photo by Samara Pearlstein
The deficits were many (5 innings trailing, 6 trailing or tied). The extra-base hits were few (3, out of 12 total hits). The errors were numerous (3). But somehow the Tigers prevailed.
Yeah, the game was frustrating. The singles. The fact that two out of the three extra-base hits came from replacement batters. The errors. Oh, the molar-gnashing anguish of the errors. Really the only way in which this was a clean game was the lack of walks. Arrrrmando issued one, and that was it for Tigers pitching. It was generally not the kind of game that you want to see repeated against a team on a run like the Twins are (were?).
Still! After tonight, Granderson is batting .301/.351/.498. I know that OBP is not attractive, but when you consider the fact that he began the month batting .254/.313/.448, that’s pretty bloody good. Polanco and Sheff each had another couple of hits. The River homered AGAIN– I don’t need to remind you that he’s slugged .761 so far in June. Matt Joyce had a triple, making this the second night in a row where Tigers triples hit by unusual triple hitters have played a big role in the eventual victory. And this one wasn’t even hit in Comerica, so nobody can give the outfield all the credit.
Arrrrmando was solid, even if the defense behind him was very much NOT. Fossum was fine. Zoom was GREAT. I don’t think he threw a single pitch that wasn’t a fastball, but maybe he just didn’t have the feel for his offspeed pitch tonight? Getting Mauer at the end of the game was as crucial an out as you’ll see. I don’t know that this outing proved much about the return (or lack) of Zoom’s control, but it can only have helped his confidence, and I’m sure he felt good about being asked to pitch the 9th after getting out of the 8th.
It’s his first save of the year too. Not that that actually means anything, but again, I’m sure it makes him feel good.
The bad news? Cabrera had to leave with what the team is calling a ‘tight hip flexor’. Whatever, you can’t fool us, Tigers. It’s obviously a previously-undiscovered extension of the oblique muscle that he’s gone and pulled.
The good news? The Tigers are still 5 games behind the Wrong Sox, and are now just 2.5 games behind the second place Twinkies. If we can dome-raid this series, it will be MOST helpful indeed.
And hey! If you haven’t voted for the All Star game yet… well, it doesn’t actually matter a whit, but I think it would be nice to see Polanco go, don’t you? Since he’s hitting better than Pedroia and all.
Get on that, kids. Voting ends soon!
Tomorrow Nate goes up against the maker of pastry. Another 8:10 game, another chance to claw our way a little farther up in the division. Let us hope that Miggy’s hip flexor oblique decides to unkink. Go Tigers!