Considering how the Detroit Tigers have played in August, we're not really in a position to criticize a win. Especially one in which the team that often calls it a night after falling behind rallies from a 3-0 deficit. And Curtis Granderson reminds us just how incredible he was last year, with two triples and four RBIs. For that matter, Gary Sheffield also showed how fearsome he can still be when healthy, going 3-for-5 with a two-run homer.
But holy geez, that bullpen. Actually, it's not fair of me to say "the bullpen," because Gary Glover pitched a scoreless debut inning for the Tigers and Fernando Rodney picked up his fourth save in his last five appearances, demonstrating that maybe he does have the stones to be a closer. No, the "holy geez" is really directed at just one guy, the pitcher who was ostensibly acquired to help the Detroit relief corps: Kyle Farnsworth.
Is Farnsworth aware that if he pitches better, he'd more than likely increase his value on the free agent market this winter? He's sure as hell not pitching like it. Farnsworth has allowed runs in three of his seven outings as a Tiger, and in two of those three appearances, he's given up three runs or more. Someone leaking gasoline was bound to catch fire in a climate as warm as that of Arlington, Texas.
The Farns took over for Glover in the eighth inning, and allowed five of the seven batters he faced to reach base. (In fairness, one of those runners was the result of an Edgar Renteria error. But Farnsworth still allowed him to come around and score.) By the time Rodney came in to control the blaze, four runs had scored, virtually erasing a five-run lead. Farnsworth should've showered underneath a fire extinguisher after the game.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they were playing a team with an equally flammable bullpen. Scott Feldman handed a 3-2 lead over to Frank Francisco, who promptly gave up two runs (one of the runs was charged to Feldman) and gave Detroit the advantage. But if Francisco lit the match, Jamey Wright dropped it in the gasoline. He actually got the first two hitters out, but that pitching rubber in Arlington must be made of flint. The next five batters reached base (aided by a Travis Metcalf error), and four of them came in to score, three driven in by Granderson's second triple of the game.
If they don't already, the Rangers should allow firefighters to train at the Ballpark in Arlington. Fire trucks should be on stand-by for the next two games of this series. Make sure all the nearby hydrants are in working condition.
It was understandably slow at the beginning, but like moths drawn to a flame, we eventually had a fun turnout in the GameThread. (I even got Rick Rolled, which is just embarrassing. I blame the disappointing baseball for wearing down my defenses.)
Thanks to MackAveKurt, PBURGTIGER, ThaWalrus9, spotstarters, ashmark, dettigionswings'stons, Zappatista, densogirl, explosivo2k2, Juskimo, Tony K, beefshower, and wepri31 for sitting around the campfire. Next time, let's make S'mores.