Tigers On Top

Pitchers and Hitters Show Up Together On Two Straight Days!
August 12, 2007, 3:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I feel much better now, don’t you? Yesterday we got what we’ve been so sorely lacking–a quality start from a starter, and from our Stopper, Justin Verlander, no less. I thought the offense was going to screw him over, actually. After the solo blast by Mr. Moonshot, the Tygs sat on that lead like England football. And as so often happens to England, all that sitting led to the other team finally scratching out a lead of their own.

But here came Magglio to save the day, with a big ol’ two run homer! Do I feel sorry for Danny Haren? Nope, can’t say I do. Justin had to overcome two bonehead plays, and did it with the poise and control we’ve come to expect from him. What was Ryan Raburn doing when he just stood by and watched Carlos Guillen smother a hot grounder and then dive feet-first back into second to get the out, just barely in time? If Raburn had covered, it wouldn’t have been nearly so close. And later on, Brandon Inge tagged third base instead of the runner when there was no force, allowing the inning to continue. But Justin picked up his teammates and didn’t allow any runs after said brain farts, as a good pitcher does.

The bullpen, for once, did not suck either. Bobby Seay came in for his one out and was promptly replaced by Lopez (recently called up–now that we’re within shouting distance of Toledo, Mud Hens seem to be flocking to Detroit) who was actually good as well! Then, just like is supposed to happen, Rodney got the scoreless eighth and Jonesy the scoreless ninth (after the Tygs scored two insurance runs for him, one on a triple by Brandon, a daddy for the second time) for his 31st save. Soon Zumaya will be back, and then games will once again end in the sixth inning for all practical purposes.

And then today, Little Nate finally got the win he so richly deserved last time out. This one wasn’t a quality start, but it didn’t have to be. Hard as it is to believe now, the A’s actually jumped out to the lead on a homer by Scooter, who resembles Charlie Maxwell in that he has his best offensive days on Sundays. The Tigers responded to the A’s 2-0 lead in absolutely grand fashion, pounding out eight runs in the second inning alone. Magglio (who else?) led off with a solo homer; many hits and four runs later, he became the first Tiger since Al Kaline in 1955 to hit two homers in the same inning. That second one was a three-run job. Possibly the best part of the second homer was the shot FSN Bay Area then showed of Justin Verlander and Todd Jones in the dugout, doing a hilarious and adorable little dance of triumph. (Dad and I felt the need to replay this several times in slow motion, howling with laughter.) Maggs is totally crazy, and deserving of happy triumphant dugout dances of celebration. He could singlehandedly pull us out of our slump.

The A’s began chipping away–given the way this series has gone, I was a bit apprehensive. But the Tygs managed to hold ’em off, adding runs here and there so that by the end we had eleven runs. The requisite triple today was hit by Ryan Raburn, who scored on a sac fly. We’ve had a triple in every game of the series. The A’s announcers remarked that there’s pretty much no way Neifi can ever wrestle his job back from Raburn. WAHOO!!!!!! Tim Byrdak and Yorman Bazardo provided solid (if not scoreless) relief, and since the Indians lost, we’re back in first by half a game! Yes, I realize it’s not good for us that the Yankees are the ones beating the living crap out of Cleveland, especially since we have yet another four game series coming up in the Stadium. But even so, it feels good to be back in first, even if we’re just hanging on by a fingernail.

Tomorrow will be a delicious Battle of the Chads–Chad Durbin vs. Chad Gaudin. Gaudin was pretty brilliant for a while earlier this season–I got to see one of his very lovely brilliant starts in Oakland–but has since come back to earth a bit. So hopefully our Chad will be the victorious one. I really hope there are no groansome hanging Chad jokes tomorrow night on the A’s broadcast. (Which is in HD, much to my delight–looooove seeing the Tigers in HD, even if it’s the “enemy” broadcast.) It would be great to end the homestand with three straight wins, considering that we immediately head out on the road for two at Jacobs Field and four–gulp–at Yankee Stadium against the suddenly sizzling Bombers.


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