Well, the less said about last night’s game, the better.
Wait, hold on…they did WHAT?
They like to say “it ain’t over ’till it’s over.” But often, well, it just is. Down 23 at the 2-minute warning in football, and…well, we could score, onside kick, score again, onside…oh never mind. Basketball: well, keep fouling, make a 3-pointer, foul again, ‘nother 3-pointer…OK, never mind–but the game does seem to take forever to end, so there’s that.
Baseball, though, is different. 2 outs in the 10th inning down by 3, 2 strikes on the batter…well he COULD get a walk, and the next guy too, and then a double, and a single, and hey! Not very likely (it has happened only once this season), but very possible.
And all after the 9th inning looked like a classic fail (but a somewhat tolerable one; they still would’ve taken the series)–a leadoff triple they couldn’t score, after Manny Acta out managed Acting Manager: the old double intentional walk/pulling an outfielder/adding an extra infielder trick (which I don’t think I’ve ever seen).
(To be fair, I thought Lloyd made a good move–pinch-hitting one of the toughest double-play outs in the league in a spot where a ground ball that is not a DP probably wins the game).
Losing closer Chris Perez once famously said (May 25): “You look over there and you’ve got Cabrera and Fielder and Verlander and Valverde. But that doesn’t win baseball games. Good teams win baseball games.”
He left out Austin Jackson. Jackson had 9 total bases yesterday (including back-to-back triples), and if his double in the 10th wasn’t the game winner, it was the shot that put Perez on the ropes. In fact the 1-2 hitters Jackson and Infante combined for an 8-for-12 night with 17 total bases. That will win you a few games. (And another great thing about baseball: the goat of the 9th inning, Infante, came up with the game tying hit in the next inning).
The walk off shot of course was by Cabrera, a towering fly that was a bit in doubt until it cleared. Cabrera wasn’t about to take all the glory though–Cabrera insisted Austin Jackson join him for the postgame interview. And I think it’s time to acknowledge that Cabrera is not only an amazing baseball player, but a first-rate teammate also. Such is the stuff good teams are made of.
Tonight Justin Verlander tries to right his ship (tongue-in-cheek: see below).
Yankee starter Ivan Nova (Spanish for “I don’t want to go out there”) takes the mound for the Evil Empire with a 10.13 ERA vs Detroit this season.
Also newest Tiger Jeff Baker joins the Tigers today. To make room for Baker, Danny Worth goes back down to Toledo again, for the umpteenth time. The last time he got sent down (July 24) he vowed to buy a new guitar to make himself feel better. He is a man of his word. Meanwhile, Ryan Raburn will continue to have a sprained thumb until September 1 call ups.
Stat of the Day: Justin Verlander has “struggled” in the 2nd half–to the tune of a 2-2 record with a 2.89 ERA, and a 1.107 WHIP. Not Cy Young stuff that, but relax everybody.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Austin Jackson. AJax tore it up yesterday, and has a brief but rewarding relationship with Ivan Nova, hitting .375 in 9 PAs. The A-Train keeps on rolling tonight.
Today’s Two-Out-Rally Lineup: