WOW! Do I feel like an ass for leaving this game in the top of the 9th.
For the first 8.5 innings, I saw exactly what I expected. After scoring 12 runs last night and facing who I believe to be the best pitcher in the American League, Chris Sale, the Tigers offense did next to nothing.
Chris Sale was dealing. Except for Miggy, who had two hits against him, the rest of the lineup was completely and thoroughly dominated.
On the Tigers side of the ledger, Fredrick Alfred Porcello was fantastic. For 6 and 2/3, Ricky was almost as good as Chris Sale. Almost as good. This was a match-up between an Ace and an Ace in waiting. Ricky allowed only 6 hits and 2 runs while walked nobody and striking out 9.
I’m not sure what has gotten into him but Ricky has been getting a lot of swings and misses lately. He struck out 10 in his previous start and 9 more today. If Ricky and Iggy can stay healthy, Porcello will make a bid to win 20 games next year with an ERA well under 4, perhaps 3.50.
Tui was flashin leather tonight. Jose Veras came in to relieve Ricky. With two outs and the left handed hitting, White Sox catcher, Bryan Anderson at the plate. The defense was shaded towards right. Anderson hit a wounded quail to shallow left field and Tui made a fabulous diving catch to end the inning and save a run.
What can I say about Good Ole Dirksy? He pinch hit for Tui in the bottom of the 9th with two on and nobody out and delivered a 3 run shot to pull the Tigers to within one run, 6-5. Good for Andy. It would be great if got to his 2012 form in time for the playoffs.
After Dirksy’s blast Infante walked bringing Santiago to the plate. Ramon bunted Infante over to second. I’m not sure how I feel about this play. Generally, I don’t like bunting a guy from first to second. In this case I didn’t particularly care for giving the White Sox pitcher an out when he was having trouble finding the plate. Couple that with the Tigers’ bats perking up and nobody out and my initial reaction to the sacrifice was revulsion. Looking back on it, however, it was the bottom of the 9th. The Tigers were trailing by only a single run and it did get the tying run into scoring position. It worked out this time but I’m still not sure if I would do it again should the occasion arise in the future.
Other than his inability to run, Miggy looked like his old self at the plate today. He touched Sale for two hard hit singles and singled in the Tigers’ first run in the 9th. He left the game with groin tightness and is listed as day to day. It might be time to give him a day off.
Austin Jackson is struggling. He was 0-5 with a walk tonight. He had two hits last night, going 2-6, but he was 0-5 in the final game against the Mariners. That makes him 2-16 in the last three games. He needs to get on base so Miggy and Prince have a chance to drive in some runs. That being said, AJax is a streaky hitter so hopefully he’ll go on a hot streak in time for the postseason.
The Amazing Al pitched well tonight. He pitched two scoreless innings, the 11th and 12th, and got the win. He allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out two.
Paul Konerko flashed some leather tonight as well. He made a game saving, temporarily at least, backhanded pick in the 12th, on a throw in the dirt from third baseman Conor Gillaspie
The magic number is 2.
Sanchez is on the mound tomorrow.
It would be nice if the Astros could help the Tigers out tomorrow but I’m not counting on it.
God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural