Verlander Pitches Well Against Astros!

The Tigers have just wrapped up their afternoon match-up against the Houston Astros, and it is a tie. They played eleven innings, ending the game with a final score of 1-1.

Justin Verlander started today’s game and gave up the sole run in the fourth. The inning began with a walk to Hunter Pence, followed by another walk to Carlos Lee. On a Miguel Tejada fly out, Pence advanced to third, eventually scoring on a sac fly.

Verlander lasted six innings, was charged with the one run, walked three and struck out two.

The Tigers will take tomorrow off, and face the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Thursday night at 7:05.

PUDGE TO ASTROS

It is official. The Houston Astros have signed Pudge Rodriguez to a one year deal worth 1.5 million dollars. Another 1.5 million dollars will come through incentives.

Still, that’s a far cry from the 13 million he received in his final year with Detroit. But, being the Pudge fan that I am, I wanted to see him get one more year in before he retires. When he decides to call it a night on his career, he can do it on his terms.

Incidentally, if you have been watching the World Baseball Classic, he’s been kicking ***! He is batting .600, with two home runs and has driven in six.

PUDGE TO THE YANKEES

My step son, Andrew, had been living in Florida with his mom for the better part of the decade, and had never been to a Tigers ballgame at Comerica Park. His side of the family are from New York, and he appreciates his New York ties. So, I thought that it would be special for him if his first game to Comerica Park was to see the Yankees. The game was to be played on Sunday, May 11.

Rain fell most of the morning. We went to the ballpark anyhow, in hopes that it would stop. It didn’t. Eventually the game was postponed.

The make up game was scheduled on Labor Day. On this day, Pudge would now be with the Yankees, and it would be his first trip back to Detroit since the trade. Pudge fans lined the space behind the Yankees dugout, trying to get his attention, as he stretched on the field.

I mentioned to Andrew that this was like the coming home of a celebrated hero. Although Pudge’s numbers were down in 2008, he was the guy that brought baseball back to the Motor City, and he was still a fan favorite.

Lineups were announced and the game began. Tears welled up in my eyes when Pudge stepped to the plate in his first at bat. The booth announcer introduced him – not in the flamboyant, drawn out, excited way we had always heard, but in that subdued, hushed voice reserved for the visitors.

Despite this, fans stood up and cheered. He received a standing ovation. Pudge acknowledged us with the tip of his cap.

We said thanks to him, and he said thanks back to us!

He faced Justin Verlander. He went down on three straight pitches for the first out of the second inning. He didn’t try to show us up in that first at bat. I thought it showed class.

The Yankees played Detroit in only one series at Comerica Park. If the game had not been rained out in May, we would have never had the opportunity to say thanks, and good-bye, to a player we all loved.

It is funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?

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