Today I will discuss last night’s Tigers’ failure against the triumphant Red Sox who they used the grandslam to punctuate the Tigers failure. Last Sunday, Tiger closer Benoit, threw a nothing-get-it-over-fastball-first-pitch to David Ortiz who hit a grand slam in Fenway to win that critical game that kept the series at 1-1 and not 2-0 Tigers. Last night, reliever Veras, on an 0-2 pitch to Red Sox outfielder Victorino, threw the ball high and inside so that VIctorino could hit it over the Green Monster for a winning grandslam. That a pitcher threw such a pitch at that time indicates a serious lack of intelligence, in fact, it is just plain dumb. Just as Benoit’s pitch to Ortiz was just plain dumb. These were, “here, beat me” pitches.
During the final week of the season, I was sitting with a Cubs scout at Target Field, We were discussing the coming playoffs and I said,”I don’t think the Tigers relievers can hold the Red Sox.” This was based on instinct and turned out to be dead on. I wonder at Manager Leyland’s decision to remove Max Scherzer, who is better than Tiger relievers under any circumstance. However, the Tigers made errors as well. Prince Fielder ran into a double play in the sixth inning, when, with runners on first and third, (Fielder was on third), the ball was hit to second and Fielder, instead of running hard to score, or returning to third, went half way. This allowed Pedroia, the second baseman to tag the runner and throw home to trap Fielder. This gaffe cost the Tigers a run, or, at least ended the rally. Then in the seventh, Iglesias, the shortstop, after catching the ball in his glove, dropped it and blew a double play that would have ended that inning, preserved the lead and possibly allowed the Tigers to win. This gafffe set the stage for Victorino’s grandslam. As has been written on this blog for sometime, “it is hard to play with one hand on your throat,(choke).”
We are off to the World Series, Torii Hunter won’t be there and will spend his life dreaming of catching David Ortiz’s Grandslam, but the Red Sox earned it in direct contrast to the way the Tigers failed at it. Baseball is a hard game, what a team wishes is that when they lose, they get beat by a better team, not that they lose or give it away. Here, the Red Sox were given victories by the Tigers who just couldn’t get it done.