Let’s give credit where credit is due…Ol’ Jimmy managed us to a win last night, and he’s been conducting the bullpen like a maestro over the last week. Coke’s effort last night was tremendous, and may be the type of performance that defines a division championship (may). He went 0-2 or1-2 on 6 batters, struck out the first 5 that he faced, and performed brilliantly in the face of extreme pressure after the IBB to put the winning run on. The 10 pitch at bat to Zobrist had my stomach in knots. And it’s not (get it?) even September yet. WPs only bounce into the stands to save a run when a team is on a 5 game winning streak. Overall, the bullpen has a microscopic 1.55 ERA and 58 Ks over their last 58 IPs dating back to August 4.
Brad Penny ate up 6 1/3 allowing only one run, and Ryan Perry maintained composure and got Longoria to fly out with the bases loaded in the 7th.
Avila’s Awesome August sees him leading the AL with a 1.338 OPS in 19 games. His August slugging percentage alone would put him about 1/2 up the team leader board in OPS. Oh yeah, and that was his 17th straight start.
Max Scherzer goes for the Tigers tonight against Wade Davis, perhaps the most hittable Tampa pitcher in the series. Davis had one of his best starts of the season last time out (against the Mariners) but has carried a 4+ ERA for most of the season, and has a 1.41 WHIP. Lefties hit .290 against him, and righties are batting .265 for the year.
Before you start checking your October calendars, remember that the Rangers were 7.5 games up on the Angels less than a week ago…that lead is now 3.5.
Lineups coming later.