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Thrill Ride! Tigers 7, White Sox 6 (10 innings)

[Full disclosure: I fell asleep around 10:30 p.m., thinking the Tigers had a 6-3 win in the bag (staying awake just long enough to see the Red Wings' comeback fall short). So I was more than a bit amazed to see the final score. But considering how often the game swung back and forth, I probably shouldn't be surprised. That'll teach me to succumb to fatigue.]

If splitting Monday's doubleheader was a small victory for the Tigers, assuring that they'd win at least one of the five games in this series, pulling out another win is quite an accomplishment. It's even more impressive when you consider that Detroit got the win despite a sub-par start from Dontrelle Willis and easily the worst performance of the season from Fernando Rodney.

The D-Train provided his typical thrill ride, walking five batters in five innings, allowing one run to score on a wild pitch, hurting his right knee in a play at home but refusing to leave the game, and getting in an argument with A.J. Pierzynski, who thought Willis came in a bit too high-and-inside on one of his pitches. (Pierzynski insists it was much ado about nothing; Willis said it was "a misunderstanding.")

It certainly looked like Willis was going to unravel (he was obviously upset by the altercation with Pierzynski), as he served up a game-tying two-run homer to noted slugger Brian Anderson (one homer coming into the game) and walked the bases loaded in the fifth inning. But despite the injury - and he was clearly limping while walking around the mound - Willis settled down, got the outs he needed, and gave the Tigers a chance to win.

Who needs to go to Cedar Point this summer when you can watch the D-Train instead?


Not a bad night at the ballpark for Brandon Inge, with a home run, three walks, and three runs scored. After cooling off from his torrid start to the season, Inge has seemingly gotten back on track, getting on base regularly and steadily pushing that batting average back up. And that homer was the first he'd hit in the last 17 games. He's now hitting .281/.381/.523.

Also hitting his first home run in a while was Miguel Cabrera, who gave the Tigers their final lead with a solo shot in the 10th off Scott Linebrink. BigMig had gone 10 games without a long ball. And Adam Everett smacked what looked to be the decisive hit, with a two-run double in the fifth. (Alas, Willis gave the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning.) He has six RBIs in his last five games.


Whenever your closer comes into the game and fails to record an out, you know it didn't go well. But that doesn't quite explain how bad Rodney was. Not only did he blow his first save opportunity of the season [EDIT: Brandon Lyon actually blew the save, which rcpratt explains in the comments] allow the White Sox to tie the game, but he didn't even give up a hit in the process. Rodney walked three straight batters - one of them the #9 hitter - all of which came around to score. Only six of his 18 pitches were thrown for strikes.

Overall, the bullpen walked seven batters (one of them intentionally) in five innings. (The lone holdout was Zach Miner who pitched two perfect innings after taking over for Willis.) And somehow, the Tigers still won the game.

Comment of the Night:

This was really a tough one, folks. I hope you agree with the final choice, but there were five or six others that could've made the cut, too. (Maybe I should've posted them all.) Excellent work! Close games obviously bring out the best in the BYB Bunch.

Tonight’s pitchers should have to do sprints ALL NIGHT. they can stop when they die.

by wepri31