The Mighty Miggy hit his 39th home run, a solo shot, in the bottom of the 9th to give the Tigers a 6-5 win and even this 5 game series with the Royals.
Despite leaving 9 men on base, the Tigers offense was able to bail the pitching staff out tonight. The pitching wasn’t horrible but it is not what Tigers fans have come to expect.
Doug Fister lasted 6 and 1/3. He surrendered 3 earned. Fister walked 2, struck out 6 and gave up 10 hits.
The top of the 4th inning featured one of the strangest plays I’ve ever seen. With Chris Getz on first base and nobody out, Fister threw a pitch that Alcides Escobar foul tipped behind home plate. Home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski ruled it a wild pitch. While Brayan Pena was waiting for the umpire to hand him a new ball, Chris Getz ran all the way to 3rd base. If it wasn’t for Doug Fister, realizing what had happened, and retrieving the ball, Getz would have scored. As it turned out, Getz ended up scoring when Escobar doubled to tie the game at three.
Jim Leyland and Brayan Pena, furious at the call, were both thrown out of the game. Replays showed that the call was blown. It was clearly a foul tipped ball.
Withe score tied at 4 in the bottom of the 7th, Prince Fielder homered to give the Tigers the lead back 5-4 but the bull pen couldn’t hold it. Jose Veras allowed the tying run in the top of the 8th and the stage was set for Miggy’s heroics.
Royals reliever Aaron Crow came in to pitch the 9th with Miggy leading off. Crow fell behind Miggy 3-1 and I was sure he was just going to put him on. And in fact, he may have been trying to. The 3-1 pitch looked to be about 6 inches off of the plate away, but Miggy expanded the strike zone and did what he does. He hit a bullet over the right field fence giving the Tigers a much needed win.
The running game is becoming a big problem for the Tigers. They can’t stop anybody from running and this deficiency is compounded when the pitching staff gives up walks. They need to find a way to address this but I’m not sure they have the tools to do so. Neither Pena, Holaday nor Avila have been very effective at throwing this year. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite the Tigers in a crucial situation, like a playoff or World Series game.
On the flip side of the coin, the Tigers did a bit of running themselves tonight. They scored their third run in the bottom of the second on a suicide squeeze. With Infante on 3rd and one out, Iggy, laid down a bunt that not only scored Infante but gave Iglesias another infield hit.
With a win tomorrow, the Tigers can win the five game series 3-2.
Update, Cleveland Indian’s second baseman, Jason Kipnis, tweeted this today, “Dear Miggy… You’re making the rest of us look bad.. Knock it off! – MLB Hitters”. Hat Tip to Sark for showing me the Kipnis tweet. I have retweeted the Kipnis tweet and it can be seen on the right side of this page.
“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural