It was a prototypical win for the 2007 Tigers tonight. They took a 9-1 lead after batting around for 6 runs in the 5th inning. The inning started with a double by Mike Maroth and ended with a towering home run to left by Marcus Thames. And the rout was on ... for a little while. Mike Maroth pitched 3 hit 1 run ball for five innings but could not get anybody out in the 6th and left with a 9-3 lead and the bases loaded. A Carlos Guillen error did not help matters. Bobby Seay allowed 2 of the inherited runners to score and the lead was down to 9-5 through 6.
Jason Grilli and Eulogio DeLaCruz (who was called up from Toledo today) each pitched a scoreless inning to bring it up to Jones in the 9th still with a 9-5 lead. Jones has not been a very reliable closer as of late but a 4 run lead still seemed safe with the light hitting Nationals coming to the plate. The Roller coaster proceeded to go out of control and terrified Tigers fans everywhere by allowing the following sequence:
Ryan Langerhans doubled
Old friend Robert Fick singled
Christian Guzman tripled
Felipe Lopez singled
Ryan Zimmerman singled
It was now a 9-8 game with runners on first and second and nobody out. Jones camly retired the next 3 Nats in order and the Tigers once again narrowly escaped with a victory in a game that previously looked like a rout. It was almost as if Jones planned it that way.