Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, June 02, 2006

How good did that feel?

"Sorry Tigers, we’re not going to take you seriously until you beat the Yankees at least once."

-- Deadspin, 05/31/06

It wasn't looking like a good Thursday night for the Tigers. Earlier in the day, Mike Maroth found out he needs surgery on his injured elbow, which seriously cramps the style of a pitching rotation that had been such a key to the team's success. Was this the return of the dreaded injury plague that turned the Tigers into kitties last season?

And then Detroit, despite still holding the best record in Major League Baseball, was facing a four-game sweep - at home - against those damn New York Yankees. Is this what happens when the Tigers face a so-called "good team"?

(I say "so-called" because the Yankees were throwing line-ups with Terrence Long, Andy Phillips, and Miguel Cairo out there. No Jeter, no Sheffield. WDFN's Matt Dery called them the "Triple-A Yankees.")

Injuries and losses, swirling in a gas can that non-believers have been waiting to pour on the "I told you so" fire all season. And after the Yankees took a five-run lead against the previously dominant Justin Verlander, a sweep looked imminent. The Tigers were six innings away from a five-game losing streak.

Then the Tigers began staging a comeback. Three runs in the fourth inning. Two runs in the fifth (after the Yankees added one of their own). Yankees 6, Tigers 5. But they couldn't score against Scott Proctor in the seventh and eighth, which meant they'd have to face Mariano Rivera in the ninth.

But wait! Just before the game, Rivera's back went into spasms as he was putting on his shoe. No "Hammer of God" in the ninth inning for the Yankees, but the Tigers would still have to face "Superman": their old buddy, Kyle Farnsworth.

Does this mean we can call Carlos Guillen "Kryptonite"? After Magglio Ordonez drove in Marcus Thames to tie the game, Guillen (who was subbing at first base for the now-flat "Orange Crush," Chris Shelton) smoked a Farnsworth fastball down the right-field line. Pudge Rodriguez came home with his arms raised triumphantly, and the Tigers brought back that winning feeling.

And the reviews are in. The Detroit Tigers Weblog and Tiger Tales called it (arguably) the biggest win of the season. Mack Avenue Tigers said the Tigers proved something. The Daily Fungo thought it was beautiful.

Losing streak over. Yankees finally beaten. No sweep. Food tastes good again. Men are kissing women on the street. Birds are singing this morning. The sun is shining. (Well, I assume it is, behind all of the clouds.) Confetti is surely being tossed someplace in the world. Drinks are being raised. (It's five o' clock somewhere, as my lushing friend Mis Hooz might say.)

Damn, that felt good. Thursday night turned out just fine. Who's up next?

The Red Sox? Oooooh, boy. Well, okay - bring 'em on. (And cue the inner conflict - well, maybe - for Skippin' Samela.) But do not - do not - underestimate the run-scoring power of Nate Robertson's Big League Chew.

(Photo by Paul Sancya/ AP)

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  • At June 02, 2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Big Al said…

    It was a huge win, more so for the fans than anything else. I know we all doubts rearing their ugly head due to the 4 game losing streak. It being the Yankees, of all teams, made the thought of a series sweep even worse.

    And who knew Rod Allen was psychic? He totally called Guillen's winning hit.

    A feel good win all the way around...

  • At June 02, 2006 11:52 AM, Blogger Greg Eno said…

    When you talked about kissing, I thought of an image: just like that famous photo of the sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square at the end of WW II, how about a couple of Tigers fans, on Woodward -- each dressed in Bengals garb?

    And yes, each a man and a woman.

  • At June 02, 2006 7:19 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Big Al, Rod Allen's psychic abilities were impressive. They reminded me of Tim McCarver calling Luis Gonzalez's bloop single that won the 2001 World Series.

    Greg, that's EXACTLY the image I wanted to invoke! Excellent. I just couldn't think of a Detroit equivalent to Times Square. I'm sure there was plenty of making out on the rooftop of Hockeytown Cafe after the game. ;-)

  • At June 03, 2006 4:53 PM, Blogger Sam said…

    See, when you made the kissing remark, I immediately thought of Pudge and Ugie....


    Also, Nate's gum powers fill me with awe.


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