ALCS Game 4

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…

Detroit

CF – Granderson
LF – Monroe
2B – Polanco
RF – Ordonez
1B – Guillen
C – Rodriguez
DH – Gomez
3B – Inge
SS – Santiago

Oakland

C- Kendall
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.

20 Comments

  1. Jojo SunDevil

    October 14, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Neifi free line-up, I like that. I don’t understand why cant Neifi just hit ninth, if he is the team’s best bunter.

    Shaky start for Bonderman. It’s OK though, Oakland had to have the lead at some point. Hopefully, this will remind the Tigs that this series aint over, and if they lost 3 straight to the Royals….the Tigs have got to stay focused!

  2. Jeff in Lakeland

    October 14, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    It seems to me that the Tigers need to be their old aggressive selves against Haren. Once he gets them to 2 strikes he’s eating them alive with the splitter. First pitch swinging is looking like a better game plan than patience at this point.

  3. Chris Y.

    October 14, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    Can’t believe the ump gave Payton time on the pitch before the home run. Bonderman was already moving into his wind-up.

    That is sheer BS.

  4. Darrin

    October 14, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    More “blame the ump”

    Only losers blame umpiring.

  5. Paul

    October 14, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    What a rocket by Maggs.

    Greatest news ever was the firing of that douchebag, Steve Lyons.

  6. Mark in SF

    October 14, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    Cheese Cheese Cheese! What are you doing?!

  7. Russ

    October 14, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    Darn, “Girilli gone wild” was supposed to be a t-shirt, not a pitching philosophy

  8. Cameron in Singapore

    October 14, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    That inning was almost a nightmare. If Santiago gets up, we have to pinch hit Thames right?

  9. Cameron in Singapore

    October 14, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    This strike zone is ridiculous.

  10. Neel

    October 14, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    Way to go MAGS!!! Woo Hoo!!!

  11. Darrin

    October 14, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    I hope y’all are paying close attention.

    As I’ve been writing all week, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Tigers of ’06 are the very reincarnation of last year’s White Sox and the ’04 Red Sox.

    World Series: Will they play the Mets or Cardinals? Does not matter at all. Tigers in 4.

  12. Mike

    October 14, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    OH MY GOD.

    Darrin,

    I agree, nothing is stopping us. Tigers in 4 without a doubt.

  13. Darrin

    October 14, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    OMG…I can’t believe there’s actually an MLB owner who’s more crazier-looking than Steinbrenner.

  14. Jojo SunDevil

    October 14, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    Unbelievable. No words can describe.

  15. T Smith

    October 14, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    So Darrin, are you a converted fan yet?

  16. Lou

    October 14, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    This is so awesome. 4 more.

  17. Lou

    October 14, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    DD must be so happy. This is his first great team he doesn’t have to tear up the next year.

  18. Steve

    October 14, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Well its here, the Tigers in the Series. Have you been on line yet ordering World Series Gear yet ?

    Tigers have time to rest and heal up. What will the starting rotation look like?

    Have a great nite …………………………….

  19. Darrin

    October 14, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    T Smith: LOL, no I haven’t been converted yet.

    Watching these games have been very interesting. They remind me of watching the Yanks during their run (1998-2000) when you just absolutely knew they would win.

    Even when the Tigers trailed 3-0 in mid-innings, I knew they’d win.

    For you guys the WS will be quite the love fest. For everyone else, it will be another boring 4 game sweep.

  20. Andy in NY

    October 14, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    I’m as euphoric as they come about everything that happened today and this season, but one small note that I have to mention: I hope we don’t see Chuck Merriweather behind home plate in a Series game. His strike zone today was uniformly terrible (to both teams). It’d be nice to get umpires who call the game right at the end of the year.