It would have been enough for me last night for the Tigers to just play a competitive game, and keep Oakland under 10 runs; that’s how bad things had gotten. But the Tigers did more, much more, and got a quality win against a quality team: Oakland leads the AL in both runs scored and fewest runs given up, which is a pretty good recipe for success.
Max Scherzer wasn’t great last night (although the did have some great moments), but he kept the Tigers in the game. The hitters put up 4 runs against a very tough Sonny Gray, led by Cabrera, Avila, and J.D. Martinez, who is quietly making a case for playing time. If 4 runs doesn’t sound like a lot, it should be pointed out that’s that most that has been plated against Gray so far this season.
The real fun started in the 7th though, when Hunter hit a massive (410 ft.) shot to dead center to tie the game. In the bottom of the inning Krol walked the leadoff hitter on 4 pitches, Ausmus yanked him, and from that point on the bullpen shut down the A’s.
Still, Detroit needed a run and that came at the
hands feet of Rajai Davis. After Castellanos walked as a pinch-hitter (his 6th walk in 4 games!), Ausmus put Davis in to pinch-run. He promptly scooted to second on a passed ball, and then daringly stole 3rd while the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher, and scored on a grounder to short when Jackson beat out the double-play attempt to first.
The stunned A’s announcers picked ex-A Rajai Davis as the Player of the Game.
The bullpen did the rest, with Kevin in Dallas nervously counting down the last 6 outs. It was a needed win, and a good one, and one won in a way the Tigers didn’t win games last season.
Davis gets a start today, as Austin Jackson sits against a lefty he has never managed to hit (3-for-14). In center, which could possibly be an adventure.
Anibal “Only Good Starter Last Week” Sanchez takes the mound against Scott Kazmir. Look for Victor Martinez for the big hits (11-for-23 against Kazmir). Oh, and I’ll just throw this out there: Victor Martinez never takes an at bat off. Even in 10-0 games.
If you missed Vince in MN’s link, Suarez has been impressing people. More fun and excitement may be had at the shortstop position in the near future.
Tonight’s Never-Before-Used Lineup:
I jinxed Romine yesterday by mentioning his 4-game hitting streak, so now Danny gets a chance to show his worth.
Damn. Best start by any Tiger this year. That one hurt.