Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Comeback Cats claw out 2 game advantage

Tigers take Game 2, 8-5, to go up 2-0 heading back to Detroit.
Seldom- used Alexis Gomez rapped 2 hits(1 HR) & 4 RBI

Game 2: Tigers 8-5
WP: Verlander
LP: Loaiza
SV: Jones
HR: DET: Gomez, Granderson; OAK: Bradley (2), Chavez

The longer this season goes on the more Jim Leyland looks like a managerial genius. I'm talkin' LaRussa-type genius. How else do you explain Leyland's latest 'questionable? no,brilliant' move of inserting twice-released outfielder Alexis Gomez in the DH spot in place of Marcus Thames?
The hunch paid off as the lefty DH smacked a 2-run single in the 4th to give Detroit the lead, then added a 2-run bomb off of Esteban Loiaza in the 6th that gave the Tigers a little cushion at 7-3. The A's would scrape back thanks to 2 homers from Milton Bradley and had a chance to win it after loading the bases off Todd Jones in the 9th. But Jones got Frank Thomas to fly out to deep right to end it, and now Detroit is the team putting a 'big hurt' on the A's with a 2-0 series lead heading back to Motown. And it seems like every move Leyland makes turns into managerial gold. Talk about a Midas touch.

Esteban Loiaza. Oakland had an early lead in this one thanks to a single run in the 1st and 2 more in the 3rd on Bradley's first HR off Tiger starter Justin Verlander. But almost immediately the Tigers struck back, touching up Loiaza for 4 in the 4th and chasing him with 2 more in the 6th; his line score was a horrendous 6IP, 9H, 7ER and 1 monumental playoff "L."

Milton the Madman's 2 jacks weren't enough for Oakland

This is what happens to teams in the playoffs when they are forced to rely on piss-poor starting pitching (see Yankees, New York) and it a 7 game series that flaw often proves to be fatal, which it will be for Oakland.
The series shifts to Motown and gorgeous Comerica Park. My good friend Adam who works at the luxurious Tiger Club restaurant behind home plate tells me that the starting time has been changed from 8:00PM to 4:14 PM so the Cards/Mets game can be seen in prime time- IN JAPAN. Evidently the Japanese invest quite a few bucks in MLB. The "official" cause was said to be possible inclement weather in the Detroit area Friday night, but if so why have the other 2 games been moved as well? Either way the Tigers will roll out ALDS hero Kenny Cameraman Clubber Rogers and Oakland will counter with Rich Harden, a kid who has terrific stuff, but missed a huge chunk of the season with elbow problems. Uh-oh. Can you say 3-0? Adam, tell the chefs to start preparing the World Series menu.

"He does have big-time power," Leyland said. "Unfortunately, he showed most of it in batting practice." Leyland on Alexis Gomez

Tiger first baseman and all-around nice guy Sean Casey suffered a calf injury in Gm 1 and was unavailable for Game 2; his status for the rest of the series is in question. Also for Detroit, flamethrowing reliever Joel Zumaya injured his wrist and is listed as day-to-day; he injured the same wrist a month ago and missed a week. That's what happens when you throw 103 freakin miles per hour!

Rain forced the postponement of Game 1 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and the Mets last night. It was rescheduled for Friday day, then switched to the night to "accomodate the weather in Detroit". Just as well with the sudden death of Yankee pitcher reverberating throughout the greater New York area as well as the rest of the country. Mets coach Manny Acta and a team doctor actually lived in the building that Lidle's plane crashed into. Talk about a goosebump-inducing coincidence. Game 1 is Thursday night at 8 on FOX (with an "O") , Jeff Weaver for St.L vs. Tom Glavine for the Mets.

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