I like the 3:30 start time. I got to listen to the end of the game on the way home and the ninth inning was particularly interesting. Probably the highlight was Brandon Inge’s at bat. He went to 0-2 early, then proceeded to foul nine balls off en route to drawing a walk on fifteen pitches. His walk loaded the bases and ended up leading to the winning run.
I’m not sure what Jim Leyland’s infatuation is with batting “whoever” the desiginated hitter is at the five spot. This week it’s particularly baffling because Alexis Gomez, who was called up when Dmitri Young went on the disabled list, has been there twice this week. Thames, who I think is the best player that the Tigers have on the bench, has hit there twice as well. It just seems like Leyland is way too into the whole lefty/righty platoon. Thames is better, period. Play him there. Gomez is a week removed from Toledo, so he should be relegated to the bench.
A nice ninth inning comeback by the Tigers today. Price and Dickerson were kind of baffled as to why Huston Street didn’t throw in the ninth, so it’ll be interesting to see what the reasoning behind it was. Ken Macha went with Justin Duchscherer a little too long and the Tigers got to him early and often. With the score 3-1 heading into the top of the ninth, Magglio Ordonez singled and then Alexis Gomez doubled. Chris Shelton then continued his tear and singled home Ordonez to make it a one run game. Carlos Guillen then singled home Gomez to tie the game up. Craig Monroe hit into a fielders choice, and then Inge had his 15 pitch at bat. Duchsherer then walked Curtis Granderons and Carlos Guillen scored the go ahead run.
Fernando Rodney got into a huge jam in the bottom of the ninth but pitched his way out of it. He loaded the bases with one out, then he got Jason Kendall to ground into a fielders choice with a play at the plate. He then struck out Adam Melhuse to end the game. So instead of being even at 8-8, the Tigers fought back and improved to 9-7. Seattle’s on deck as the Tigers continue their west coast swing tomorrow.
Just a couple of notes. Anytime you can head out west and win two of three against a quality team like the A’s, you’re doing something right. I also like the fact that Leyland stuck with Rodney for a second inning and let him pitch himself out of that ninth inning jam.