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Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: Anibal Sanchez's adjustments worked (we think)

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DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 22: Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigerswinds up and throws  during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on August 22, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 22: Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigerswinds up and throws during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on August 22, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
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Final - 8.22.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
Toronto Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 X 3

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As you know. narratives are a big deal in baseball. There's a somewhat famous xkcd cartoon about that. So, what I present to you tonight is a narrative. Nothing more. Maybe it's even true.

Anibal Sanchez has struggled since coming to Detroit. The trade did not look so well. You know this. The Tigers gave Sanchez a few extra days off. He worked with coach Jeff Jones to make a tweak or two. Everyone said the right things about fixing the problem.

Sanchez took a shutout into the sixth. He worked the plate well. He didn't hurt his own cause much. Unfortunately, his teammates didn't always help his cause much, either. (We pause here to note Andy Dirks may have saved a home run with a catch that will not win awards for aesthetics but was worth an out.)

Sanchez finished the game after 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. He struck out six. He put his team in a good position to win, finally, and it did.

Can we really read anything into this? Sadly, I have to go with "no" here. It's not Sanchez's first nice start in Detroit. It is a good sign, naturally, to see him bounce back from recent struggles and to beat a team that had hampered him before. Still, it's no guarantees of anything.

But for a night, it's nice to savor a Sanchez narrative with a positive spin.

Other points:

  • The Tigers scored a few more runs by taking advantage of what the Blue Jays gave them, which is to say, not-so-pretty baseball. What they did not do is score some runs because they clobbered the ball when runners were on. They also did not have many hits: five total, with no player having more than one. They also hit into two double plays (Jeff Baker, Prince Fielder). But a win's a win.
  • Sanchez recorded the Tigers' 1000th strikeout of the year.
  • Jose Valverde earned his 100th save in Detroit, 25th of the season. While you can just insert typical thoughts on saves here ---> <---- it's still a nice plateau to reach.
  • Omar Infante hit a triple. The Omar Infante story is pretty neat and I'm happy to see him having success in Detroit. Expect me to write more about it at some point.

3 ROARS

Jose Valverde - Earned his 100th save as a Tiger. I'm roaring.

Omar Infante - I likey. Even if he wasn't perfect, which he wasn't.

Anibal Sanchez - Allowed about a baserunner per inning, one earned run. He and the Tigers and the rest of us needed to see some success.

HISSES

Defense - Andy Dirks followed up his catch with two errors.

Execution - In general really. Nothing new. Just is.

GAME 122 POG

Not Delmon, as I begged. But Max Scherzer, strikeout king