W: Verlander (6-9) L: Sowers (0-5)
Once again, a perfectly good baseball game was marred by the preponderance of Cleveland Indians.
1) Steel Cage Death Match!
Announcer: Welcome to Comerica Park, where Jammin' Jeremy Sowers is set to square off against Bleepin' Brian Slocum in a steel cage, loser-goes-home, no time limit match to determine which player will be considered first for getting the wazoo! With me as always is the late Gorilla Monsoon.
Announcer: Right you are, Gorilla! On the surface, this looks like an incredibly crappy matchup, but when you dig deeper, it becomes clear that it is a really crappy matchup. That's the sort of entertainment value we've come to expect from these two combatants, wouldn't you say?
Announcer: Exactly! Here come the two men: Sowers decked out in his traditional black and gold tights, while Slocum appears to have become confused and is wearing a refrigerator box. Bold choice by Slocum here. Sowers comes out and makes the first attack ... he runs at Slocum ... he runs past Slocum ... Slocum has become confused ... Sowers bounds into the ropes ... oh, he's fallen down! He hooked his leg over the bottom rope and shrewdly fell directly onto his kidneys! A gripping start to this match!
Announcer: Slocum still has his back turned ... he appears not to have noticed Sowers' opening gambit ... Slocum's composure under fire really is one of his finest traits ... Sowers recovers ... he's going for the reverse clothesline ... oh, he has somehow managed to jam his thumb into his own eye! This is not a good start for Sowers here, Gorilla!
Announcer: I couldn't disagree more, Gorilla! Slocum turns ... sees Sowers wandering around in small circles, his thumb still lodged in his eye socket ... Slocum is going to attempt a maneuver! It's ... it's ... what the hell is he doing here, Gorilla?
Announcer: I don't believe it! Slocum has set fire to his refrigerator box! He is actually running around the ring on fire! And now, picking up speed, he is actually fanning the flames and making them worse!
Announcer: Au contrere, mon frere! Slocum now sheds his box and is wearing a burlap sack. Which is also on fire. Sowers takes advantage of this momentary lull and ... fiercely smashes his own head into the turnbuckle! A tremendous display of ... well, what would you say that was a tremendous display of, Gorilla?
Announcer: Right you are, Gorilla! Slocum, not one to take this lying down, begins ... well, apparently his is one to take this lying down, Gorilla. He is now rolling on the floor in an attempt to put out the flames ... yes, he has rolled out of the ring ... onto the steel stairs ... through a large pile of broken glass ... onto a fire ant mound ... where he has begun to slather himself with honey. Is that considered a foreign object, Gorilla?
Announcer: How the hell would I know that? I can't read the label from here. How should I know whether it's domestic honey or not? In any event, Sowers has raised himself from the turnbuckle ... he looks like he's going to go for broke here, grabbing a steel chair from ringside ... and he has ... he has given himself a tremendous blow to the head! Sowers is down! Sowers is down! And Slocum is rolling around in pain ... he has grabbed a fire extinguisher ... which he rams up his nose! He has set off the fire extinguisher directly into his sinus cavity! This is really unorthodox, Gorilla! Have you ever seen anything like it?
Announcer: Of course, but you're talking about one of the Hall of Fame wrestlers there, which no one remembers, because back then they were wrestling in high school gyms and Knights of Columbus parking lots. Sowers is back ... he staggers to the ropes ... the blast from the fire extinguisher has lifted Slocum back into the ring ... where he begins vigorously choking himself with the ropes! An incredible display by the young man, who is now only smoldering and covered in ants, honey, glass, and carbon dioxide foam! Sowers runs across the ring to apply the final blow ... oh, what a shame, he appears to have removed his own liver!
Announcer: No, I don't think he has a spare. Sowers slowly bleeding to death ... Slocum now turning blue ... I don't see this one ending well ... wait ... what is that music ... it is! Coming down the rampway! Dressed in his traditional flowing robes and flowing locks ... it's Jeff Weaver coming to interfere! Yes, Weaver storms into the ring ... he appears to be wielding a large galvanized pipe ... and he has impaled himself! He has literally run the pipe directly through his abdomen! Sowers has reattached his liver, Slocum has passed out, and Weaver is now streaming small intestine on the referee ... let's go to ringside, where Sowers' manager Eric Wedge is urging his protégé on ...
Wedge: Please. Shoot me now.
Announcer: Right you are! We'll be back after these messages.
2) A good walk spoiled
Sowers actually got off to a good start, retiring the side in order in the first and giving up a lone single in the second, including getting The Artist Formerly Known as Ivan Rodriguez to strike out swinging.
It was Sowers' only strikeout.
10 hits. 7 runs. 6 earned. 2 homers. 3 severed heads. Error Fu. Two-out RBI Fu. Four extra-base hits Fu. Joe Bob says, "Stay home and read a book."
Slocum featured the ever-popular Two-Strike Hit Fu and Two-to-One Out-to-Homer Fu. Joe Bob threw up.
3) What I like about Brian Slocum
4) A bright spot in the void
Masa Kobayashi threw a perfect 8th with 7 strikes in 11 pitches.
5) Why I should be the stats guy for the Indians
Because I can point out that the Indians as a team hit .500 with runners in scoring position!
The Indians hit .250 with runners on base.
Fully 1/4th of all Indians baserunners stole a base.
Until Miguel Cabrera hit his first of two home runs in the game, Jhonny Peralta had more home runs on the season than Miguel Cabrera.
6) Why I shouldn't
Because I can't resist pointing out that the Indians were no-hit for 8 1/3 innings after Peralta's home run and the only two runners to reach base after that were a walked Grady Sizemore and when Franklin Gutierrez, in the midst of an 0-for-32 streak ... whose last hit came on June 15 ... reached on an error.
7) Viewer mail
Alert reader Richard Snyder pointed out that Cliff Lee's Inning of Papercuts could have been largely avoided had Andy Marte made a relatively unspectacular play on a potential double play grounder with one out. Upon watching the replay, I have to say, maybe it would have been a good play ... but it's hard to dispute that Marte made a bad one.
Richard also laments that Wedge didn't have anyone warming up, which I actually can't cede: I would rather take my chances with a tired Cliff Lee than just about anyone I can name in the Cleveland bullpen.