|This gameball was very tired of being launched out of a howitzer in Game 1|
-image by S.Pearlstein/Roar of the Tigers
Game 1: S.Kazmir vs. J.Verlander
Verlander, while not untouchable this game, pitched exactly the kind of game I see on FSN-Detroit about 6-7 times a season. He gives up a few dingers, but otherwise dominates his opponents. Matt jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a two-out Gordon Beckham HR, that should have been jammed to a deep drive, but I realized it a batsman too late. Too bad for me - and down 2 in the 2nd. My boys got it back though, on a 2-out, RBI doubles from Robbie Cano and Orlando Cabrera. Matt snagged the lead back in the 3rd, on a Carlos Pena solo jack. But the floodgates opened in the bottom of the 5th, when Kazmir loaded up the bases and then walked in 2 runs, before Cabrera struck again with a base clearing 2-RBI double. That would be the lead Verlander would need to win the game, and in typical fashion - he got stronger as the game went on, striking out 8 in the final 3 innings (he finished with 16K), and probably throwing around 140 pitches to do it. I felt like Old Man Leyland leaving him out there like that, but reality imitates PTP.
Torto wins 7-4
LP - S.Kazmir
HR - G.Beckham, Carlos Pena
**INJURY UPDATE** Matt's Brett Gardner is out for 6 games, hurt crashing into the wall chasing a Maggs 3B off the wall.
Game 2: A.Pettite @ I.Snell
Ian Snell got the call for his 2nd start of the season, filling in for Broken Bedard. And much like his first start, he filled in admirably. A cocky Jason Bartlett scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the 1st, by slapping a single, getting advanced by Cano, nabbing 3rd from a sleepy-eyed Pettite (who would later in the game pick off the cocky Bartlett at 1st), and coming home on a 2-out Raburn single. Good baseball. Nick rolled Matt back to the tie on a Billy Butler solo shot, and took the lead in the 3rd on a Jason Bay RBI-double. Pettite was got to in the 4th though, when he gave up a solo HR to Raburn, and double to Beltre, and singles from Laird, Cano, and Maggs. 4 crossed the plate, and 5-2 was the score. Things quieted down from there, with Snell getting to the 6th, and Lyon pitching the 7th and 8th. Matt mustered one more run when J-Bay tripled and was scored on a Carlos Pena groundout. Justin Morneau nullified that run though, but hitting a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th. David Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrdsma closed it out.
Torto wins 6-3
LP - A.Pettite
S - D.Aardsma
HR - B.Butler, R.Raburn, J.Morneau
Game 3: J.Lester @ B.Bergesen
Brittle Brad tossed another excellent start, giving up only 2-runs in 8 innings (on a Beckham 2-run HR). Lester was molested by my lefty killers though, 'not having his good stuff' and getting roughed up for 5 runs in the 1st, including a 2-run shot to Ryan Sweeny (ouch- you just can't do that, especially on a lefty v. lefty matchup). That pretty much made it the game, although I tacked on 3 more in the mid-innings. Matt was plagued by 3 tough errors in this one that extended innings and scored runs. Lefty Matt Thorton came in for the meaningless 9th.
Torto wins 8-2
WP - B.Bergesen
LP - J.Lester
HR - G.Beckham, R.Sweeny
One interesting tidbit from the series was that on three of the deep drives, Nick and I rolled 'double zeros' on the distance roll (me twice, Nick once). That drew some laughs and disgusted sighs.
So that marks back-to-back sweeps of the Super Ewoldt Brothers for me, and a vault of my team into relevance. A good showing in the APD this Sunday, and the playoffs seem very possible - something I definitely didn't think could happen after the first 12 games.