77-54, 1st place, 5.5 up on the Indians.
The Tigers just treated us to one of the most exciting games of the season, but wound up on the wrong side of 8-6. There was another Miggy Moment, the 2-run HR to right field on a 3-1 pitch off the plate that tied the game. Miguel Cabrera is the Babe Ruth of our time, make no mistake. No pinstripes on that guy, either. He’s a TIGER. Fielder gave the ball a nice ride with the bases loaded. Tuiasosopo was flat out robbed by CF Crisp on the play that may have saved the whole game for the A’s. Martinez gave the Tigers hope when it was fading. The team didn’t let up. For a loss, it was a thing of beauty.
Except for the pitching. It was like a tug-of-war between Tigers pitching and Tigers hitting. Pitching wanted to lose. Hitting wanted a draw. Pitching prevailed. Four Tigers pitched, and four Tigers pitched poorly. Sanchez was withering in the heat from the get-go, throwing 100 pitches in the first inning alone, and things might have gone still worse later if not for a gift strikeout on Tiger-killer Crisp from the 3B ump. Alvarez was very Coke-like. Looking sharp, pitching crisply. Giving up 4 hits and 2 runs, the nails in the coffin when all was said and done. Poor Alburquerque can’t keep a good thing going to save his life. One pitch, 2 outs, inning over was such a promising beginning. Bonderman is slowly pitching himself off the team.
The Illustrious Mr. Iglesias had his first bad game going until a clutch hit in the 8th kind of redeemed him. But by abandoning his position on a guess, he gave up the 4th A’s run more than Sanchez did. He also watched three called strikes go by in one three-pitch AB. But ultimately, just about everybody except the pitchers did something good. Infante even got a hit that mattered for a change, tying the game at 2 with his line drive 2-run homer.
Yes, it was a good game. Balfour-Cabrera showdown in the 9th. Wasn’t over till it was over. Best of all, since it was at Cabrerica Park rather than O. Co., it ended before 2 AM. Disappointment after midnight is strongly discouraged.
For those of us who like to complain, which is all of us, Detroit’s Pythagorean record is now +6 at 83-48. However, contrary to what you might have been thinking – which is exactly what I was thinking – the Tigers are actually 8-2 in first home games after road trips. 8-2. Do you believe it? I don’t. But it’s true.
Dotel pitched and Avila played with Toledo last night. I can’t say I’m excited about the prospect of either returning, but both surely will, and probably soon.
Except when conceding courtesy strikeouts to the likes of P Ryan Raburn, when Tuiasosopo is at the plate, good happens. Destined to remain a role player with the Tigers, probably. But I hope he keeps getting his chances. For a while there it seemed like he was well out of the picture. I hope he’s back in it.
Rod Allen informs us that… damn, can’t remember who it was now… well, whoever it was, he has good plate recognition. I really need to get around to streaming the radio broadcast while watching mlb.tv.
Tonight it’s lefty Tommy Milone against Justin Verlander. We ache for a standout performance from Justin. Let it be so. The performance, I mean, not the ache.