Detroit Tigers News

Game 28, Tigers 1 Indians 0

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So that was fun, huh? So many headlines, where to begin? How about the catch? I love that it’s the Indians feed, too. While Rod and Mario going crazy on FSN was fun, it was great to hear the shock coming from the STO team. This was the kind of game that makes you fall in love with baseball. This is why we watch. Most games are gone from the memory as soon as next one starts, but some games will stay with you for a long, long time, defined by the moments within. Typically, those game occur in the fall, with everything on the line. Kirk Gibson provided two of those games in the world series, first in ’84, then again in ’88. The Red Sox/Angels ALCS game six in 1986 (the Donnie Moore game). This game was just another Tigers/Indians game in May, with nothing but this game on the line, but it will stay with me just as long as the others have.

I got just the game I was hoping for. Justin Verlander dominated. Cliff Lee, for the second time in a week, proved a worthy adversary. Lee was very good again last night as he held the Tigers to just seven singles over eight innings, allowing one run, walking two and striking out five. That is a line that wins games almost every time. Not this time. I don’t know if Verlander was better today than I’ve seen him in the past, his last start against Cleveland was great, too. He might have been more dominant when he tossed his no-hitter against the Brewers, but not much more. Verlander navigated through the Indians lineup with seemingly little effort for most of the game. After a yielding a single to Asdrubal Cabrera in the first, he didn’t allow another hit until a 1-out double to Victor Martinez in the seventh. Along the way, Verlander fanned 11, including Cabrera to end the game with the tying run on base. How often can you watch a complete game 2-hitter against a pitcher who pitched as well as Cliff Lee did and yet the pitching seems to get buried in your memory of the game? Not often I’d guess. But, seemingly, that just wasn’t the story. The catch was.

Bottom of the Ninth, runner at first, one out, Grady Sizemore at the plate. As soon as he hit it, it was trouble, Curtis Granderson drifted back. I said to my wife, more hopeful than anything, “He’s got room”, but then he didn’t. It was gone, game over. I was going to have to watch another gut-punching loss, and what’s worse, living in Ohio, I was going to have to hear about it and how great Sizemore is, from all the F’n Indians fans. …And then he caught it. He caught it! OH MY GOD, HE CAUGHT IT!!!!

And how about the diving catch turned double play by Adam Everett in the seventh to keep the Indians off the board? This is the glove we heard about! There has been a ton of chirping about starting Santiago everyday at short, and as good defensively as he is, I’m not sure he makes that play, and I know he doesn’t get to some of the leaping catches Everett has made over the past week. I’ll take Everett everyday, thank you, if just for his glove. After that, the Tigers had to get a run somehow, they just couldn’t let Verlander lose that game, could they? The answer came the next inning when Granderson walked with one out, stole second on a botched hit-and-run, (thanks to a high throw from Kelly Shoppach), and moved to third on a ground ball from Polanco. But then Clete Thomas hits a routine ground ball to second that should have ended the inning. Should have only because Thomas busted his ass all the way down the line and surprised the Indians rookie second baseman into double clutching his throw, allowing Thomas to beat it out and the Tigers to take the lead they would never give back. Thanks to the catch.

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