Sunday, June 03, 2012

Walk-Off Sacrifice Fly by Omir Santos

Forced into action because of injuries to Alex Avila and Gerald Laird, Tigers catcher Omir Santos had a rough day today.  He allowed five stolen bases and made two errors including a missed pop-up with the bases loaded and two outs and the game tied in the top of the ninth.  Santos had a chance to redeem himself in the bottom of the ninth.  With the score still tied and the bases loaded, the light-hitting catcher hit a fly ball to right field off Yankees southpaw Boone Logan.  It was caught by right fielder Nick Swisher, but Brennan Boesch crossed the plate giving Santos a sacrifice fly and the Tigers a 4-3 walk-off win.

It was a crazy and intense, but not particularly well-played game reminiscent of last year's playoff between the same two teams.  The Tigers led 2-1 after seven innings thanks to a solid six-inning performance by starter Rick Porcello and 436 bomb to straight-away center by third baseman Miguel Cabrera in the fourth.

Reliever Octavio Dotel allowed the Yankees to tie the game on a walk and a single by Swisher in the top of the eighth.  Cabrera proceeded to hit another monstrous blast which was even more majestic than his earlier homer.  It was measured at 433 feet but I know it was further than that!  It gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead with one inning to go. 

Closer Jose Valverde likes to make the ninth inning interesting but he outdid himself tonight.  He had no control at all hitting two batters, giving up two walks and combining with Santos to allow three stolen bases.  He blew the save, but somehow gave up only one run which gave Santos the chance at his walk-off sacrifice fly.

It was an ugly win, but also one of the most entertaining games of the year.  Tomorrow should be entertaining too with ace Justin Verlander on the mound with a chance to give the Tigers a series win.       

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