Believe me, I am all for baseball history. I thoroughly enjoy the seemingly endless line of abnormalities, fluke plays, and downright bizarre things that make people who have been watching the game for years, if not decades, say “I have never seen that.” So while I’m sure at one point I will appreciate the Indians’ 10th inning meltdown in Detroit from a purely historical point of view, today is not that day.
After the Sox rallied for a 4-2 comeback win over the Angels; taking 2 of 3 this weekend (Sidebar: Watching Torii Hunter come up with nothing but a facefull of sod making a full body layout for Alexei Ramirez’s insurance run scoring triple in the 8th inning was *oh-so* satisfying), I was pretty pumped to see that the Indians had tagged 3 runs on the Tigers in the top of the 10th and looked to have pushed the Sox’s division lead back to 2 1/2 games…
Well, I’ll save the drama, I’m sure by now you know that the Tigers responded by scoring FIVE RUNS off Indians closer Chris Perez (all of them, by the way, with two outs) for a remarkable 10-8 win that keeps Detroit nipping at the Sox’s heels. You can watch the rally here and you can read the full recap from the very good Indians’ fan blog, Did the Tribe Win Last Night?
For those of you interested in a more analytical view of the win, here’s the WPA chart:
All this said, the Sox remain the pace setter in the Central, as they have been most of the summer now, and are riding another characteristic hot streak, having won 9 of their last 12 since that disastrous trip through Boston and Detroit. I have no doubt that if the Sox were still managed by Ozzie, losing 3 of 4 in Boston and then getting swept out of 1st in Detroit would have probably caused the team to sink into an uncontrollable spiral. Robin, for whatever reason, seems to have the magic touch to keep these guys from going too low or too high. It’s been a refreshing season of baseball on the South Side.
The near future schedule also seems to heavily favor the Sox, as well, as 12 of their next 19 are at home with 9 of those against teams currently in last place (6 vs. Kansas City and 3 vs. Seattle who we have owned in recent years). The Tigers meanwhile, open up a 4-game series tonight against the Yankees in Detroit, then travel to Texas and Minnesota, before another tough 9-game homestand against three teams still in the mix to fringe mix of the postseason chase; Baltimore, Toronto, and LA of A.
Tribe Sees Victory Slide Through Their Fingers [Did the Tribe Win Last Night?]