Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tigers come back to Top Phillies 7-4

I was up in Manchester, New Hampshire today watching the Erie Sea Wolves play the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at MerchantsAuto.Com Stadium. Watching a game at MAC Stadium is a little more expensive than watching a game at most minor league stadiums. However, it is a great place to watch a game and the cost is only a small fraction of the cost for a game at Fenway Park. MAC stadium is one of the best designed stadiums I have ever seen. It is built in such a way that every seat in the stadium other than the luxury suites is as close to ground level as possible. You can sit in the top row and still feel as if you are right on top of the action.

The SeaWolves didn't look too good in losing 11-5 to the FisherCats. The hitting stars for the SeaWolves were Matt Joyce (3 hits including a homer) and Mike Hollimon (2 hits including a long homer). Starting pitcher Eddie Bonine was rocked for 5 runs on 10 hits in 5 innings.

I left the game early and got back to my car to hear the end of the Tigers game. I'm really enjoying my first season of XM radio this year. I learned that the Tigers were losing 3-1 after 6 innings and that Justin No Hit Verlander gave up a single in the second inning to Abraham Nunez plus 5 more hits. My timing turned out to be very good as I got there for the 7th inning come back.

With one out in the top of the 7th inning, Brandon Inge doubled to get things started. Then, unlike Thursday afternoon, Jim Leyland used some of his resting regulars in pinch hitting roles. Carlos Guillen pinch hit for Neifi Perez and singled. Gary Sheffield batted for Verlander and singled in Inge to make it 3-2. With two outs and runners at second and third, Placido Polanco was walked intentionally to load the bases. Slumping Craig Monroe then got one of his patented late inning hits, a single off the glove of the third baseman Nunez. This made it 4-3 Tigers. Magglio followed with a two run double making it 6-3.

Now, it was up to the bullpen to hold the lead for 3 innings. Given the way they have pitched as of late, this was far from a sure thing. However, Bobby Seay, Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones held the Phillies to 1 run in 3 innings and the Tigers won 7-4.

So, the Tigers took two of three from Phils to remain one game in back of the Cleveland Indians who beat the Braves today. The Tigers now travel to Washington for a three game series with the Nationals.

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