I wanted to go off on Sunday night.
I wanted to exploded about Jim Leyland’s choice of putting closer Jose Valverde into the 10th inning of Sunday’s 2nd game of the double-header. Even though I touched on it a little bit in my post on Sunday, I decided I would not freak out about it. I found this quote and I really wanted to though.
“We felt like he was our best choice there,” Leyland said. “It was not a tough decision at all, to be honest with you.”
And of course I still do not agree with his decision but I happy I kept my cool on this issue because have right now, the Tigers, through all the ups and downs of this season, are in first place by two games with a week left.
The Tigers have been getting better in every phase of the game in the last few games. The starting pitching for the most part has been solid and the hitting throughout the lineup has been decent. However, I will be the first to admit that they have had the baseball Gods on their side.
For example, at Wednesday night’s game, Andy Dirks had a brilliant slide at second base to allow what should have been a double play hit by shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Dirks made sure the run scored and the Tigers ended up winning by one. It was a great play by Dirks but it was luck on the team’s behalf.
And then today, in the bottom of the ninth, Peralta hit a ground ball to third base which should have been a double play, but Kansas City’s third baseman Mike Moustakas bobbled the ball. Then the bases were loaded when Alex Avila grounded out to first but the winning run scored anyway.
So while there were so many high expectations to run away with the division this year, I’m almost happier that they didn’t. This team has kept battling through the trials of the long season and they will until the end there is no question about that. But for now there is a week left in the regular season, so they still have work to do.
Yet for now, to me, it looks like the Tigers are getting hot at the correct time, which is always good this time of year for a baseball team.