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