Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tigers Top Red Sox in Thriller

In another game that felt like a playoff contest, the Tigers edged the Red Sox 3-2 on a misplayed fly ball by Wily Mo Pena in the 9th. The matchup between 23 year old Jeremy Bonderman and 39 year old Curt Schilling lived up to its' advance billing as they dueled deep into the game. The Red Sox scored first when Coco Crisp homered with nobody on in the bottom of the 3rd. The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the 7th on a two run double by Sean Casey scoring Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez who had both singled.

Bonderman allowed an infield single to Crisp in the 8th and wound up leaving the game with Crisp on second and two outs. With Bonderman at 102 pitches, Jim Leyland opted to bring in the left-handed Wil Ledezma to face the left-handed David Ortiz. Ortiz lined a single to right center field scoring Crisp to tie the game 2-2. Bonderman pitched a great game allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk with 8 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Typically, he did not get good run support and ended up with a no decision. Placido Polanco made a tremendous tumbling catch on Ramirez's pop up to end the inning. Unfortunately, he separated his shoulder on the play and will head for the disabled list. Ivan Rodriguez took over at second base for the first time in his career.

In the 9th, Guillen walked to lead off the inning against Mike Timlin (who also piched the 8th). After Rodriguez failed to lay down a bunt, Casey singled to advance Guillen to third. Monroe then hit a fly ball down the right field which bounced off Wily Mo Pena's glove and landed fair. Guillen scored from third on the play to put the Tigers ahead 3-2. With Pena running away from the plate, it might have been a sacrifice fly even if it was caught but there would have been a play at the plate.

Todd Jones, who has really settled into a solid season as the closer, retired the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the 9th to secure the victory. The Rollercoaster has been running pretty smoothly as of late allowing just 4 runs in 19 2/3 innings in his last 20 games. The amazing thing is that this includes 10 1-2-3 innings, something that has been rare for him in the past.

There will be Another kid versus veteran matchup to wrap up the series tomorrow night - 22 year old Justin Verlander versus 43 year old David Wells. Hopefully, the kid's team will come out on top again.

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