Detroit Tigers, 84-72, 1st place, 2 up, magic number 5.
Well, that’s fun, after all this–that magic number thing.
After a disappointing “outing” by Rick Porcello on Wednesday (in which he got Not Enough Outs), Doug Fister came through in a big way, with Way Too Many Strikeouts, to the tune of an American League record 9 strikeouts in a row. Or, to look at it another way, going through the whole order in strikeout mode.
In fact, it was even better than that. In the 9 strikeouts recorded, Fister threw a sum total of 9 balls, or 1 per batter, if you will.
As much as the Tigers didn’t look like a playoff team yesterday (it’s not often you get spotted 5 errors, thank you very much Mr. Moustakas…and the failed Santiago pinch-bunt had a second-tier aroma about it), Fister looked like a playoff pitcher, and the ESPN folk agree.
Just for fun, here is a breakdown of his record-setting 9 consecutive strikeouts:
- Salvador Perez looking on 1-2, 91-mph fastball.
- Mike Moustakas swinging on 3-2 changeup.
- Jeff Francoeur swinging on 1-2 slider.
- Brayan Pena looking on 1-2, 89-mph fastball.
- Johnny Giavotella looking on 0-2, 89-mph fastball.
- David Lough looking on 2-2, 88-mph fastball.
- Alcides Escobar swinging on 0-2, 89-mph fastball.
- Alex Gordon looking on 0-2, 89-mph fastball up in the zone.
- Billy Butler swinging on 1-2, 91-mph fastball.
The Tiger offense was sparked, surprisingly enough, by Quintin Berry, and by a hustling infield double by Prince Fielder. And let us all pause to soak that one in, because that will only happen so many times in your lifetime. Miguel Cabrera, on the other hand, was ominously silent. The Triple Crown hoopla may be getting to him.
Meanwhile, the Rays took care of the plummeting White Sox, thanks in part to ol’ crooked hat, Fernando Rodney, who still wears his hat askew, but has straightened out his command.
The Tigers are on the road tonight in a bit of a do-over series with the Minnesota Twins: The Tigers get another shot at Scott Diamond tonight and the Pajama Man tomorrow, after struggling against them last week.
A pumped Drew Smyly starts for the Tigers, and could turn out to be a key piece in a Tiger playoff run, with Max Scherzer still sorting out shoulder problems.
Stat of the Day: Gene Lamont leads the AL in sending plodding sluggers home from 3rd ill-advisedly by a margin of 64% over the next worse 3rd base coach.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Omar Infante. It was good to see Omar excel in the field yesterday. It’s a thing called RANGE.
Today’s Avilaird Lineup:
- Austin Jackson CF
- Omar Infante 2B
- Miguel Cabrera 3B
- Prince Fielder 1B
- Delmon Young DH
- Groundout to Short SS
- Andy Dirks LF
- Avisail Garcia RF
- Gerald Laird C