Behind ten walks. Whoa.
Max Scherzer started the game a little rough. He must have been distracted by my neighborhood’s noisy snarfs (damn kids!), too – the Rays achieved a three run first inning on one hit.
After that, Max settled down, allowing only one run as he earned outs for seven total frames. Scherzer pitched the final inning already over 100 pitches, keeping us in the game long enough to give him the lead back.
J.D. Martinez led off the next at-bat with a solo home run, putting Detroit ahead 5-4 for five unanswered runs. Unfortunately, Tampa tied it in the bottom half, forcing extra innings.
The Tigers led off the 11th on an Ian Kinsler triple that squirted past the right fielder. From there, Torii Hunter took four straight balls, and Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mistake – never disrespect V.
Victor Martinez worked a walk on a 3-1 count to bring in the go-ahead run. Next, Don Kelly (with one out) watched one get passed the catcher and score Hunter. Finally, “The Don” walked himself. Backup catcher Bryan Holaday drove one deep enough to bring in the 8th run, all of which would be needed with Joe Nathan warming up.
Nathan actually started strong, putting up two quick outs. However, a base hit here, a walk there, and another base hit gave the Rays a glimmer of hope with their 6th run. Luckily, Detroit picked Joe up again, ending the ugly for our win in game one of the series.
The Tigers scored their first run on a Kinsler walk with the bases loaded. Told you snarfs it was the effective weapon! Detroit used the unconventional & some small ball to score every run in extras, too. Instant replay saved us, as the umpires miss saw a foul ball off Scherzer as a home run. Also, they initially called Cabrera out on an RBI single.
I heard the Tigers say they’ve been making an effort to be more patient at the plate. They’re aware of the walk equating to their earlier success. That’s really good to hear. Genuinely inspiring for the stretch run, that’s what all us fans want to see. We just want you guys to play your best. We know you can, we see it every day. It’s our team’s time to win the World Series.