Thursday, October 05, 2006

Game 2: Delayed

Well, the Tigers didn’t play last night. I was kind of relieved they didn’t start the game because it wouldn’t have started until 10 or so, and that would have made 6 o’clock come very early this morning. I was also relieved because if they started and two innings later, the rain comes back, the Tigers have almost completely wasted Verlander and we’re left to watch Ledezma and Miner against that Yankees’ lineup. As it is, the Tigers have lost their travel day, but at least they get to come home and sleep in their own beds tonight. The Yankees are going to have to fall asleep despite me banging pots and pans and honking my horn all night outside their hotel. I’m kidding, of course. I’m paying somebody else to do that.

In the other games that were played yesterday, the Mets beat the Dodgers and the A’s beat the Twins again. Both games had key mistakes that affected the final outcome. In the Dodgers’ case, it was Jeff Kent not getting a good read on a ball to right field and getting thrown out at the plate. The only reason he was sent home, according to the Dodgers, is because J. D. Drew had run up on his heels and if Kent would have stopped at third, they would have had two runners on third. That’s bad enough, but Drew compounded his mistake by running through third base as well, so after LoDuca tagged out Kent at the plate, he was very surprised to be able to turn a unique double play by tagging out Drew without so much as a rundown. I heard the play described on the radio, so I didn’t see it, but that is indescribably bad baserunning by Drew. If you know there’s a baserunner ahead of you, you never round a bag without taking a peek to see what’s going on ahead of you.

The mistake everybody is talking about in the Twins game was Torii Hunter taking an aggressive route on a line drive to center by Mark Kotsay, diving for the ball, missing it, watching as it rolled all the way to the wall and Michael Cuddyer ran it down from right field. Kotsay scored on the play, as did Jason Kendall, and instead of two runners on with two outs, the Twins found themselves in a 4-2 hole almost immediately after Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer had hit back-to-back home runs to tie the game up. I heard Hunter’s comments after the game and he said something to the effect that there was no question in his mind that he had that ball, and it didn’t even cross his mind to play it like a single. Unfortunately for Hunter and Twins fans, the other thing that didn’t cross his mind is that he’s apparently not the fielder he was when he developed those aggressive instincts. Do you feel worse for Hunter or the fans in that situation?

That’s enough about the poor and unfortunate fans of other cities, though. The Tigers play at 1 o’clock today, and I will be watching on my couch. I know it’s probably ridiculously dorky of me to take a half day to go watch a baseball game, but it’s really a responsible act on my part because I wouldn’t be much good to my employer this afternoon anyway.

One more thing, Baseball America announced their Top 20 Players for the Florida State League yesterday. The Tiger’s sole representative was Jair Jurrjens. He’s another quality starting pitcher in the system, and I plan to post about him sometime soon after either the postseason or the Tigers’ season is over. Here’s hoping those two conclusions come on the same day.

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