PREGAME: Tonight it will be Eddie Bonine and Lenny Dinardo doing that pitching thing. I think the Tigers will hit DiNardo pretty hard and I am certain they won’t hit into 5 double plays tonight. I can’t make guarantees about the Bonine/Royals interaction.
Yes, the game should be the focus tonight. But there is something else really big going on and that is Ernie Harwell returning to Comerica Park to say thank you to the fans. I will most certainly applaud until my hands hurt. I will most likely cry. But I feel compelled to be there tonight to say thank you.
Harwell will address the crowd in the 3rd inning and Fox Sports Detroit will carry it live. I’m sure it isn’t in his wishes to be disruptive in any way. The game at hand always comes first with Harwell. I just don’t know that is possible when the living embodiment of the game shows up to say Thank You.
POSTGAME: I’ve heard this game described as an ugly win. I had some of those same thoughts as first, but I quickly pushed those away. First, all wins are beautiful at this point. Second, while the Tigers did have to rely on the Royals ineptitude to pull this out it wasn’t like the Tigers were making a bunch of mistakes. Detroit played a pretty crisp game with two outfield assists, a caught stealing, and some nifty defense by both Adam Everett and Placido Polanco. They also got the hits when they needed them to capitalize on the Royals mistakes. I see nothing ugly about that at all.
Eddie Bonine did a fine job. He is a spot starter and he gave the team 5 innings and held Kansas City to 3 runs. The numbers weren’t outstanding, but they certainly were acceptable given the situation. That the game was close was more about the Tigers inability to pound Lenny DiNardo. He was followed by Zach Miner who had an easy inning thanks to a nice throw by Ordonez. Seay followed and benefited from a caught stealing in the 7th, and then some magic from Brandon Lyon.
Lyon once again came up big. With runners at the corners, nobody out, and Billy Butler at the plate I was sure that David DeJesus would score from 3rd to tie the game. I didn’t know if it would be a sacrifice fly, a hit, a ground ball double play that scored the run, I was just sure that Butler would get the job done. Yet Lyon induced a come backer, followed by a strike out and suddenly there were 2 outs and thoughts of extra innings didn’t seem so imminent.
A weird coincidence, Billy Butler shares the same middle name as Carl Pavano, Joe Crede, and Luke Scott, “F’ing”