I’ve been home from the UM/MSU game for almost an hour. I had over an hour in the car to listen to postgame quotes and gather my thoughts. And I’m still here and don’t even know what to write. I’ll start with just saying how freakin’ proud I am of this team right now. I’m proud of how they weren’t overwhelmed by playing the Yankees. I’m proud of how 18 of the 25 guys who had never played in the postseason looked like they belonged. I’m proud of how the veterans came to play with a steely eyed focus. I’m proud how the team shook off an awful week leading up to the postseason. I’m proud how they celebrated with the fans.
I know there is a lot of animosity towards the “experts” and really everyone who didn’t give the Tigers a chance. These people aren’t idiots. They are paid for analysis and opinion and in all reality the smart money was on the Yankees. But it is right to believe that the Tigers weren’t even considered a formidable foe. On several occasions I heard cute predictions like Yankees in 2.
The Tigers were a team that did win 95 games in a division where they were just 1 of 3 teams to post 90 wins. They were a team that did post a 19-31 record over their last 50 games but were only outscored by 3 runs over that time period. They were slumping, but more to the tune of .500 than what their record reflected.
As for that Yankees lineup that had an advantage at every position, they were held in check to say the least. I thought that the Tigers chances would be to limit the damage from the Murderers Row enough that the Tiger hitters could take advantage of the Yankee pitching. Instead the Tigers outhit the Yankees at every position except catcher over the last 4 games.
As David Pinto pointed out the real surprise isn’t that the Tigers pitching staff had success against the Yankees. It’s that they completely shut them down for the last 2 days.
But there will be plenty of time for analysis later. For now it is all about unbridled enthusiasm.