Behind 7 and 2/3 strong innings from Rick Porcello, the Tigers beat the White Sox 3-2, swept the series and finished the current home-stand 8-0. And, they needed the win, as the Indians keep rolling.
Ricky allowed only one run, a home run to Adam Dunn, on 8 hits. He struck out 4 and walked 1 while throwing 93 pitches.
The Tigers were leading 2-1 going into the top of the 9th. Smyly came on to relieve Porcello with 2 out in the eighth and struck Adam Dunn out to end the inning. In what can only be called an interesting move, Jim Leyland sent Smyly out for the 9th. The first batter he faced in the 9th was right handed, power hitter, Paul Konerko. Konerko hit Smyly’s second pitch, a 91 mph hour fast ball into the seats to tie the game.
The Tigers were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th so on they played into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 12th inning Miggy came in to pinch hit for Ramon Santiago and lead off with a single. Tui pinch-ran for Miggy and Jackson sacrificed Tui over to second with one out. Torii Hunter stepped to the plate and delivered a single which scored Tui, ended the game, and gave the Tigers a perfect home-stand.
What was interesting about Leyland’s decision to leave Smyly in for the 9th, is that I thought this was the situation the Tigers got Veras for. Benoit was unavailable today, so I wrongly assumed that Veras would be used to close the game. Instead he left Smyly in to face the right handed hitting Konerko? To make things more confusing, Veras was immediately brought in to replace Smyly and retired the next three White Sox in order. I guess my question is, why not bring Veras in to start the 9th especially with a righty leading off?
Anyway, Veras pitched scoreless 9th and 10th innings and Bruce Rondon was money as he pitched the 11th and 12th allowing only 1 hit, striking out 3 and the big number, he walked 0, and got the win.
Two things really impressed me. The first was Miggy’s ability to step to the plate after not playing for almost 5 games and deliver a lead-off single. The second, was Bruce Rondon’s pitching. For a guy who had problems finding the strike zone, he had nice command today.
A big series with the Indians starts tomorrow. Perhaps the Tigers can break their will with a series win? We’ll see.
“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural