Because the Tigers are only 2-9 when I don't do a running diary of their games, I'm trying it out today. Not only that, we here at The Triple Deke have cloaked our headquarters with so much optimistic voodoo that even Richard Simmons couldn't help but puke. I've got my Magglio jersey and engineer-style Tigers cap on, roommate Nick has his '06 AL Champions shirt out of the hamper, and the leather recliner has been turned into a makeshift shrine to all things Tiger-related from flags to lighters to refrigerator magnets. Yes, it's ridiculous, but when you're 2-9, it can't get much worse.
2:04 -- Oh my god the injuries. Sheffield is playing, but during the pregame they said that he tore some tissue in his shoulder stretching yesterday, bringing him to his knees in pain. But he's playing today because, apparently, the tear loosened up his shoulder enough to get around on inside pitches. Whatever; it still sounds bad.
2:09 -- Carlos Guillen is supposedly going to be "out for several days", but "won't be put on the 15-day DL." Oh wait, let me guess: he's going to miss 10-12 games, play a couple, miss another 4 or five, DH for a couple, sit some more.....and on and on. Goody.
2:13 -- On the hill for the Tigers, the Gambler. The Tigers haven't managed to get a single run of support for him yet this season. He starts the bottom of the 1st by giving up a single to Nick Swisher, who officially has the gayest chin beard that I have ever seen in my life.
2:16 -- Kenny nearly picks off Swisher, which would've given him the record for all-time pickoffs, currently held by Mark Langston. I can't wait for Kenny to break the record, followed by Langston being lowered out of the sky by a helicopter to meet him at the mound with a 3-foot tall golden arm trophy, go down to one knee, and pass the award onto Kenny as a teary eyed Jim Leyland stands at the foot of the dugout while applauding in approval. A confused Miguel Cabrera will then look up from his pulled pork sandwich at 3rd base and ask somebody what just happened.
2:21 -- Jim Thome, up with two on and nobody out, just hit a ball 4 miles high that barely went foul, leading inevitably to Rod Allen calling Thome "country strong." We only need a "PARD-NUH" and a mention of pink cotton candy from him to complete the Rod Allen Triple Crown. Thome then bounces into a huge double play.
2:27 -- Paul Konerko singles to put the Sox up 1-0, but Kenny comes back to strike out Jermaine Dye to end the inning. After the way things started, a 1 run deficit doesn't sound that bad, and Kenny seemed to find a bit of rhythm after the double play. He's already thrown 28 pitches though.
2:36 -- Mario Impemba mentions how cold it is for the 96th time this series.
2:38 -- The Tigers leader in homeruns and RBI is at the plate. Oh my god it's Brandon Inge. He strikes out to end the top of the 2nd.
2:44 -- Jaques Jones catches line drive to put away the Sox in the 2nd. Jones wears #19, which, if I were running the state, is a number that would be retired all throughout Michigan sports. No, fuck that. The number would altogether be removed from society as an homage to the greatness that was Steve Yzerman. Little league, license plates, social security numbers -- the numbers 1 and 9 would never be placed side-by-side ever again. People wouldn't even celebrate 19th birthdays on my watch. Shit, the Tigers and Wings are owned by the same dude; can't this actually take place? Maybe I'm overreacting.
2:50 -- We learn that the White Sox starter, Javier Vazquez, is second only to Randy Johnson in K's this decade. I think I speak for every baseball fan in America when I say "you're fucking joking right?"
2:52 -- The Tigers go 1-2-3 in the 3rd. I'm starting to think that Jim Leyland could start managing from under a ladder while breaking mirrors over the head of a black cat and things wouldn't get any worse.
2:59 -- Confusion sets in amongst Chicago fans as Chuck Hernandez makes a mound visit. Booing ensues as 94% of these fans didn't know what baseball was before the Sox won the 2005 World Series.
3:01 -- Thome's up again with two on, 2-0 the count, and Kenny's getting visibly frustrated. What do you want to bet he hits a homerun here? (Bracing for the worst...) The at-bat ends in a walk. Bases loaded for Paul Konerko......and he hits a Grand Fucking Slam. I swear to god, I'm not making this up -- I was in the middle of a sentence describing how Konerko looked like he was primed for a Slam, but trying to remain positive, I hit the backspace key. Then he actually hit one. I give up.
3:08 -- Aflac Trivia Question: other than Magglio Ordonez, name the other 5 players with batting titles whose last name begins with "O". That is a ridiculous question. Why not just ask me the approximate weight of Neptune while you're at it.
3:10 -- Sheff rips a double to left. He's now hit two balls (the first one a long-distance foul ball) really well to "the pull field", as Rod would say. Maybe I should try tearing some tissue in my shoulder and see what kind of awesomeness comes my way. This is then followed by a measly popout by Maggs, an ugly strikeout by Cabrera, and a lineout by Jones. I'm starting to think that doing a running diary as a means of changing our luck is having no affect on this game whatsoever.
3:24 -- They give the answer to the aforementioned trivia question. One of the five batting champs was Lefty O'Doule. Oh, my bad. I didn't know we were counting Dick Tracy villains.
3:35 -- Tigers go quietly again in the 5th, as Clete Thomas strikes out again. He looks like a completely different hitter from yesterday when he patiently drew a couple of walks. They've now given Kenny Rogers a whopping total of zero runs during his 15 innings of work. At this point I just want to have at least one run to comment on......they're heading toward their 4th shutout in 12 games this season. Unbelievable.
3:39 -- An unfathomable set of circumstances occurs that results in a cockamamie infield pop-up single. Thome flies one above 3rd base, Cabrera bumps into the umpire and slips (hurting himself in the process) as Rogers meanders over to foul territory, but both players lose sight of the ball and the ball manages to land in fair territory. Rogers (only 7 out of 21 first-pitch strikes) exits the game to make way for Zack Miner as Mario Impemba reiterates what I mentioned a moment ago: "I mean, this is unbelievable Rod." The White Sox could find a way to somehow hit a 6-run homer and I wouldn't be surprised.
3:47 -- RBI double for Jermaine Dye. 6-0 Chi-Sox. Then Brandon Inge lets one by and another run scores. 7-0. I don't exactly feel like doing this anymore (it doesn't sound like Rod & Mario want to either....I have never, ever heard them as lifeless as they are right now.)
3:52 -- Joe Crede (I can't believe I'm typing this) hits another White Sox grand slam. 11-0 Sox. Zack Miner is indisputably terrible; can't throw strikes, and has one discernible skill: thowing a swing-back "fastball" into the fat part of a baseball bat. We would've been better off leaving Kenny out there to throw right-handed. (Not only was it another grand slam, but my immediate reaction -- before they even cut to the camera tracking the ball -- was to laugh. It's like you think it can't get any worse, and then a team hits two grand slams in one game. I can't stop saying that. Two grand slams. Two.)
4:00-- My Magglio jersey comes off, plain clothes put back on. This decision is made, coincidently enough, at the precise moment that Ryan Raburn comes in to pinch-hit for Maggs. Not sure why he's subbing for him when Cabrera is gimping around at 3rd. Seriously though, two grand slams.
4: 22 -- Some fucker named Clay Rapada comes in to pitch for Detroit and the Sox go 1-2-3. Go figure.
4: 27 -- The Tigers - again - go down in order, two of them at the first pitch. Guess we're all just hoping this thing ends as soon as possible. (They show the replay of Ramon Santiago having his bat broken on a tapper back to the mound. He actually hit the ball twice; once on first contact, then the broken barrel hit it again in the air. This has been a weird game.)
4:29 -- Mario: "You want to hear an unbelievable stat, Rod?"
Rod: "What's that?"
Mario: "The White Sox have thrown 24 straight strikes."
I'll be honest, I thought he was going to say something inane like "Clay Rapada was born with webbed feat", but dammit, that's a pretty fucking unbelievable stat. 24 straight strikes. Good lord. I really, really hope to hear some report tonight or tomorrow about Leyland totally ripping into this team after the shitfest we've seen today. If not after THIS game, then when will the mandatory blow-up take place?? WHEN, I ask! I'm tired of hearing this bullshit about how guys are "trying too hard" and "I'm not going to tell them what to do, 'cause they're professionals."
4:35 -- Sheff takes a first-pitch ball. Order is restored for a moment, but then he strikes out. 7 hits during the last two days, no runs, long faces, Ramon Santiago, and oh yeah -- two grand slams.
4:40 -- And that's your ballgame: 11-0 White Sox. This is complete rock-bottom. Anything worse than this is purely comedy from here on out.