The night got off to somewhat of a disappointing start as I learned that MLB Extra Innings was not going to broadcast the game. Thus, I turned to MLB.COM which meant viewing the game on a small rather fuzzy computer screen. It's funny how I've gotten so accustomed to watching any game I want that I forget what is used to be like a few years ago when my only option in Massachusetts was to listen to most of the games on the radio.
It didn't look good for the Tigers for most of the game as ace Kenny Rogers gave up 6 runs in 5 1/3 innings. He didn't pitch that poorly but the Cardinals scratched for runs on seeing eye singles, three sacrifice flies and even a rare Rogers throwing error in the first inning. Conversely, the Tigers were not getting runners home converting 15 base runners into only 4 runs in 8 innings off of Jeff Suppan, Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper. It was 6-4 Cardinals after 8 innings.
But this is the 2006 Tigers and they were not done yet. Jason Isringhausen came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th for the Cardinals. Curtis Granderson (now batting .329/.427/.524 for the month of June) led off with an infield hit, his fourth single of the game. Isringhausen then struck out Placido Polanco for the first out of the inning. Next up was Marcus Thames - hitless in his previous 4 at bats. Thames proceeded to hit a dramatic two run homer to left center field to tie the game at 6-6. Magglio Ordonez followed with a double but they couldn't score him so the game went into extra innings.
Joel Zumaya retired the cardinals in order in the top of the tenth. Isringhausen remained in the game and got the first two Tigers in the bottom of the inning. Tony LaRussa then brought in lefty Tyler Johnson to pitch to the left-handed Granderson. The move backfired as Granderson reached base for the fifth time by working a walk. Polanco followed with a double to the gap in right center field giving the Tigers a 7-6 victory. Fuzzy little computer screen or not, it was another exciting victory in this improbable 2006 season in which the Tigers now have 50 wins with a week to go in June.