Tough week so far for the Tigers.
They’ve won more than they did a week ago, but that’s not saying much. Even the games they’ve won have been difficult.
Meanwhile, Lynn Henning went to Toledo to watch the Mud Hens. In another life, he must have been a baseball scout.
Maybe he will be in the next life as well, if he doesn’t run for governor instead.
Tom Gage, meanwhile, has been on the West Coast watching the Tigers play like the Mud Hens. In another life, he has no idea what he was. A fire hydrant, maybe.
In the next life, though, he wants to be able to hit like Miguel Cabrera.
Then we can call this column Far or Foul.
Gage: So, Lynn, there was some controversy this week about how much Joe Nathan focused on an out the Tigers didn’t get in Wednesday night’s game.
Some took it to mean the liner Nick Castellanos didn’t catch in the ninth inning.
I was a lone wolf in thinking Nathan meant the out Castellanos didn’t catch, but also he himself didn’t put away after getting ahead with an 0-2 count on John Jaso.
If you’re going to hold higher office, you better be able to solve this.
Henning: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Joe Nathan had a moment common for many of us (hand raised, apologetically): He allowed his emotions to trump his better judgment.
Happens all the time. Especially after a tough, miserable baseball game when, in fact, John Jaso’s knuckling liner should, by definition, have been gloved by Nick Castellanos. That’s OK. It happens.
But it was clear Nathan grated over that missed catch that enabled Josh Donaldson to send Nathan’s hanging slider into the left-field seats. Imagine the pitcher was none too happy about his own complicity there.
Gage: Rick Porcello wins a game in which he gives up a personal high of six walks and Anibal Sanchez comes up empty in a masterpiece: The age-old irony of baseball right?
No offense intended, kid, thinking you’re qualified to answer an age-old question.
Me? I subtract the same 10 years that Torii Hunter does. It’s the only way I’m younger than you.
Henning: To confirm, I’ll need to see your long-form birth certificate. My hair color makes it relatively impossible for me to be younger than anyone.
But, yes, the Sanchez injustice was tough luck, and a reminder what happens when a team is going through a stretch. Hitters have been taking turns with pitchers to create a two-week migraine.
Gage: Rapid fire time, who’s the most underrated Tigers player so far?
Henning: Ian Kinsler. Seems funny to say that their best everyday player has been under-appreciated, but because of all the things he does well, continually, I’m not sure his work has been sufficiently recognized.
Gage: How many All-Stars are the Tigers going to have?
Henning: Wow, ask me in a month. Today the list would be: Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Anibal Sanchez, and either Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.
Gage: And, again, who will be their shortstop Aug. 1?
Henning: I believe someone different — someone obtained in a July trade. It makes sense that Jimmy Rollins would have interest in a pennant race and would waive his no-trade clause.
The Tigers could use that stability and left-handed bat. And the Phillies will be throwing a lawn sale.
Gage: Now to our weekly other-subject fantasia of worldliness — this time, auto racing.
I saw your Tweet this week about the documentary “Senna” and about the movie “Rush” — I was mesmerized by both and heartily second your recommendation.
I hate the danger of auto racing, but have always loved the raw courage of it.
And what a race we had for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Here’s hoping you agree, son of Sneva.
Henning: Yeah, I love Helio Castroneves and was rooting for him, not only because he’s such a polished driver, but also because he won on “Dancing with the Stars.” I like athletes who can multitask.