Finally, the bats came to life and bailed out the pitching staff which, for the second straight game, was less than stellar.
Doug Fister put in a quality start but I thought it was going to take something spectacular to win this game.
The offense continued its ineptitude through four innings. However, in the bottom of the 5th and trailing 3-0, the Tigers bats showed signs of life and tied it up on a three run homer from Jhonny Peralta.
After the 5th, the Tigers bats did something they haven’t done in a long time, score in another inning. In fact the Tigers continued to score with two in the 7tth and three more in the 8th,. And they needed them.
Max Scherzer relieved Fister in the 7th and got the win. Max has to get a lot of credit for pitching out of a bases loaded, no out, jam in the 8th to preserve a one run Tiger lead but the jam was his own making. He walked the lead-off man in the 8th, a no-no in any situation, but even a bigger problem late in an elimination game.
Peralta and Martinez each had big home runs but the biggest hits came from Austin Jackson and Omar Infante.
Jackson, who is in one of the worst funks I’ve ever seen big league hitter in, came through with a single in the 7th to drive in a run and give the Tigers a 5-4 lead. Prior to his single, Jackson had struck out three more times making it 9 Ks in his last 10 at bats. Jackson didn’t hit a rocket but it was a much needed hit both personally and for the Tigers as a team.
The Tigers scored their 6th run on a wild pitch in the 8th then Omar delivered a two run double extending the Tigers lead to 8-4.
Joaquin Benoit came in to pitch the 9th and didn’t have his A game. He made it interesting. He allowed two runs and stranded the tying runs on base.
I’m a little worried about Joaquin.
I know Miggy is hurt but I’m disappointed in his at bat to lead off the bottom of the 8th. Miggy swung at a 3-0 pitch and grounded out to third. I know he can’t run but I was hoping he’d take a pitch or two to see if he could get a free pass. With the way the Tigers offense has been struggling they can use all of the base runners they can get.
There were a few substitutions that worried me. In the bottom of the 7th Peralta doubled but was pinch run for by Andy Dirks. In bottom of the 8th Victor singled and went to second when Andy Dirks walked. Hernan Perez then pinch ran for Victor. At this point the Tigers were only up 5-4 and with the substitutions, their two hottest hitters would not bat again if the game went to extra innings.
The moves ended up working out OK. Perez scored the 6th run on a wild pitch and it is doubtful if Victor would have scored in that situation.
In any case, everything worked out today and game five is Thursday with JV on the mound. I’m done with predictions, I’ll just have to wait and see.
It’s still “F*** or walk”.
I’m hoping for the best.
“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural
4 thoughts on “Tigers 8 A’s 6”
Finally, a game that looked like a real playoff game!! Yea some of the substitutions were questionable. Even bringing in Max was suspect, but it worked having him pitching in the situation he created. He is probably our only pitcher who could vaporize two hitters with the bases loaded. They showed a stat on the telecast that hitters were 0-13 with the bases loaded against Max. That’s impressive.
This was obviously a good win for a desperate team. I thought they were dead after the top of the 5th. But a strange thing happened when the A’s pitcher tried throwing a fastball by Peralta and he left it in the middle of the plate. I can’t think of a game the Tigers lost this year when hitting a 3-run homer. It was good to see AJ finally get wood on a ball, and as they say if you out it in play something might happen. But with all the fireworks I still can’t help but think the hitters are still in a funk. Other than VMart and Peralta they really didn’t hit too many balls hard. So with the big output today we shouldn’t expect many runs Thursday.
However, I feel pretty good that JV will pitch well. Since that game against Cleveland on Sept 1, where he had 44 pitches in the first inning, he has pitched pretty much shutdown baseball. I checked all his starts since then, and the team has been shutout in four of his starts, including the last 2. So, as usual it will be on the offense.
I thought the same thing on the Miggy 3-0 swing. It was a pretty good pitch to hit, but even so his primary focus should have been to get on base at all cost. He was going to be pinch-run for anyway. Like I said yesterday this team has no identity, and at times it looks like they don’t think the game very smartly.
It’s ironic how our best hitter in the playoffs is usually a guy that won’t be here the next year. Last season it was Delmon Young, and this year it’s Peralta. Although VMart has picked it up the last 2 games, replacing DY.
My prediction for Thursday is 2-1, but we have to figure out how to keep Coco off the bases.
I know this is wishful thinking but this Tigers funk has lasted a while. Doesn’t the law of averages say they have to start hitting for a while? I know, wishful thinking.
Well they did score two games in a row…maybe? I know the post season isn’t ‘sposed to count however we saw a Cy Young winning performance Tuesday. Couple things bothered me. Miggy swinging at a 3-0 pitch? No … I would have fired Mickey Mantle for that. The girl behind me her dad and the rest of the family went to hunt him down and I don’t blame them. Also with runners at the corners and one out Hunter dropped the bat head to bunt and no one moved. Did I miss something there…wtf? All that vented I feel good with JV. Whomever we get to pitch for the A’s…Gray we have seen so they should have a plan and we have proven we can beat Bartolo. I feel much better.
I see Jim Leyland is reading this blog, and the comments. Especially those from after game 3 where the discussion centered around getting more offense in the lineup. And the result is Peralta at SS and DK in left, as suggested here… Hope it works out.