With AL Cy Young frontrunners Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander facing off in Detroit, the baseball world tuned in for what was sure to be an epic duel. For most of the game, that is exactly what they got but then the two teams had to go and spoil it by stomping all over the fabled “unwritten rules” of baseball.
Maybe it was the uneasiness created by the impending trade deadline. Maybe it was the gravity of this monumental pitching matchup. Perhaps it was the intense heat of the divisional race both teams are in. Whatever the reason, the Angels and Tigers decided to ruin an otherwise compelling game by taking turns acting like fools.
It all started relatively innocently with Magglio Ordonez taking a little too long of a look at his third inning homer, something Jered Weaver voiced his displeasure about. Great, fine. Water under the bridge, right?
Wrong. Carlos Guillen apparently took exception to Weaver taking exception and decided that the best way to tell him that was to crank a solo shot in the seventh inning and take approximately three decades to admire his work and another four centuries to then stare down Weaver. As one might imagine, Weaver did not take this well, as he started jawing with Guillen almost immediately.
Left with no choice, other than just admitting to having no manhood, a steaming Weaver sailed the very next pitch about one foot over Alex Avila’s head with an obligatory objection ensuing before the ball even hit the backstop.
OK, great. Weaver got his payback and then booted from the game. We can all relax now, right?
The Angels still felt they needed to get even and that took the form of Erick Aybar thumbing his nose at one of the biggest unwritten rules of all, dropping a bunt during a no-hitter.
What’s that? There was a no-hitter going on? Yeah, I guess I forgot to mention that Justin Verlander took a no-no into the eighth inning because I had to waste all of our time recapping the testosterone-fueled dumbassery earlier in the game. And now I can’t even focus on it still because Aybar detracted from it with his bunt attempt under the very loose premise that they were only down 3-0. The bunt attempt resulted in an error by Verlander, but it accomplished its affect by getting him upset and rattled since he went on to walk another batter before giving up a two-out hit to Maicer Izturis.
Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t everyone act like a grown up? If you hit a homer, act like you’ve done it before. If you get tagged for a homer and the guy shows you up, be the bigger man, hurl a few expletives at the guy and move on. Everyone else, just swing the dang bat because, really, nobody likes bunting anyway.
Also last night: Jake Westbrook was perfect through five but ended up losing to the Cubs… Raul Ibanez hits two homers AND smacks a walk-off extra-inning double (Hunter Pence, who?)… and finally, the Astros started an almost Triple-A lineup and the Brewers still barely beat them.
What to watch tonight: Now that the Pirates have taken a step back, we can finally focus on the two NL Central teams that actually have a chance at making the post-season. Sure enough, we get to do that in just one game as the Cardinals and resurgent ace Chris Carpenter goes toe-to-anxiety-riddled-toe with Zack Greinke and the first place Brewers. Set your DVR and pop your Xanax, this one should be good! Full schedule with probable pitchers here.