I told you there would be great pitching in today's game, but we all got a bit more than we bargained for, no? Jered Weaver may have been outdueled by Justin Verlander and lost the game, but in my opinion, Weaver got the moral victory for standing up to the Tigers for their bizarre showboating antics.
My one complainy about this fine, fine game was that the sterling pitching performance from Justin Verlander gets overlooked a bit because of the turmoil that erupted between Weaver and the Tigers.
It obviously all started with Magglion Ordonez, he of the Mathis-like .236/.297/.316 slash line, felt the need to admire the two-run homer he cranked of Weaver early in the game. I can almost forgive Magglio for giving taking a few moments too many to watch his home run fly, after all, he did absolutely step on that pitch and it was only his fourth homer of the year, so he had to savor it while it lasted. You'd think an aged and accomplished player like Ordonez would be able to act like he'd been there before, but, so be it.
As for Carlos Guillen, I have no sympathy nor any respect for his role in this conflagration. I don't care if Weaver gave Magglio a little lip after his homer and the Tigers didn't appreciate it, there is no excuse for him staring down his homer at the plate and then staring down Weaver himself the entire way to first. We are going to hear a lot about unwritten rules from the Tigers later, but I fail to see Guillen acting like a Grade A punk fits into that, especially his BS excuse after the game about staring down the homer because he wasn't sure if it was going to stay fair. If you are going to try and be a tough guy, Carlos, at least have the huevos to own up to it afterwards.
For Detroit to then get upset that he buzzed Alex Avila's tower the very next pitch, is beyond bush league. Did they really not expect him to retaliate? Honestly, Leyland is more old school than anyone in baseball, he had to know what was coming next. I'm just glad that Weaver stood up to the Tigers and did the ABSOLUTE RIGHT thing by buzzing his tower. That, to me, is what an ace does and this was a battle of aces, right? Weaver was just living up to his billing. The Tigers though, were just living down to the behavior of no class punks.
- I know Weaver is getting crap for throwing at Avila's head, which I get on a certain level. If it were someone like Fernando Rodney who has poor control throwing the pitch, I'd say it was too far, but it was Jered and his pinpoint control who deliberately threw it a foot over Avila's head. Besides, Avila would've been an idiot to not know it was coming and certainly looked like he was more than ready to duck. Who knows? Maybe Weaver will avoid a suspension because he didn't actually hit Avila, though I kind of doubt it since he did go for the head, which is very frowned upon.
- As I said, the Tigers called Erick Aybar bush league for dropping a bunt in the eighth to try and break up the no-hitter. Yup, he broke the unwritten rule, one I would normally chastise him for violating, but after the way the Tigers acted the inning before, the rule book was thrown out the window, which is why I applaud Aybar for what he did. Besides, it was a close game and Aybar did get on base via the bunt to score a run and put the Angels in a position where they nearly tied it up, so everyone in Detroit can go ahead and shut the hell up about the bunt.
- This game couldn't have left me in a worse mood. I'm so glad that Reagins made that blockbuster trade at the deadline to make me feel better. What? He didn't? Ugh. I guess I'm just going to have to go light a Carlos Guillen jersey on fire to cheer myself up.
Normally this spot is reserved for the Angel most to blame for the loss, but Guillen was such a screaming asshole for his little display, that he gets the award and will hopefully get a Rawlings tattoo on his forehead the next time he faces the Angels