. The crowd was not very happy about it, and every subsequent foul ball saw all of Fenway raising their hands and making the 'homerun' sign, which I have to admit was kind of hilarious.
Jeremi gave up back-to-back homers to Pudge and Magglio, good hitters both, but still not a comforting sight for Sox fans, especially as he'd been one of the guys we were less worried about in the 'pen.
ChadBrad was OK, though he got burned by letting both Nook and Granderson get singles in the 8th. Nook is one of the fastest guys in the league, and Grandy is pretty quick himself, so when they took off on a double steal, and when Nook later sped a sac fly into an easy run, it was kind of something you could see coming a mile off. The Tigers fan in me was happy to get to watch a run get 'manufactured' like that, and the baseball fan in me was just happy to get to see Nook run the basepaths.
There's more to say, but my dad wants to leave early for tonight's game (it's an entire BCRS family outing for this one), so I must trot.
All the photos can be seen here. I refuse to apologize for the sheer profusion of Brandon Inge shots. Expect more Bill Mueller shots from tonight, as I'll be closer to third base.