[Editor's Note: Better late than never? Apologies for not posting a proper recap this morning, as promised. Clearly, the people demand it, and I will meet the demand, never putting off my responsibilities again. We're like Peter Parker over here.]
It wasn't just the temperature that was hot last night in St. Louis. How about those Detroit Tigers bats? (¡Qué lástima! Magglio Ordóñez.)
The lineup that can't score more than three runs? How about four in the first inning! And six for the game. The batting order that doesn't hit for power? Two home runs, including one from noted slugger Placido Polanco (who we like to imagine enjoys sticking it to his former manager, Tony La Russa, whenever he can).
How hot was it at Busch Stadium last night? The Cards' starting pitcher, Joel Pineiro, couldn't take the heat, crumbling to the ground with a leg cramp after striking out Josh Anderson to end the seventh inning.
La Russa can't be blamed for leaving Pineiro in that long, however. After that first inning, the Tigers batters were coming and going from the plate like they were on a conveyor belt. Pineiro retired 15 straight Detroit hitters at one point, and had only thrown 83 pitches by the time he had to be - literally - carried off the field.
But the lineup did put up that four-spot to begin the game, which was enough to carry them for the night. Rick Porcello was good enough, allowing three runs (only one earned, thanks to Gerald Laird's throwing error that brought back painful memories from the 2006 postseason) and eight hits in a 97-pitch performance that may have been one of his biggest tests of this season.
Fernando Rodney did his damnedest, however, to almost cough the game up. As I said in last night's quickie recap - which the BYB Bunch has made clear is no substitute for the real thing - I wonder if that jarring lack of control indicates that he's hurt.
With the Tigers hanging on to a one-run lead by their whiskers, did you expect a home run from Placido Polanco? Just get a hit! Just get on base! No, how about an insurance run over the left field fence, mis amigos?
Miguel Cabrera was so surprised that he struck out in the next at-bat. But Marcus Thames liked seeing that homer so much that he decided to hit one of his own after that. Breathing room. A cool, refreshing breeze amidst that oppressive St. Louis heat. Whatever you want to call it, those homers were huge.
Fernando. Buddy. What are you doing? All of Tiger Town wants to see you succeed. You have the support of your teammates and coaches. You're looking at a big payday during the offseason. So why do you want to throw all of that away? Walking three of the first four batters you faced? Nine strikes in 22 pitches? (At least you can say you got Albert Pujols out.)
That was the ugliest save ever. Even Todd Jones, watching at home in Alabama, made the Meijer spinach girl face. Just because the Tigers don't really have another option to close games besides you, Fernando, doesn't mean you can't still finish off these saves with some authority. Talk to Rick Knapp. He's there to help.
Comment of the Night:
800+ comments! (And only 300 of them were puns on Bobby Seay's last name!) Clearly, I needed to down some coffee before or during the game, because we needed an overflow thread. We let you down, but you did not let us down, BYB Bunch.
I’m reminded that gluing a dog to your face is wrong
And once again, the runner-up. Maybe we should've just had a recap with comment highlights.