Struggling Ryan Raburn Saves the Day


For my first post to MCB, I could dazzle you with any number of captivating topics surrounding the Detroit Tigers right now.  What do I chose from: the starters flounder while Rick Knapp takes the bullet; Alex Avila overcomes a near half million vote deficit to become the team’s first All-Star starter since 2007; Johnny Peralta gets one of the biggest All-Star shafts since Ramon Santiago‘s little brother (Omar Infante) cost Joey Votto a spot on the 2010 NL team.

No of course I choose to write about every Tigers fan’s least favorite topic.  Ryan Raburn.

To state the obvious, the Tigers needed a win today.  After the juggernaut Mets pounded any Tiger pitcher that didn’t throw a no-hitter this year, the Giants stole game one and the Tigers delivered a refund-inducing effort in game two in the teams three game series at Comerica Park.  It didn’t look good early for the Tigers in today’s finale as they continued to build Ryan Vogelsong‘s case to be the inspiration for Disney’s The Rookie 2, but once the Giants turned to the bullpen the Tigers were able to grab the lead thanks to a clutch two-out hit by Mr. Single, Magglio Ordonez.

As the top of the 8th began, and you saw Ryan Raburn in left field, you just knew that was going to come into play.  The only thing that has been more justly criticized that Raburn’s offense has been his defense.  No one will soon forget when he volleyball spiked Jose Molina‘s flyball for a home run earlier this season and he seems to average an error about every third inning at second base.

So while Joaquin Benoit did his typical two-step through the 8th, Aaron Rowand hit what looked like a lazy gapper to left-center with two outs.  Knowing that it was Raburn chasing the ball down, I nearly kicked in the TV.   Luckily I didn’t.  Raburn dove for the ball as we all looked behind him to see that white pill rolling slowly to the fence as the Giants prepared to sweep.  Even Benoit seemed to cautiously walk off the field and consider walking back out, unsure if there was a catch.  Sure enough, though, Raburn caught the ball.  The Tigers added a couple more runs and went on to win an important game to snuff out a potential losing streak.

Ryan Raburn has been a massive disappointment and has been justly booed by fans, but his catch today was a thing of beauty.  A truly amazing catch from a highly unexpected source–a catch that deserves a little extra attention.

Great play Mr. Raburn.