What an exciting two days it's been! We will talk about the veeerry interesting trade in due time. However, today's post will be focused on Class Act Jered Weaver and the rest of his team's actions in today's game.
First of all, this was hyped to be, and was, a thrilling game to watch. Weaver vs. Verlander, the top two competitors for the Cy Young Award battling tooth and claw on the mound. This game was supposed to exemplify everything that is fantastic about baseball. Two great teams in the pennant race going head-to-head, fighting, not only for the win, but to see whose pitcher was the most dominant.
Verlander, as per usual, was spectacular. Even more so than usual, no-hitting the Angels through 7.2 innings. Weaver's "stuff" was equally as impressive, making some incredible hitters look like little leaguers whiffing the baseball. Though the pitchers both had amazing talent, this game didn't make us squeal with unabashed baseball ecstasy. Today, some of baseball's unwritten rules were violated, and though it made for an exciting game, it also made for an ugly one; it was not nearly the shining example of America's pastime we were hoping for. Today, we're not going to recap, but instead, we'll say who was really in the wrong, and who was justified. We are attempting to make sense of the overdramatic mess this game turned out to be!
Follow us after the jump!
Can we just go on the record to state that we actually liked Jered Weaver before this game? Then he has to go and blow his high standing with us by acting like a total idiot today. First he mistook Magglio watching to make sure his ball got out of the park in the third inning for "grandstanding." He then proceeded to yell at Magglio from the mound and bitch to Cabrera as he was returning to the dugout. It was clear to all that Maggs wasn't posturing or grandstanding in the slightest. So of course, Carlos Guillen took it upon himself to retaliate. After hitting a home run in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos, watched it fly out of the park, and then gave Weaver a steely glance. This apparently was to much for Weaver, who started screaming at Carlos and the Umpire, who had to walk out to the mound to calm him down.
And then on the next pitch, Weaver threw a pitch at Alex Avila's head.
Oh HELL no!!! Weaver was promptly ejected, leaving a stunned and hurt-looking Alex Avila standing at the plate with a 1-0 count. Both benches were warned. The Tigers looked tense in the dugout, staring menacingly across the field toward the Angels. Jered Weaver was acting like a mental patient. And after that, everything went to shit.
After Avila safely flew out to end the inning, Erick Aybar did the one thing that no one, and we mean no one, expected. He bunted. 'Twas the bunt heard round the world, as the stadium (and the internet) erupted in fury over the seemingly cowardly move. Verlander was visibly enraged, and after allowing the run to score on a few sacrifices and his own error, Verlander gave up his first (and only) hit of the game. It was a messy, messy inning, and after it was all said and done Verlander could be seen screaming furiously in Aybar's direction.
Papa Grande then saved the game in pure rock-star fashion, giving us a 3-2 win and an extra game up on Cleveland and Chicago. One thing we learned: Justin Verlander really is the best. Another thing we learned: Jered Weaver and the Angels, despite what some others may say, acted completely in the wrong.
Weaver made a very bad decision to mouth off to Ordonez and Cabrera in the third inning. They didn't do anything wrong. Guillen may have acted a little bitchy, but that was only in defense of his teammates. Anyone else would have done the same. The worst thing that Weaver did was obviously the pitch at Avila's head. You do not throw at anyone's head, ever. Never ever. Never ever EVER. You never know what could happen. Weaver showed his Kla$$y true colors there, but it apparently got his team energized...
...Energized enough to get Erick Aybar to bunt. Now, we know this is a controversial move, and everyone has varying opinions on it. Jim Leyland called it "brilliant". Verlander called it "Bush League." We are a little more conflicted. As Tigers fans, we have a bias that tells us that it was the wrong move for Aybar to make. It was weak. It was sneaky. It was retaliation. But as baseball fans, we have to note that the game was in reach for the Angels, and Aybar has been known to bunt frequently. But it was still sneaky. And underhanded. So as of now, we'll have to agree with Verlander's assessment of the Bunt. That's the one thing a hitter is not supposed to do on the verge of a no-no. Aybar knew the situation, and plenty of other no-hitters have been in hand without the opposing team bunting. Verlander had a right to be angry, and dammit, so do we!
Unfortunately, Justin didn't get a no-hitter, but the tigers did get the win, and that is really what matters. We did see that Justin Verlander might truly be the most dominant pitcher in the American League, and his chances for the Cy Young feel like they've improved after this game. The other important thing is that Jered Weaver has been blacklisted (title drop!). He has joined the infamous ranks of Kevin Youkilis and A.J. Pierzynski in our books, and you can be we won't be too happy to see them anytime soon! Anyway, go Tigers. Go Verlander. And go Texas Rangers. If the Angels make the post-season we'll be P.O.ed.