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Tigers battle White Sox into extras, win in 11, 9-7

Final - 9.19.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 1 0 0 6 0 0 0 2 9 9 3
Chicago White Sox 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 7 14 1
WP: Robbie Weinhardt (2 - 2)
SV: Daniel Schlereth (1)
LP: Sergio Santos (2 - 2)

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Did you hear that? Off in the distance? It sounds like Joe Morgan saying, "Changeupchangeupchangeupchangeup."

Folks, I have to admit something. If I weren't writing tonight's recap, there is no way in Hell I would have stuck out ESPN's coverage of tonight's Tigers - White Sox game. And it's not because weird things, usually quite bad, happen to the Tigers whenever they show up on ESPN's top baseball broadcast.

It's because color man Joe Morgan is soul crushingly awful, a pox on both society and all things sensible. Listening to him jabber on inanely about change ups for four plus hours is torture comparable to water boarding. I honestly don't know how play-by-play man Jon Miller has survived all these years working next to the loopy Morgan, without going insane or needing a psychologist.

Not that Miller and third wheel Orel Hershiser get off easy. In the bottom of the ninth, with the game looking to be ending soon, the MVP of the game, according to the Three Stooges in the ESPN booth, was Tigers' starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. Not because he was particularly good, as he was pitching in and out of trouble all night, and threw 121 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, one earned. Bondo was named game MVP because he "worked the hardest."

At that point, I started pounding my head on my desk, pleading for this Hell on earth to end. Jim Leyland brought in Phil Coke to close out the game in the bottom of the 9th. Didn't happen.

Right after the game MVP announcement, everyone thinking a 7-3 lead was safe, Coke imploded. He didn't just throw gas on the fire, Coke went off like a dirty nuke,allowing three hits, two walks, and four runs.

The White Sox batted around off of the wild and hittable Coke and Robbie Weinhardt. The rookie looked to be on the verge of ending the game, throwing strikes and getting a force for the 2nd out. But with two strikes, he proceeded to hit Álex Ríos, reloading the bases. The tying run then scored on Weinhardt's wild pitch while facing the evil A.J. Pierzynski...who had started the rally with a lead off double.

So with the ESPN clowns in tow, on to extra innings we went...

In the 11th, with two out and no one on, Brandon Inge struck out on a Sergio Santos wild pitch, and Pierzynski threw the ball into the nether regions of right field. Inge, hustling all the way, ended up on 3rd base. As I said, weird things...

Brennan Boesch was walked to set up a force play, but Gerald Laird foiled the strategy by lining a single to right, scoring Inge. Austin Jackson then drilled a leg double to left, sending Boesch home, giving the Tigers what we hoped would be an insurmountable 9-7 lead. It was, but it wasn't easy.

Eddie Bonine replaced Weihnardt, only to allow a single and a walk. Paul Konerko nearly ended the game, as his home run length line drive was foul by only a few feet. Bonnie then got Kornerko looking.

With the pen getting thin, Leyland found Daniel Schlereth at the end of the bench. Amazingly enough, the normally wild Scherleth was throwing strikes! He got Pierzynski to hit what should have been a game ending 4-6-3 double play, but Will Rhymes double clutched getting the ball out of his glove, just getting the force at 2nd.

To make things far too interesting, Schlereth walked Carlos Quentin, loading the bases. But Schlereth ended both the game, and the torture, striking out Manny Ramirez looking.

Scherlerth's first career save mercifully ended the game after a running time of 4:13.

Much, much earlier in the night, in the 4th, Scott Sizemore hit his 2nd home run in as many days, to get the Tigers on the board.

Much earlier in the night, in the 7th, Casper Wells tied the game at three with a two run a time when the Tigers' offense appeared to be sleep walking through the game against Sox starter John Danks. Wells' tater was the start of a six run rally, capped off by Rhymes' two RBI double.

Yet it all become moot, thanks to a bad night from the Tigers' bullpen..which also became moot thanks to a strike out on a wild pitch.

As I said, weird things always happen during the Tigers' ESPN appearances.

At least this time the weirdness resulted in a win.