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I Can't Believe I Missed It!

Let's use the way back machine to go back to last Tuesday, September 6. The Tigers were in the middle of what would be a nine-game losing streak, you and I were shaking off the post-Labor Day blues, and I missed this:

Bottom of the first
Cliff Lee pitching
P Polanco grounded out to shortstop.
C Shelton flied out to center.
I Rodriguez walked.
M Ordonez singled to left, I Rodriguez to second.
D Young fouled out to first.

Yes, that's right. Ivan Rodriguez walked, and for only the seventh time all season. And yet the moon did not crash into the earth, time did not stand still, pigs did not fly, and monkeys did not fly out of anyone's butt. As near as I can tell, Pudge just tossed down his bat and strolled all business-like to first, just like he'd done it a million times before. Even if he'd only done it six times.

Pudge, of course, hasn't walked since, and I'm not going to be so bold as to predict he'll do it again this season. Maybe his unprecedented bit of patience messed up his normally slap-happy approach -- Rodriguez made outs each of the next 13 times he came to the plate. The Gods of Swing First and Ask Questions Later had been angered, methinks, and punished the Tigers and Rodriguez by replacing his normal mojo with the mojo of Vance Wilson.

And, just to be clear, I'm not making a mountain out of a molehill. From BP:

Ivan Rodriguez is having a historic season. With just seven walks (five unintentional) and 461 at-bats, he's on pace to become just the 10th player to walk fewer than 10 times while picking up at least 500 ABs in the four-balls-for-a-walk era...Even for a career hacker like Rodriguez, this is remarkable, especially since mildly improved plate discipline had been a hallmark of his last few seasons. "