Snap Reaction: With missed opportunities all over, this one's going to sting for a bit.
This entire game just felt overmanaged. From pulling Drew Smyly after 69 pitches, to way too many outs given away with bunts, a manager whose team scored five runs in the first three innings seemed to be trying to push buttons when few needed pushing.
Maybe all of manager Jim Leyland's decisions weren't awful -- although they were certainly debatable. You could make the argument that Smyly wasn't having his typical outing. He gave up four runs on five hits -- including two for home runs. The Sox seemed to be hitting him well. Leyland -- and maybe he'll talk about this in the postgame and our second recap can get into it further -- may have wanted to get Smyly out of the game when he still had a lead and a chance to win.
And Luke Putkonen wasn't entirely awful. Sure, he wasn't striking anyone out. But it's not like he was giving up hard-hit line drives to the fence, either. Basically, he got ground-balled to death in allowing three runs in the sixth inning. On other nights, he may have escaped with no more than a run allowed.
But all the sacrifices when Detroit's offense was finally starting to roll -- mainly of the bunt variety, naturally -- just felt like Leyland was trying for a run per inning even though his batters were hitting well. Out of the first 15 outs issued to Detroit, three were used up on bunts. That's not playing for the big inning, it's playing for one run. The only problem is, this wasn't one of those one-run games. The teams were both scoring with ease.
This felt like a game the Tigers should have plated at least a few more. They got stuck at five runs, never scoring after the third inning. So all that pressing resulted in absolutely nothing at all. Thirteen runners were stranded, including two more in the ninth inning. Why should the last frame had been any different?
Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera each had three hits. It was nice to see the stars finally hit well on the same day. Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young each had two hits. (Yes, even Raburn and Young were hitting, you read that right.)
Near the end, Ramon Santiago took a ball to the face when trying to nab the runner on a stolen base.
Bruised, battered, injury to insult, this one's going to sting for awhile.