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Tell Me When It's Okay to Look: Tigers 3, Red Sox 2

I don't think I can say it much better than Desmond did in the game thread comments, so I'll give him the intro:

"One of those games that's fun after the fact, and seriously irritating while it's going on."

Watching the highlights on SportsCenter got me even more pumped up over the result than I already was. I knew I was watching a great game as it was happening. But man, I wasn't enjoying it, as I gnawed and snapped my way through the various hard objects I was biting down on in an attempt to help me through the pain.

Relief: The easing of a burden or distress

I almost gave up on this thing when Todd Jones came back out for the 10th. Bringing him into a tied ballgame in the ninth was already playing with fire. Sending him back out for the 10th was courting disaster. But maybe Jim Leyland's middle name is "Danger," because his faith in Jones (or maybe a lack of any viable alternative) paid off. Getting Manny Ramirez to hit into an inning-ending double play was the literal definition of "relief." That could be a play we're talking about months from now.

Of course, Jones was just one part of the relief effort that got this win. Macay McBride, Zach Miner, Bobby Seay, and Jason Grilli (!) kept the Red Sox off the board for three more innings (though it got "I can't look!" scary when the bases were loaded in the 12th), until Pudge Rodriguez got a pitch he could drive into the gap for the win. (And did anyone else think Coco Crisp was going to catch that ball? He's caught just about anything hit near him in this series.)

Pick a Highlight, Any Highlight

There were so many seemingly pivotal moments and wild turns in this game that could've worked in favor of one team or the other. Jeremy Bonderman's strikeout of J.D. Drew to end the eighth looked like a game-deciding play. Hideki Okajima was pitching so well that I was convinced the Tigers would win if they could just push him past his limit. But Mike Timlin came in and got Craig Monroe to pop up in foul territory for what could've been another turning point.

Finally, the Red Sox flinched and made the key mistake of the game when Jonathan Papelbon hit Gary Sheffield. If the Tigers weren't going to win the game after that, when would they? Sheff had to nudge things along by stealing second base (and hasn't his baserunning been one of the season's great surprises?), but it was just enough to get in position to score the winning run.

I couldn't sleep after this game was over, but now I feel like I need a nap. The Tigers go for the sweep this afternoon. Nothing would make that three-day break sweeter...