Tigers rule ALCS

Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers for winning the American League Pennant. The Tigers are definitely a worthy champion knocking off New York and Oakland to reach their first World Series since 1984. I have a co-worker who is from Michigan and is a huge Tigers fan. He went to Game 3 and was excited all week about going to the game.  Great stuff, great celebration.  Well deserved.

The Tigers overmatched Oakland in every aspect of the game during the series.  The Tigers Game 4 victory was a great example of how the Tigers got to where they are today-solid starting pitching, effective late-inning relief and a knack for timely hitting, namely the home run. Magglio Ordonez tied the game in the sixth on an inside breaking ball.  Needless to say, I was shocked to see Street try to sneak an inside pitch past Ordonez in the ninth. Ordonez drove a 1-0 fastball over the left field wall to set Motown in a frenzy.  Those pennant-ending home runs are always cool.

Jeremy Bonderman showed a ton of poise bouncing back after a rough first inning. Credit Bonderman for persevering down

3-0 after fourth

inning.  Detroit pitching silenced Frank Thomas as the Big Hurt went 0 for 13 in the series.  Detroit’s starting four could be the difference in the World Series. The Cards have a quality ace and two average starters. The Mets, well, are hanging on by a pitching thread. I’ve heard they’ve called Tom Seaver and Ron Darling.

Milton Bradley had one heck of a series batting .500 and single-handedly keeping the A’s offense afloat. Say what you want about Bradley but he deserved props for playing through that quad injury Saturday.

How much was Justin Duchscherer missed during Game 2 and Game 4 of the ALCS? So much so that Ken Macha had to bring in closer

Huston Street

in the 7th inning of Game 4.  I’ve stated in earlier columns, I don’t like how Street has been used this year. He’s had two trips to the DL and endured 10 blown saves. Sophomore Jinx? Maybe. Hitters figuring him out? Possibly. Sure, Street was the AL Rookie of the Year last year and he finished with more than 30 saves.  I just don’t like how many opportunities he’s had coming into the eighth inning. Duchscherer is a top-notch set-up guy who was great in the closer’s role when Street got hurt. Street is not a 2-inning closer yet in his career but he’s already being pushed like one. Macha seemed to be big on having him work three or four days in a row, which I think has contributed to some of his injury troubles. I hope the Oakland coaching staff doesn’t let Street do too many of these save opps starting in the eighth inning next year. I know Street said he wasn’t tired in the ninth of Game 4 but leaving your closer in from the seventh inning on in his longest outing of the year is a risky play….and one I knew would end badly.

Random Thoughts:

Could San Diego be Bochy-free next year? I don’t see it happening.

Alfonso Soriano. He said all the right things after the blowup in spring training. He worked the pr angles perfectly. He gave people hope that he would remain a National. Ha, ha, ha. He’s testing the free agent waters for sure.  The Nats can deny the recent reports all they want but I think there’s some truth in those reports. I think Soriano’s asking price is too high for Washington. Wait until free agency begins. If he re-signs, I’ll be shocked.  I think this was in the cards the whole time. I think his people got in his ear and said “play it cool, play the outfield and focus on having a big year and you’ll be rewarded.”

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