|Brennan Boesch - about to drop the ball and cost Nick 2-runs, but only before a Mike Napoli error cost him 1|
The Tigers jumped out early in this one, getting a Boring Barton solo shot in the bottom of the 1st, followed by 2 more in the 2nd, on a 2-out single from Juan Pierre, making it 3-0 Torto. Nick's batters spent much of the first 5 innings with the bat on their shoulders, earning only 1 hit (a Bautista double), but 5 walks. None of the uncharacteristic walky-ness of Fister cost him any runs however. The Tigers got one more in the 4th, on a solo HR from the newly acquired B.J.Upton. Nick got off the schnide in the 6th, on a Pronk Hafner sac fly. Nothing doing after that, as lefty long specialist Brian Duensing came in for the final 2 and 2/3rds, and closed it out for an old school save. It was not without some drama though, as Nick got solo jobbers from Brett Gardner and a pinch-hitting Mike Napoli in the 9th, before Shin Soo-Choo made the final out. Nick's defense full of low error ratings and 'C' and 'D' ranges seemed to hold up for him in this one, but it wouldn't last.
Torto wins 4-3
Game 2 - Ricky Romero @ Gavin Floyd:
Nick started of with some solid offense, getting 2 runs in the 1st on a Gardner lead-off single, a Bautista walk, and a 2-RBI double by the Korean Delight, Shin Soo-Choo. However, Nick's lone lefty starter got battered around early in this one, and was chase him after 1.1 IP. Defense didn't help him early either, as 2-out errors by Romero and Wilson Betemit extended the 1st inning and allowed 3 more runs across homeplate. The 2 walks into the 2nd, and that was it for Romero. Nick turned it over to his righty long - Sergio Mitre, who was no better, allowing 4 more runs in by the end of the 2nd, culminated in a 2-RBI B.J.Upton triple. Nick got 2 back in the 4th on a Jason Bartlett RBI-double, and a bases loaded walk issued to Jim Thome - 7 to 4, Torto. My Tigers tacked on runs again in the bottom of the 4th (1), 6th (1), and 7th (2), while Nick mustered only a solo HR by John Jaso the rest of the way.
Torto wins 11-5
Game 3 - Jake Peavy @ Joel Pineiro:
Pineiro, who was coming off his best outing of the year vs. Spence (8+ innings of 1 run ball), was dealing again in this one. And Peavy, while sharp early had his outing cut short due to questionable defense. The Tigers got on the board first, on a classic NL ball sequence - The O-Dog singled, then stole his way to 2nd, was sacrificed over to 3rd by Elvis, and then sac flied home by Boring Barton. The 5th spelled disaster for Nick - after giving up singles to Zobrist and Pierre, Mike Napoli sailed his throw into center on the Pierre steal attempt of 2nd, scoring Zobrist. Peavy then issued a 2-out walk to Mr. Boring, Joe Mauer sprayed a ball out to left, where Brennan Boesch attempted to track it down (filling in for the previously ejected Shin Soo-Choo, who argued balls & strikes). The Big Puppy flubbed the play, for a 3-base error, making the lead now 4 to zip. Mike Napoli attempted to atone for his error by getting Nick his lone RBI of the game, an RBI doubling home of Jason Bartlett. The Tigers tacked on one more in the 6th (O-Dog RBI double), and the scoring ended for both teams there.
Torto wins 5-1
Torto wins series 3-0
Tough series for Nick, as his high powered offense was limited to just 3 home runs, and costly errors and base hits allowed due to poor defensive ranges proved the difference in this one. Ironically, Shin Soo-Choo's ejection cost him any further playing time on Nick's squad, as he was promptly traded to Mario's Blue Jays the next morning.