I really haven’t experienced peer pressure since my days in high school, where, pretty much everyone at one time or another experiences the phenomena. But today, as a guy who is an Editor for a Detroit Tigers website, I can’t fight off the pressure anymore. You see, as our regular readers may well know, we don’t typically do game recaps here. It’s just not in our nature. But as with anyone’s nature, sometimes it has to adapt to fit the needs of it’s environment. If even for a day. Since every Tigers site is going to have something on today’s game, I thought it imperative that MCB talk about today’s game.
I can’t ignore how well the Tigers have been playing, nor would I even want to. Saturday’s game had everything that you would look for out of a championship team. Good pitching, good defense, and timely hitting. In fact, the Tigers have been hitting for a timely fashion for about two weeks now. Today was no different, as they scored all of their runs with two outs, Austin Jackson delivering a couple times to drive in four runs.
With Rick Porcello on the mound, the Tigers could take first place over for the first time since late April. And at times this season, despite the Tigers being the most talented Central, we all had to wonder at some point if and when that would happen. Porcello, who has been a large part of the debate when the word inconsistency is mentioned, took the reigns today and got all the way to the ninth before being relieved by Joaquin Benoit. He was fantastic, and it was arguably one of the better performances of his career.
Officially, Porcello went 8 innings for the Tigers, allowing just 5 hits, none of them for extra bases. He only struck out 4 batters, but at no point during this start, did you ever get the feeling that he was in any trouble. Jim Leyland allowed Porcello to come out in the 9th and try and finish off the game with a 7-1 lead, but Porcello allowed 2 hits to begin the frame before Leyland came out to yank the right-hander. It was a quality decision by a manager, that often gets questioned for such moves. Benoit came on to finish off the now second place Chicago White Sox.
Offensively, the Tigers were led by Austin Jackson, and the quickly rejuvenated Brennan Boesch, who appears to be in one of those good stretches he is known for. Boesch took the tough left Chris Sale deep for a 3 run homer in the 6th inning to effectively put the game out of reach.
The bottom of the order is also now contributing for the Tigers. Today, the 6-9 hitters went 6-12 and drove in 3 runs, while scoring 6 of the Tigers 7 runs today.
The Tigers are now getting offensive contributions on the roster from just about everybody, maybe sans Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly, making them a dangerous out for even the best of pitchers. Chris Sale found that out today.
The real key behind the Tigers surge, and the reason the Tigers have now overtaken first place, is their pitching though. Rick Porcello just continued what has been several strong outings since Jacob Turner‘s debacle on Tuesday. Turner will get a chance to bounce back tomorrow against the White Sox. The way the Tigers are going, does anyone doubt that maybe we will see a much better effort tomorrow?
I may have succumbed to a little bit of peer pressure today. I know every Tigers site out there is going to cover the fact that today, the Tigers took over first place again.
But given everyone is feeling pretty good in Tiger nation today, I hope you all can forgive me for the recap.