Saturday, August 05, 2006

Walk Off Homer for Ivan Rodriguez

Last night, the Tigers fell behind 5-0 early but came back to win 7-6 with all their runs scoring in the the 6th inning or later. There were many heroes but the game will be remembered for Craig Monroe's 2 out 2 run 8th inning homer which put them ahead 7-6.

Tonight, they fell behind 3-0 in the first inning when Kenny Rogers gave up 3 runs on a double and two home runs by Travis Hafner and Casey Blake. At that point, fans were worried not only about the game but also about Rogers. Rogers came into the game with a 9.29 ERA in his previous 7 starts after a great first half of the season. Rogers generally does not pitch as well in the second half of the season but the Tigers can not afford a total second half collapse from any of their pitchers this year. Rogers eased some of the worries by allowing 0 runs on just 1 hit over the next 6 innings.

However, the Tigers still trailed 3-1 after 6 1/2 innings with the only run coming on a Marcus Thames home run (his first homer and 3rd RBI in his last 13 games). Could they make another come back? The Indians gave them a run in the bottom of the 7th when Casey Blake booted a Brandon Inge grounder which would have been the third out. Curtis Granderson followed with a walk and Placido Polanco then singled in Inge to make it 3-2.

Meanwhile, Joel Zumaya retired the Indians in the 8th and 9th innings on no hits and two walks to keep his team within one run. The Tigers had one last chance in the 9th against reliever Fausto Carmona. Inge led off with a beautiful bunt single between first base and the mound. Granderson then struck out after failing to sacrifice and Polanco grounded into a force for the second out. That left it up to Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge smashed the first pitch over the left field wall to give the Tigers a 4-3 walk off victory. The Tigers had done it again. Every night it's a new hero.

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