Extra Innings Might Still Like Us:
Had the Tigers lost this game, I had my headline ready: "Extra Innings Hate Us." Going past nine innings hasn't been too kind to Detroit this season (maybe because Jim Leyland's motto isn't "12 Full Innings"), as they'd lost four of five extended games. And the White Sox late-inning relievers had pretty much confounded the Tigers throughout this series, leaving some of us to reminisce about the days when Detroit's bullpen was that good.
Maybe Ozzie Guillen had no choice but to bring in David Aardsma for a third straight game (Mike MacDougal and Bobby Jenks had pitched the last two games, as well), but I couldn't help but wonder if he was taking a chance by letting the Tigers' hitters see him yet again in the same series. Marcus Thames certainly made it look that way when he blasted that game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth (with two outs!)
Surely, it wouldn't have had the same effect if the Tigers had gone on to lose the game, but didn't that feel like one giant exhale for the team (and their fans)? The White Sox were one out away from completing a demoralizing sweep, and Ozzie doing an "Ha! Ain't so bad!" strut to the clubhouse. Now, maybe there's something for them to think about before their two-game rematch this week in Chicago.
The Year of Polanco Continues:
"When I saw him batting, I thought we were in big trouble," Ozzie Guillen said to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Baseball doesn't seem like a sport in which one guy can just impose his will upon a game to force a win. But if Placido Polanco keeps this up, I might have to reconsider that belief. Obviously, he can't prevent his team from losing every game, but Polanco seems intent on making sure they don't lose very many. On Friday night, he was the one guy who got a hit off Bobby Jenks. And yesterday, when Nick Masset walked Craig Monroe and gave Polanco the chance to win the game, he didn't blow it.
You Know What That Makes You? Lollygaggers:
It didn't cost the White Sox the game, but it damn well should have. In the bottom of the 10th, Brandon Inge led off with what should've been a single to left field, but hustled for a double when he saw Brian Anderson lollygag his way to the ball. Nice play, sunshine. As Mr. Big Ten Hardball said to me yesterday (about a Michigan freshman who struck out), "That's what happens when you don't play very much."
Ooooh, I would've loved to hear what Ozzie had to say to Anderson when he got back to the dugout. Had Polanco not been intentionally walked by Masset (which couldn't be done in the 12th inning), he might have ended the game right there.
Dude's Still Gettin' It Done:
Maybe I'm wrong on this, but it seemed like the White Sox took some crap for signing Darin Erstad in the off-season. If not then, they certainly caught some flack when it became apparent he was going to be their starting centerfielder. Maybe Erstad's season stats (.203/.257/.507) support that stance, but he was quite a nuisance yesterday. It seemed like he either got on base or moved a runner in each one of his at-bats. The third or fourth time I saw him safe at first base, I was thinking, "Man, the Tigers could use a guy like that."
Okay - Who Did That?
From Mark Gonzales' game story in the Chicago Tribune:
Purely an accident, I'm sure. Since it was Sunday, at least they didn't get some dopey wake-up call from a morning radio show.