Ladies and gentleman, the contrarian Detroit Tigers.
The team that never seems to come back once it falls behind overcame a 2-0 deficit. A bullpen that never seems to put out fires bailed out the starting pitcher, allowing just one run in a bases-loaded, one-out situation. The starting pitcher who usually gives up four runs allowed only three. The left field position that never seems to provide any production got two hits, drove in a run and, perhaps most excitingly, threw out a baserunner at home plate. The closer known for his walrus-like mustache took the mound without facial hair. And the Tigers defeated the division rival that so frequently seems to beat them.
Scoring five runs was going to be a key to victory, as Nate Robertson was sure to give up four. Detroit did one better, and put six on the board. Jose Contreras came into tonight's game throwing as well as any starting pitcher in the American League, but the Tigers knocked him around, notching 13 hits in his six innings. And maybe the biggest one of those hits was from Miguel Cabrera, whose bat could lead a turnaround if it starts hitting consistently.
Freddy Dolsi continued to look as if he could be the set-up man Detroit's been looking for all season, giving up just one run with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning. And in the eighth, with the White Sox threatening after Dolsi balked Carlos Quentin to second base, Brent Clevlen made a play that the Tigers haven't seen from a left fielder all season. After gloving Jim Thome's single, Clevlen gunned a throw to home plate that beat Quentin and prevented the Sox from cutting into the lead.
Baseball can be so much more fun to watch when your team makes the plays. I'm still trying to process how I feel about the now mustache-less Todd Jones, however. The guy looked almost unrecognizable. Kind of like the team wearing the Olde English D tonight.
I've been slacking with this in the recaps ever since returning from Malaysia, for which I apologize. The GameThread started out slowly, but just as the Tigers came roaring back, so did the comments. Once again, a tip of the cap to those who showed up.
Thanks to pfuhrmeister, PBURGTIGER, rock n rye, cannonad03, busta, ThaWalrus9, Tony K, Juskimo, and Grant E. for chiming in on what turned out to be a fun game.