The Curse of the Crooked Hat

Former Tiger, Fernando “The Crooked Hat” Rodney, pitched two scoreless innings and got the win, as the Rays beat the Tigers in 10 innings 4-3.

Justin Verlander pitched pretty well, he went 8 innings and gave up 3 runs, only 2 earned.  The unearned run was the result of an error by Prince Fielder.

I don’t think we saw the “old familiar” JV but he was much better than his last two starts.

Smyly pitched a scoreless 9th but the Rays got to Bruce Rondon in the 10th to score the winning run.

The story of this game, and much of this season, is the ineptitude of the offense in the late innings.  The Tigers scored 3 runs in the 3rd but didn’t really threaten to score from the 4th through the 10th.  The FOX commentators said that the only team that has scored fewer runs in innings 7 through 9 is the Seattle Mariners.  For the amount of supposed firepower this offense has, it sure doesn’t do much late in games.

A feud seemed to be brewing between Miguel Cabrera and the The Crooked Hat after Miggy’s 10th inning at bat.  With a 1-2 count, The Crooked Hat threw a 98 MPH fastball up and in to even the count at 2 and 2.  The next pitch, TCH got Cabrera to swing and miss on an 86 mph changeup low and in.  Miggy was yelling at TCH on his way back to the dugout and while he was in the dugout.  He seemed to be taking exception to the 1-2 pitch.

Personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with what the TCH did, in fact, I wish Tiger pitchers would take note.  Yes, the 1-2 pitch was up and in but it really didn’t come close to hitting Miggy.  It was a purpose/setup pitch.  TCH thought Miggy was a little to comfortable at the plate and decided to remove some of that comfort, and he did.  It worked.  He got Miggy to strike out on a ball low and in.

I’ll take TCH approach every time compared to the way Tiger pitchers allow hitters to lean out over the plate and foul off pitch after pitch, extend at bats, and shorten outings.

If the Tigers can take anything positive out of this loss it should be to employ The Crooked Hat Make Hitters Uncomfortable Tactic.  That’s it.  I just invented and named the pitching philosophy I’ve been begging the Tigers to employ.  I’m calling it the The Crooked Hat Make Hitters Uncomfortable Tactic or TCHMHUT for short.

Another positive out of today’s game was that Victor Martinez went 3 for 5.  None of the hits were clutch.  None of the hits drove in any runs but he got 3 hits and raised his batting average to .231.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural