The big story of the night was, of course, Armando Galarraga getting robbed of a perfect game by umpire Jim Joyce. We should be celebrating a perfect game right now but I talked about that in another post and I'm sure I'll have more to say later. However, I wanted to have a separate post to talk about the rest of the game. Regardless of the outcome, it was still one of the best games pitched in the history of the Detroit Tigers.
The Big Cat needed just 88 pitches to retire 28 Indians batters and only 21 of them were balls. His fastball was zippier than usual - an average of 92.8 MPH with a maximum of 95 MPH (according to Brooks Baseball). He generally averages 91 MPH. His slider was superb all night. He only struck out three but there were very few hard hit balls. It was truly a masterful performance by the Tigers supposed fifth starter.
There actually was one very tough out in the ninth. Mark Grudzielanek hit a deep fly ball to left center field leading off the ninth inning. Austin Jackson tracked it down and made an incredible running catch with his back to the plate. It was a great play in any situation but, given the circumstances, it would have gone down as one of the greatest catches in Tigers history...if not for the blown call later in the inning.
Jackson also had three hits on the night, adding to his campaign for Rookie of the Year. Miguel Cabrera hit his 15th homer of the year and had one other hit as he continues his MVP type season. For a while, it looked like his second inning home run would be the only run scored as Indians starter Fausto Carmona held the Tigers to one run in seven innings. The Tigers added two in the eighth on singles by Jackson, Johnny Damon and Magglio Ordonez and an error by Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. The final was 3-0 Tigers.
But this night belonged to Galarraga. Congratulations to Armando for retiring 28 batters in a row.