Here in Northwest Ohio I'm a mere 90 minutes away from Detroit, and only 20 minutes away from their triple A affiliate in Toledo, which means that Tigers fans are more common than other kinds of fans--although both the Indians and the Reds are at least marginally represented. But in my program, as I've said before there are two big time Tigers fans and last night, one of them and I took a break from paper writing and sat down with a couple beers to watch the Twins V. Tigers.
This meant watching a small screen in the corner turned away from 98% of the rest of the bar who were all fixedly watching the Cleveland Cavaliers and a basketball player named...I don't know if I'm pronouncing this right...Les Browns Jammies? Is that it? Li'l help?
Still and all we enjoyed ourselves sipping our epic steins of Linenkugels and, being the well trained ex-Africa living boys we are, gnawing on chicken bones and sucking all the marrow out of each wing. Over this time period my colleague, whom we will call Doctor Stats for his knowledge of the facts and figures of the game pointed out the following crucial factoids.
1) We were awfully lucky to have Liriano on the hill and to have patience at the plate because Justin Verlander is a mighty fine pitcher with the intensity of a Thunderian
However as Doctor Stats pointed out, Verlander's been throwing over 100 pitches by the 5th or 6th inning in all his starts, meaning that while he's good he over throws sometimes and gets tired earlier in the game. To this end, Dr. Stats noted, 23% of our hitters worked the at bats to a full count...that's a job well done by our patient players.
2) Infuriatingly, at least from Dr. Stat's perspective, was the fact that Mauer went 0-5, and Morneau went 0-3 before leaving with a stiff back* and yet the Tigers still lost, mostly because of two big errors that undid an otherwise sterling (if your name is Verlander) or capable performance (if you're in the bullpen). Which led Dr. Stat's to point out another factoid. The Twins have committed 2 errors all season...the Tigers: 18--excuse me, with last night's two it's now 20!
*Note to all of Twins Territory, just because his back is stiff do not seek out your local witch doctor to banish the evil spirits infecting his vertebrae...at least...don't do it yet.
3) One final note from Dr. Stats, in case you were wondering the ratio of waitress concern for cheap baseball fans to waitress concern for increasingly drunk and excitable basketball fans is largely dependent upon the independent variable of how attractive the statistics guru at each table is--VICTORY CHEAP BASEBALL FANS!!
And victory Twins...and with Finals nearing a close...VICTORY LIFE!!