TIgers 7 Red Sox 3

The Puppet Master pulled the right strings tonight.  In an unconventional, but much needed move, Jim Leyland shook up the lineup in hopes of waking up this pathetic offense.

It worked.  At least for today.

Leyland moved the first 7 batters up a spot and put the struggling Austin Jackson in the 8th slot.  The revamped lineup scored 7 runs.

Importantly, Austin Jackson seemed comfortable hitting down in the lineup.  He was on base 4 times with 2 hits and 2 walks.

The only Tiger not to reach base tonight was Prince Fielder.

Victor Martinez continues to rake with two more hits tonight and Alex Avila, although he didn’t get a hit, walked twice and got hit by a pitch.

It was nice to see Iggy chip in today with a hit, an RBI, and flashin serious leather.

Fister pitched well.  He went 6 complete, allowed 1 run on 8 hits, struck out 7 and walked only 1.  He turned it over to the pen, they got the job done, and the Tigers evened the 2013 ALCS at 2 games apiece.

Even with a 7 run lead, after Sunday’s disaster, the bull pen makes me nervous.

The one move I have to take exception with is bringing Benoit in for the 9th.  Smyly retired the last two outs in 7th and got the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the 8th.  He was, in a phrase, ‘”smokin balls”.  I was hoping he’d come out for the 9th.  But Jim Leyland didn’t agree with me.

Apparently, Jimmy was trying to give Benoit a chance to regain his confidence by bringing him in with a 5 run lead.  In my humble opinion, this is not the time to worry about a player’s confidence, it’s time to win ball games.  That being said, it worked out and the series is even.  Kudos in Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

I’d like to extend a Happy Flashin Leather birthday to regular reader Al, who shares a Birthday with former Tiger Juan Gonzalez and FOX broadcaster, Tim McCarver.

Sanchez against Lester tomorrow.

“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers 1 Red Sox 0

Nebraskaknows hit it right on the head when he said he “feels like a thief in the night” after the Tigers 1-0 win in game 1 of the 2013 American League Championship Series.

The Tigers pitching staff was fabulous again tonight.  As a staff they allowed only one hit and no runs.  It would be hard to ask much more from a pitching staff.

The Tigers offense strove for an unprecedented level of ineptitude.  The Boston pitchers were good but the Tigers offense was an abomination.  They managed only 1 run on 9 hits.

Without an extra base hit it takes the Tigers 4 hits in an inning to score a single run. The likely hood of that scenario playing out is not very good and this pathetic excuse for an offense is living proof.

Miguel Cabrera hit a ball in the corner tonight.  It bounced around, the outfielder bobbled it and still Cabrera could only get to first base.

Austin Jackson is on the verge of becoming un-playable.  He is doing absolutely nothing.  He did have a single tonight but struck out 2 more times.  In six postseason games this year he is hitting .200 with 15 strikeouts.  The Tigers may not have another center fielder but Austin needs to be moved out of the lead off spot. No matter how much I like him he has become an embarrassment at the plate.

In the top of the 9th he had a chance to make up for some of his struggles by doing something useful at the plate.  Iggy lead off with a single.  The Tigers needed Jackson to move him over.  AJax tried twice to bunt him over but couldn’t get the job done.  He ended up striking out.  What made matters worse was the Torii Hunter followed Jackson with a double to left field moving Iggy to third.

At this point all the Tigers needed was a fly ball to push across a second run and give Benoit some breathing room.  Unfortunately, as a result of substitutions, Don Kelly was now hitting in Cabrera’s spot.  DK struck out on 3 pitches.

I thought Leyland managed masterfully in the last game against Oakland.  But today’s moves leave me almost in shock.  With a one run lead Leyland had Cabrera and Peralta on the bench for the remainder of the game.  He got away with it today but for me these types of moves are asking for trouble.

Back at it tomorrow.

“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural