Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello, Winning Season

Photo: AP

Well, they had to hang on, but the important thing is that the Tigers got the win, extended their lead over Minnesota by a half-game, and lowered their magic number to eight. Outside of one weird inning where the Indians put him in a lot of stress, Justin Verlander was his electric self. And unlike that start against the Blue Jays, he didn’t let the stressful inning carry over into the rest of the game. There were some issues with the bullpen. Bobby Seay couldn’t get his hitters out, but that may have something to do with a shoulder problem that has cropped up (that’s probably not good). Brandon Lyon did a good job, though. And then there’s Rodney. He retired the first two relatively easily, but a walk to Carroll meant bad things when facing Shin Soo Choo (one of the few Indians left in the lineup who can hurt you on a regular basis). After the home run and the Hafner single, with a 3-2 count on Peralta, it looked bleak, but we all forgot one very important thing: We have Brandon Inge on our team. The defense was tremendous, and the offense was nicely spread around (each of the 6 RBIs was from a different person), which is good on a night Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-5 (and was swinging way too hard in his final two at-bats). By the way, last night's win guarantees the Tigers will have a winning season, and that's certainly something to celebrate, especially after last year and considering where all the "experts" placed us this year. And here is your broom:

Okay, we are done with the Indians for the season. Now it’s time to see the White Sox a whole lot over the final ten days or so. We’ve still got six games left with them. And while they have been eliminated (for all intents and purposes), they are probably gonna be a lot tougher than the Indians. For one thing, the Indians are essentially playing their Triple A team, while the White Sox still have their “A” lineup mostly intact (though they did trade Jim Thome to the Dodgers). For another thing, we won’t have Porcello or Verlander in this series (and Jackson doesn’t start until Sunday). First up is Eddie Bonine (sans mohawk), who hasn’t pitched in quite a while. He started a game against the White Sox in July. It was Game 2 of a doubleheader, and it was a game the Tigers won, though Bonine did not get the win. He pitched pretty well, though, allowing only three runs in six innings. However, he is prone to giving up home runs, and US Cellular Field is a launching pad. And he’ll be up against a former Cy Young pitcher in Jake Peavy. Peavy has made one start for the White Sox, giving up three runs in five innings against the Royals. The Tigers have only seen him once, and it was back in 2005 during Interleague play. He only gave up three runs but got the loss in a game that had an eventual score of 8-4. I’m working tonight, and all weekend (but I SHOULD be able to catch all of tomorrow’s game).

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