Okay, so the dog ate my Lineups and it took me 8 hours to drive home from Traverse City on this lovely holiday. That in mind, please accept my apologies in advance for not belaboring this recap. (See what I did there?)
With the Tigers alpha dog sitting out again and a road series against the only AL team with a better record kicking off, the few remaining nervous Nelly Detroit fans may have been secretly sweating, despite today’s cool weather. One impressive shut out and three Jose Iglesias leather lambada’s (google it) later (plus a little help from the Tribe) and even these fans should be willing to admit that our Tigers are the best dogs (err, cats?) in the fight.
After a shaky first, Doug Fister rebounded well and cruised through 7 shut out innings. Well, cruised could be strong but he looked nice overall, limiting the Sox to four hits while striking out four. He did walk four as well and needed some crafty glovesmanship from Detroit’s magical shortstop to get out of a few jams, but seven shutout innings is seven shutout innings, especially after giving up thirteen hits and seven runs in his last outing.
Outside of Iglesias continuing his efforts to get Metro Detroit’s Harry Potter fans tuning in, the other big moment of the day was an RBI triple off the bat of “The Neck”, aka “Country Strong”, aka Andy Dirks in the top of the 7th. With the score tied at zero and Victor (are we sure he’s not Swiss? Dude’s all kind’s of reliable) on first, Dirks sent a big triple just over the head of Jacoby Ellsbury to put the Tigers ahead for good. He’d also score the 2nd run in the midst of a no-out double play in the same inning.
Prince Fielder came through with a cushion RBI via the sac fly in the 8th, though it turned out (as mentioned) Dirks had given them all they needed in the 7th.
Phil Coke, who was recalled from AAA before Saturday’s Cleveland game, made an appearance vs. lefty Jacoby Ellsbury to start the bottom of eight and got Ellsbury to ground out to short for out number one. Sighs of 140 character relief were heard across twitter when Coke was pulled after doing his job. Rondon finished the inning and got two impressive strikeouts despite allowing a double on a hanging slider to Dustin Pedroia.
Jose Veras picked up the save on 23 pitches in the ninth. He kept us on our toes, giving up a lead off double to Daniel Nava (who was 3-3 on the day) but got the next three batters in order on a pop-up, grounder and swinging strike out. Tigers win. Final score Detroit 3, Boston 0.
P.S. - The Red Sox had runners on first and second to start an inning three times in this game and, again, lead off their last at bat with a double. But their game was ultimately all bark and no bite as Fister earned his 12th win of the year (the first 12-win season if his career, BTW) and the Tigers went up 8 games on 2nd place Cleveland. That lead was extended to 8.5 after Baltimore took care of the Tribe 7-2 at Progressive.
I leave you with a clip of the Hogwarts-worthy double play pulled off by our young shortstop today:
This guy… just, wow.
Thanks for reading and g’night.