Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Placido Polanco bails out the Marlboro Man

Being away from the PC all day, I didn't think I'd feel like writing tonight. But I had to say something about the Tigers beating the Red Sox 10-9 with the damnedest bottom of the 9th, 2 run rally you've ever seen...

One of the best, most dominant, closers in the game, Jonathan Papelbon is on the mound for the Sox. You'd think the game was in the bag for Boston. Then the dominoes began to fall.

Matt Joyce is fooled, yet finds himself on 1st base with a check swing infield hit. Edgar Renteria bounces a double play ball that turns into an E6, both runners safe. A Pudge Rodriguez sacrifice bunt moves the runners into scoring position. Curtis Granderson manages a run scoring ground out, leaving Renteria on 3rd with 2 out. After having ball 4 called a strike, on a 3-2 count Placido Polanco ends the game when his shattered bat dying quail falls into short left, and knocks in the winning run.

What the Hell?
Did that really happen? There wasn't a hard hit ball in the inning.

If I'm Jonathan Papelbon, I'm wondering what in the HELL just happened? He didn't do a thing wrong, made several good pitches, yet still blows the save, and is saddled with the loss.

This would have been a crushing loss for the Tigers, for several reasons. Blowing a 4-0 and 8-4 leads, the "Caped Cruceta" pitching more like a cooked crustacean, the bullpen having their worst game in quite some time, and Detroit pitching overall allowing 3 BoSox home runs.

What was the most crushing of all was Jim Leyland's boneheaded/dumbass/stupid/silly/misguided/braindead/pick your insult decision to run Magglio Ordonez on a 2 strike pitch that turned into a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play, ending an 8th inning scoring opportunity.

It's one thing to be aggressive, to try and make something happen. It's all together another to slice your own throat. Trying to force the issue with the bad kneed, lead legged Ordonez running? It's a play call reeking of desperation.

I'm not going to go as far as saying the Polanco's game winning hit saved the season, but it sure bailed out Leyland. There would have been Hell to pay Thursday if the Tigers lose, with Leyland taking the brunt of it for his 8th inning blunder. Polanco made everything moot.

This was a win the Tigers, and for that matter, the fanbase, really, really, really needed. Could tonight's victory be the one that finally gets the Tigers going in the right direction? No one can say for sure.

But it's a start.

1 comment:

  1. It was a good win, but far more important--potentially--is the Chauncey Billups Hammy. While I think the Pistons can succeed by letting Stuckey spend the night posting up Jameer Nelson until Stan Van pulls out the rest of his hair, it is a worrisome situation nonetheless.