|Final - 5.10.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Max Scherzer (2 - 3)
LP: Bartolo Colon (3 - 3)
The Detroit Tigers broke out of a long batting slump in a big way with 17 hits, taking down the Oakland Athletics 10-6. Max Scherzer cruised to the win, raising his record to 2-3. Bartolo Colon didn't get out of the 3rd inning, and was tagged with the loss, falling to 3-2. The 10 runs were the most the Tigers have scored since they hung 10 on the Boston Red Sox back in early April.The 17 hits tied a season high.
Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers with 4 hits apiece, Alex Avila adding 2 hits and 2 RBI. Former Tiger Brandon Inge and Kila Ka'aihue hit home runs for the A's.
The Tigers took a 1-0 1st inning lead thanks to Dirks, who parked a Colon pitch over the wall in deep right center. Will Dirks continue to hit like a machine, slugging .607 with a .969 OPS? Uh...no. But I'm enjoying the Hell out of it while it lasts.
But the joy from Dirks' homer didn't last. Scherzer served up a gopher ball to Ka'aihue, giving the A's what turned out to be a short-lived 2-1 lead.
Short-lived, because the 3rd inning was glorious for Tigers fans. It brought back memories of the lethal Tigers' offense we saw in the Red Sox series, which now feels like it took place a decade ago, rather than 5 weeks.
Austin Jackson started the hit parade at 10:42 PM. Prince Fielder ended it at 11:05 PM. In those 23 minutes, 13 Tigers batters went to the plate. There were 8 hits, 4 for extra bases. The A's allowed a walk and committed 2 errors. Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera got on base twice. Ryan Raburn...well, he flew out. And the Tigers slapped a snowman on the A's, taking a 9-2 lead.
8 freaking runs? IN ONE INNING? It's Christmas in May!
The runs kept on a-comin', as consecutive hits from Jackson, Dirks and Cabrera pushed the Tigers into double digits, and an all but insurmountable 10-2 lead.
Scherzer took advantage of the rare huge cushion (or any cushion at all), and went into cruise control, pitching into the 7th. After getting shelled in consecutive starts against the Mariners and Yankees, looking completely lost in the process, Scherzer has allowed only 3 runs while striking out 18 in his last 13 1/3 innings.
Octavio Dotel took the mound for the first time since his Titanic-level disaster in Seattle, and it was if it had never happened. Dotel took over for Scherzer, and got 2 easy outs. Baseball sure is a funny game.
As for that guy named Inge? Really didn't do anything of note, other than hit a no-doubt grand slam in the 8th inning off of Collin Balester. Phil Coke had gotten a little unlucky, the A's loading the bases on a pair of infield hits and a walk. Up came Inge, who took Balester's 2nd pitch the other way, far over the right field wall. What was a comfortable 10-2 lead became a collar-tightening 10-6 lead.
Yes, Goddamn Brandon Inge hit his 2nd grand slam in a week. Jim Leyland immediately yanked Balester. Already buried in the pen, it was his first appearance since April 29th. I wonder when we'll see Balester again...if ever.
Joaquin Benoit was called out of the pen to put out the smoldering embers. Instead, he nearly caused a flash fire. Benoit allowed a double to budding Tiger Killer Ka'aihue, then walked Anthony Recker. But before you could say EVERYBODY PANIC, Benoit struck out Michael Taylor on a 2-2 pitch. The inning finally, mercifully over.
Talk about one ugly half inning. Almost as ugly as the bitching and moaning got on Twitter as the Inge lovers and haters did battle. I'm sure there were casualties.
Things took a turn for the weird in the 9th. Raburn ripped a double to center, advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch. Leyland then called for a SUICIDE SQUEEZE. Of course, it failed miserably. Grant Balfour's pitch bounced to Ramon Santiago, who didn't have a chance in Hell in getting a bat on the ball. Rabuun was dead to rights at the plate, deader than Leyland's 2nd pack of Marlboro Reds.
With the game somewhat in doubt, it meant Jose Valverde would finish. Raburn made a nice diving catch for the 2nd out, keeping the Big Potato out of trouble.
Game over, Tigers win, everyone breathe a huge sigh of relief. Say what you will about the 8th inning bullpen issues, seeing the resurrection of the Tigers' offense overrides all. It was about damn time.
West coast games are brutal on the sleep cycle. But I'm willing to deal with dark circles under my eyes if it means the Tigers' offense is going to go medieval on the A's. That Triple A lineup the A's are putting on the field should be punished on general principle. Moneyball, my ass.
Andy Dirks: At this rate, he'll never leave the starting lineup. The only thing hotter than Dirks is a blast furnace. 4-4, HR, BB,.RBI.
Miguel Cabrera: When he's on, Cabrera makes hitting a baseball look so damn easy.. He was on tonight. 4-5, 3 RBI.
Alex Avila: The 2 days off didn't cool down Avila. 2-5, 2 RBI.
Max Scherzer: Old Blue Eye is back! 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
Ryan Raburn: Another game, another hiss for Raburn. After an 1-4 night, he's hitting a not so robust .134. Jim Leyland's plan of playing Raburn every day to get him out of a season long funk needs some tweaking.
Prince Fielder: I can understand Raburn going hitless. But Fielder going 0-5 when the rest of the team rakes? Go figure...
Collin Balester: You don't give up a grand slam to Brandon Inge. Not if you want to stay in the major leagues.
GAME 30 PLAYER OF THE GAME
Another Drew Smyly start, another Drew Smyly PotG victory, this time with a mere 98% of the BYB vote.