So I missed a comeback. The Tigers swept the Tribe to move to 2 games over .500 and extend the Indians' losing streak to 10. Wow....I would hate to be a Cleveland fan right now. Not trying to sound like a dick -- I almost (but only almost, not completely) feel sorry for you people.
The Twins helped out by losing to Boston again. They're now 3.5 games back of first place. But the fucking White Sox....come on, man. They've won 11 of 13, they still have another game in Kansas City and then they're off to Texas before the All Star break. When play resumes, they get home series' against the Royals and Rangers again before coming to Detroit. Since the Royals cannot be counted on to make it through the night without wetting themselves, let alone take a game from the Sox, it's up to the Rangers to wear out the Chicago arms during their set in Arlington.
The next 11 games are going to be huuuge for the Tigers. They have 4-game series' against the Twins and Orioles, and then they get their chance to pound on KC. I think they have to take 3 of 4 against Minnesota, and then win a bare minimum of 4 out of 7 between their Baltimore/Kansas City road trip. After that they have a chance to make up some ground on Chicago when they face them at the end of the month and then the first week of August as well. Shit's gettin' real.
- He's coming around now, we can say it without worry: 10 for his last 23 with 4 home runs. Last night was the second time he's hit a walk off home run, and he also had a walk off double not too long ago also. Miguel has done better against the Indians than any other opponent this year, hitting .448 with 3 homers and 11 RBI, and slugging .828.
- Carlos had a big bases loaded double with the Tigers down 6-1 in the 7th. He also made an important play in the top of the 9th when he scooped up a hard grounder and nabbed Casey Blake at home.
- Rafael Betancourt was responsible for blowing the big lead for Cleveland in the 7th. What has happened to this guy? He completely owned the Tigers, giving up 0 runs in 10 appearances last year, and now he has collapsed. Not just against Detroit, either. It's hard to duplicate the phenomenal year he had in '07, but his '08 has been awful: 66 ERA+, 1.53 WHIP, and an .861 OPS-against. He had 9 walks all of last year, but 13 in half as many innings, so the control doesn't appear to be at the level it once was.
- Perhaps Eddie Bonine's time is up for now: 3.2 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs.
- Luckily he had some relief: Casey Fossum went 3.1 innings and struck out 6 while giving up just a run.
- Then Zumaya came on for an inning, gave up a walk and a hit, but struck out one and allowed zero runs across.
- Edgar Renteria went 1 for 4, and then sabotaged a little girl's birthday out in section 148 by biting the head off of a live bunny and spitting it back in her face. When will this man cease his rampage of terror on us Tiger fans, I ask? (OK, so he had an RBI single...wake me when he does something honorable like finding a way to trade himself for Jair Jurrjens.)
- Matt Joyce went 3 for 4 and had the game-tying homer in the 7th. Don't be fooled by that .247 average -- he's hitting for enough power (11 of his 19 hits are for extra bases) to total an .872 OPS. Among Detroit's seemingly endless crop of young white outfielders that my mom probably couldn't tell apart to save her children's lives, he's been the best so far.
- Tonight's match-up vs. Minnesota: Kenny Rogers vs. Kevin Slowey. In Slowey's last start against the Tigers he got the win by going 6.0 innings, allowing only 4 hits and didn't give up a run. Nobody on the Tigers has more than 6 plate appearances against the 24 year-old, so hopefully this second time around they'll now how to properly wreck his shit.