Game 2012.88: Tigers at Orioles

45-43, 3rd place, 3.5 games back.

Well, the win streak (and Austin Jackson’s hit streak) came to an exciting end last night. I checked my phone yesterday on hole 14 of a rather forgettable back nine on a course in North Dallas. Down 4-1, bottom of the 8th, 1 out, and the bases full of Orioles courtesy of Darin Downs. Honestly, I didn’t have much hope, and put my phone down.

Lo and behold, I checked in 30 minutes later, and the game was tied. A double play ball and a few key hits, and we we’re going extra innings. Then we took the lead! And our closer was coming in! But our closer is Jose Valverde. Tie game again.

Then we took the lead again! Valverde couldn’t come back in again! Benoit was warming up, here comes 7 in a row! JJ Hardy is 0-28. ZERO FOR 28! Bomb. Okay, we’ll get them in the 14th. Taylor Teagarden hasn’t played all season. Two-run bomb; and an 8-6 loss.

In reviewing the game, I watched Berry’s game tying single in the 9th, the one where Boesch is thrown out by out 110 feet. What in the world was Lamont thinking? Watch this video, and pause it at the 9 second mark. Boesch still has 2 steps to go before 3rd base when Endy Chavez has the ball in his glove. As Coleman suggested, Lamont’s WAR is about -10.

The good news is that the White Sox and Indians lost, so after all that, we’re still 3.5 games out.

JV takes the ball today, looking to recover from Tuesday night’s All Star start debacle. JV admitted that he geared it up in the first inning because the fans don’t want to see him “paint the corners” but rather they want to see him throw 100. And give up 5 ER. Look for JV to get back to his low-mid 90s 1st inning self today.

The Tigers take on Orioles rookie Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a 28 year old rookie who will be making his 2nd big league start, and 5 big league appearance today. So far so good, as Gonzalez has only allowed 4 ER in 18 2/3 IP for a 1.93 ERA. He’s struck out 18 and walked 7 during that time frame. Not a big sample size, but the Tigers have been known to struggle against worst. That said, the guys are really hitting the ball well over the past two weeks, so let’s see if they can hand Gonzalez his first loss.

Today’s Series Clinching Lineup (because we can’t win every game, but we can win every series):

1. Jackson, CF
2. Berry, LF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Boesch, DH
6. Peralta, SS
7. Avila, C
8. Santiago, 2B
9. Kelly, RF