PREGAME: Could there really be consecutive Saturday’s of cork-popping in Detroit? The Tigers have certainly set the stage for it to happen. They even turn to Jeremy Bonderman (I really thought about calling him Jeremy Wonderman, but I didn’t want to jinx him or anything and it kind of seemed like Wonder Woman. Then again Fox will probably call him Jason Bonderman or something anyways.) who was the clinching pitcher last week.
Bonderman always seems to bring a little something extra against the A’s, the team that drafted him, threw a chair through a wall, and then traded him. He only faced Oakland once this year and allowed 3 runs over 7 innings earning a no-decision in a game the Tigers won.
Now the big difference this week is that instead of Jaret Wright, the weak link on a mediocre staff, they’ll be facing Danny Haren who is arguably the stud on a very strong staff. In other words, Jeremy Bonderman may be able to exert only so much authority on this game.
On July 4th, Haren limited the Tigers to 1 run on 4 hits, no walks, and 7 K’s over 7 innings. Three weeks later though, the Tigers tagged him for 7 runs in 6 innings.
And here are your Neifi free lineups…
CF – Granderson
LF – Monroe
2B – Polanco
RF – Ordonez
1B – Guillen
C – Rodriguez
DH – Gomez
3B – Inge
SS – Santiago
CF – Kotsay
RF – Bradley
DH – Thomas
3B – Chavez
LF – Payton
1B – Swisher
SS – Scutaro
2B – Jimenez
Game Time 4:30
POSTGAME: While watching this game I took a ton of detailed notes about situations, and moves, and all the little things. It all kind of seems moot when the Tigers win with a walk off homer in the 9th. I mean I could question why Jason Grilli was left into pitch to Nick Swisher when he’d thrown 8 straight balls, but to what end? I could point out the at-bat that Ramon Santiago had in the 6th inning when he made Joe Kennedy throw 7 pitches, but it just resulted in an out.
But we can’t dismiss all the little things that happened along the way because they set up a moment that will rival Kirk Gibson in 1984.
- The Tigers went with a patient approach early in the game, and it hurt them. They let a ton of fastballs down the middle go by early in the count. They ended up in a ton of 2 strike counts where they were flailing at the splitter. It ended up being 2 first pitch swings in the 6th inning that chased Harden.
- Everybody will remember Magglio’s 2 homers, which they should. But how big do you think the at-bat was that came in betwen the 2 bombs? He drew a walk against Calero who had just come into the game. The walk loaded the bases which brought in Huston Street, much earlier than the A’s would have probably liked. Because of that, Ordonez was the 9th batter that Street was facing in the 9th inning.
- How about Curtis Granderson turning a routine single into a hustle double in the 5th innings. If Granderson doesn’t make it to 2nd, he probably doesn’t score on Monroe’s double.
- More evidence that things were just going the Tigers way. Twice in the late innings the A’s very nearly hit homers. Mark Kotsay very nearly hit a homer that just hooked foul off of Jamie Walker before he fanned. And Milton Bradley hit a ball to just the wrong part of the park where the wall juts deeper.