I apologize for the headline. Frankly, it summarizes the ballgame better than any sort of creative wording possibly could. I also apologize for the probable brevity of this recap, but let’s be honest, from a Tigers perspective, the less said about this thing, the better off we all are.
The Tigers actually led this game. Not only that, they led it twice. They fell behind first, however, when Stephen Drew hit a two-run homer over the foul pole in right field in the second inning. Detroit hit back, however, when Torii Hunter drove in a run with a groundout and Prince Fielder hooked one around the very same foul pole to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. That lead, however, was short-lived. Jacoby Ellsbury homered into the front row in the right field corner in the very next inning to tie the game. The Tigers would retake the lead the very next inning via a Jose Iglesias forceout. In keeping with the theme, however, Rick Porcello surrendered a no-doubter to David Ortiz in the bottom of the inning, and it was 4-4. A fifth inning Dustin Pedroia sac fly gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead, and Porcello was struggling.
This is when things really unraveled. Porcello went back out for the sixth, despite the fact he hadn’t been great and was nearing 100 pitches. He walked the leadoff man, stayed in anyway, then gave up a double. Jim Leyland made the debatable decision to intentionally walk Drew to load the bases. Porcello promptly walked Mike Carp to force in a run and make it 6-4, and Leyland finally went and got Porcello and brought in Al Alburquerque.
Alburquerque promptly pitched himself off the postseason roster (hopefully). Will Middlebrooks hit a grand slam. David Ortiz doubled in a run – his 2,000th career hit. Daniel Nava hit a two-run homer. Jeremy Bonderman, who probably wouldn’t have been on the playoff roster anyway, came in and pitched about as badly as a so-called professional pitcher could. Ryan Lavarnway homered. David Ortiz homered (again). Mike Napoli homered off Evan Reed. In the midst of all this, Quintin Berry had two RBI singles, just to add insult to injury.
If you’re counting, that’s eight homers, which broke all sorts of records on both Boston’s and Detroit’s end. The illusion that Alburquerque can be a key part of the playoff bullpen is hopefully shattered. And hopefully we don’t have to watch another game like this one anytime soon.