For those of you who could stay up long enough, you probably wish you hadn’t, although pretty much the whole game took place in the 8th inning.
In the top of the 8th, the Tigers blew not one but two opportunities with a runner at 3rd and less than two outs. The first was when Kinsler was caught in the dreaded Run On Contact play. I wish I had numbers for how often that fails; it seems to be a lot, not just with Detroit, but with other teams as well. It doesn’t help that the Tigers hit the ball so hard–the Martinez grounder got to first so fast Kinsler had only made it about a third of the way home. Kinsler valiantly got in an extended rundown, but Cabrera was having none of trying to get to 3rd.
Fortunately, Torii Hunter came through–again!–and put the Tigers back ahead, and gave them another opportunity with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Unfortunately, Avila had to face a lefty, and I don’t think any of us were surprised at the weak strike out that followed. I’m sure Holaday wouldn’t have done any better, said no Tiger fan.
Then came The Decision: pinch-hit for Porcello, or send him back out for the 8th. Normally that is an automatic PH situation, but Porcello was only at 77 pitches, and had just breezed easily through the 7th. In addition, Joba Chamberlain (and maybe Nathan) were unavailable in the bullpen. Ausmus rolled the dice, and lost: Davis had a pinch-hit called 3rd strike, and Larry, Curly and Moe blew the lead in the 8th.
Well, today is another day and another game, which is one of the great things about baseball.
Today’s Did Not See That Coming Lineup:
Following the ol’ Rest ‘Em While They’re Hot strategy, Ausmus sits Torii Hunter for The Donkey, who at least has a positive history against Cahill (4-for-7, HR). He tries something new with The House by the Side of the Road in the 2nd spot, bumping Cabrera-Martinez back to 4-5.