Sunday's game had a familiar feeling, in front of a subdued holiday crowd, as the Tigers lethargically plodded through the first seven innings against Kevin Millwood. Once the Rangers went to their bullpen, however, it was like the lineup had found their Easter eggs.
Against C.J. Wilson and Warner Madrigal (who shaved his head after giving up three runs on Friday), Detroit batted around in the eighth inning. Led by Brandon Inge's home run and single (resulting in three RBIs), the Tigers scored six runs in a rousing comeback over Texas.
Take your pick. Inge continues to amaze with his torrid start to the season. And Carlos Guillen not only tied the game with his two-run double, but made the Rangers pay for intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera to face him. For a guy who was struggling (batting .167/.360/.222 coming into today), it was an important moment, one that could pay dividends later in the season, as well.
Brandon Lyon also warrants a mention, keeping the Tigers in the game by pitching perfect baseball in the seventh and eighth innings. That ought to make up for blowing Edwin Jackson's win on Tuesday. (Jackson also deserves credit for hanging in the game after allowing four runs - on a pair of two-run homers - in three innings. He salvaged a good day by not crumbling.)
And with a 1-2-3 ninth inning and save from Fernando Rodney, the bullpen hasn't allowed a hit, walk, or run in its last seven innings of work.
Even after Inge's leadoff homer in the eighth, a comeback didn't begin to feel possible until Elvis Andrus missed a sure out (and possibly even a double play) on Curtis Granderson's groundball to short. After that, the fuse was lit.
Comment of the Day:
is fighting hard. Games like this can help us the next few days. We could have burned out the bullpen today the way the thing started. Jackson looks like a pretty tough guy thus far.by rook34
And after Minnesota's 6-1 loss to the White Sox today, how about these apples?
AL Central Standings
Finally, as a note to myself: Don't ever try to get a head start on writing the recap when Jackson is pitching. On Tuesday night, I was ready to roll with a post about the Tigers winning until Lyon served up a three-run homer to Aaron Hill. And today, I was writing about a sure loss that had the stink of the familiar to it, only to see the Tigers rally. Maybe I should just apply that philosophy to every game.