What a good day of baseball. If you weren’t on the edge of your seat all day long, then maybe you were standing like I did for a lot of it. Or maybe you weren’t even watching baseball because you couldn’t handle the pressure. If you didn’t watch, Detroit split their doubleheader with the Twins, and even though they probably should have swept it with ease, fans can be somewhat satisfied (or maybe relieved?) that we didn’t lose any ground in the Central Division race. After all, judging from what I’ve seen from fans on Twitter and various message boards, it seems like 90% of fans were expecting the Tigers to fail them. Sad, but true. Thankfully, the Tigers didn’t fail those silly naysayers and Detroit picked up a big win in the 2nd game of the doubleheader tonight.
Detroit’s offense was putrid in the first game, failing to execute with runners in scoring position and less than two outs. If it wasn’t for a flukey looking hit in the 2nd and a leadoff solo home run in the 9th from Granderson, Detroit would have been shutout. It’s a damn shame considering rookie, Rick Porcello, tossed 6.1 stellarinnings (and throwing the most pitches he’s tossed all year).
In the nightcap, Detroit’s hitters didn’t let opportunities go to waste for their ace. After Miguel Cabrera hit a leadoff, solo jack in the 2nd inning, Detroit scored four more unanswered runs, all with two outs in the respective innings. Uncharacteristic, but I’ll allow it. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander looked like he was going to mow all the way to the bank (his 18th victory of the season), but he hit a couple rough patches en route. He has run into a bad inning a lot in recent starts and the 6th inning was it tonight. Luckily, he beared down to escape it after allowing just two runs. JV was sent back out in the 8th and he ran into another jam. After giving up a couple runs (and what all started probably due to a mental fielding error by Miguel Cabrera), Verlander gritted his teeth and labored through the end of the inning to get the ball to his near perfect, heart attack inducing closer, Fernando Rodney.
In the top half of the ninth, Curtis Granderson hit what almost immediately seemed like a “you’ll thank me for this later,” solo homer to give the Tigers a much needed Aflac insurance run. Sure enough, in the bottom of the ninth on a fly ball to center that would have ended the game, Curtis Granderson misplayed it and it fell for a run scoring double. Okay, thanks for that home run now CG. That put the tying run in scoring position for Denard Span who has been absolutely killing the Tigers this season. .444 to be exact entering that last at bat. Luckily, Rodney got him to fly out to left and end the profusive sweating from Tigers fans and put the Tigers back up two in the Central Division.
With the split in the double header, Detroit’s magic number shrinks from six to four and that is… drum roll…. Billy Bean (4).
No, that’s not the general manager for the Oakland A’s. That’s Billy Beane with an ‘e.’ No, not Michael Jackson’s lover. That’s Billie Jean and Jackson has said, she’s not his lover anyway. This, my friends, is Billy Bean — an obscure, former Tiger… and he’s a homo.
No, really. He’s a homosexual. He came out of the closet in 1999 and is only the second former MLB player to reveal that his interest in men goes beyond “good job” butt taps and innocent post-game showers. He probably loves Jack Johnson albums and playing Game Cube with his bros (and that’s fine, we don’t judge here). He’s now proud and he is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.
Anyway, Billy Bean wore the number four during his three seasons with the Tigers. He played in just 45 games and had 88 at bats over those years and hit a subpar .216. He may have been a switchy off the field, but he was a lefty on the diamond. And look at that great stance. Bean is best known for having four hits in his first Major League game, tying a Major League record.
Why did I choose Billy Bean? Well because he wears the number four, was on the Tigers roster (kind of) when we lost to the Twins in 1987 (which I’m hoping will help REVERSE that outcome), and coincidentally enough, his last game in 1987 was against the Twins, but not in the playoffs. His last game action that year was against the pesky Twinkies on May 29th, exactly 12 1/4 years ago. Eerie!
Besides, I could have used Bobby Higginson, but he was an overpaid, prima donna. I’d like to keep the mood gay, or jovial, around here.