After a rather tumultuous past two days, it is time to get back to the levity that sports can often bring into our lives. There were plenty of high points during Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series, from the hilarity of Justin Verlander’s defensive boner to Kurt Suzuki’s list of firsts with his go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning. Add an appearance from a very old friend, and you have a recipe for fun.
Justin Verlander has an impressive pedigree when it comes to playoff performances, but the World Series have not historically been kind to him. His very first appearance back in 2006 was marred by some Benny Hill-level defensive blunders, and from what was seen on Wednesday night, some things never change.
Poor JV couldn't get out of his own way. pic.twitter.com/weOm0aEHY1— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 24, 2019
In the top of the fourth inning, Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit a little nubber to Verlander’s right, which he attempted to field in a less than acrobatic fashion. As they say, the rest is history.
https://t.co/E39X4DDOnH pic.twitter.com/EwATl1JMfO— Dominik (@domhunt18) October 24, 2019
As a result, the meme monkeys of social media got to work and blew up the baseball internet with various jokes and images making light of JV’s blunder. It also gave Yu Darvish a chance at a little bit of payback for one of his previous mistakes that Verlander mocked him for.
Yu.... ♂️. Not doing a lot here to help us dispel the pitchers aren’t athletes thing. https://t.co/685zoAJzXf— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) April 27, 2018
To be fair, Justin, neither did you.
Kurt Suzuki and his list of firsts
Kurt Suzuki’s go-ahead home run began a massive hemorrhage that resulted in the lopsided final score. The dinger also had several more World Series distinctions, beginning with the first by a catcher in the seventh inning or later since Game 2 back in 1981.
Kurt Suzuki has given the Nationals a 3-2 lead in Game 2 of the World Series.— Max’s Sporting Studio (@MaxSportsStudio) October 24, 2019
He’s the first catcher to hit a go-ahead homer in the 7th inning or later in a World Series game since Steve Yeager did so on October 25, 1981. pic.twitter.com/B9YIwLVlWm
It was also the first go-ahead home run in the World Series since 2012 when Buster Posey did it against the Tigers.
Kurt Suzuki is the first catcher to hit a go-ahead HR in the #WorldSeries since Buster Posey in 2012 https://t.co/hAmTJUzBhM #Nationals pic.twitter.com/azvdZ7L3Yz— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 24, 2019
The round-tripper is also the first in the World Series by a Hawaiian-born player, a subtle nod to recently deceased Tigers farmhand catcher Chace Numata, who was also born in the island state.
Kurt Suzuki is the first player born in Hawaii to homer in the #WorldSeries. pic.twitter.com/Bdq24mYK0n— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 24, 2019
But wait, there’s more!
Ryan Zimmerman (35), Howie Kendrick (36), and Kurt Suzuki (36) all have multiple hits tonight.— Max’s Sporting Studio (@MaxSportsStudio) October 24, 2019
It’s the first time in World Series history that a National League team has had 3 or more batters aged 36 or older get 2+ hits in the same game.
The Detroit Tigers did it in 1945.
The oldest friend alert
Fernando Rodney is currently the oldest player in Major League Baseball — and the last player who is older than your humble author remaining — so when he started warming up to pitch in Game 2, the excitement began to build. His appearance ended up being quite a historic one: he has now pitched in the World Baseball Classic, an American and National League All-Star Game, an American and National League Wildcard Game, an American and National League Divisional Series, an American and National League Championship Series, and for both the American and National Leagues in the World Series.
Rodney joins Jon Lester as the only pitchers to appear in every type of #postseason game in both leagues. https://t.co/tql04HSH3T— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 24, 2019
... and also
This is Fernando Rodney’s first World Series game since Game 5 in 2006.— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) October 24, 2019
That game was ALSO started by Justin Verlander.
Two more managers sign
As the game of manager musical chairs continues, two more skippers have found a seat when the music stopped. First off, the Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly hired veteran Joe Girardi to replace Gabe Kapler. Girardi has one World Series ring with the Yankees in 2009 and offers to bring a great deal of stability to the managerial position.
The other news is that 70-grade named Jayce Tingler has been tapped to take over for the San Diego Padres. While Tingler has no managerial experience, he served as the Texas Rangers’ field coordinator in 2019 after spending time in their front office, including two years as an assistant general manager. Current Padres GM A.J. Preller is familiar with Tingler, as he was the assistant GM during part of his tenure back in Texas.
Off-Season Managerial Hires:— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) October 24, 2019
Angels: Joe Maddon
Phillies: Joe Girardi
Cubs: David Ross
Padres: Jayce Tingler
On the clock:
Tigers outright four to Toledo
The Tigers have outrighted four players to Toledo: RHP Zac Reininger, RHP Eduardo Jimenez, LHP Nick Ramirez and 1B Dustin Peterson. Because none of the players have been outrighted previously, they have to accept the assignment after passing through waivers. However, all four could be eligible to become minor league free agents five days after the final game of the World Series, having accumulated MiLB service time of six years or more.
Detroit Tigers have outrighted to Toledo— CanTig Tigers (@CanTigJohnH1) October 24, 2019
RHP Zac Reininger
RHP Eduardo Jimenez
LHP Nick Ramirez
1B Dustin Peterson
- Tigers place Blaine Hardy on outright waivers, per report. Assuming he clears waivers, Hardy will become a free agent.
- 2019 Tigers Review: Niko Goodrum was the Tigers’ most consistent player. He was no star, but Goodrum turned in another solid season in his second year with Detroit.
- 2019 Tigers Review: Gregory Soto made his debut, but it could have gone better. It was a tough rookie year for the lefty.
- 2019 Tigers Review: Victor Reyes showed some modest improvements. He did enough for a return ticket in 2020, but he’s still a long way from being a major league starter.
- 2019 Tigers Review: Grayson Greiner let opportunity slip through his fingers. Gifted the starting job in 2019, he did little to convince anyone he has a long-term role to play in the major leagues.
Baseball is awesome: one more look
Kurt, for the lead! #WorldSeries pic.twitter.com/jPvCqmVDS1— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2019