Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fish v. Torto - 2010 AL Playoff Series

Our venerable leader in World Series Titles and appearances, Fish, generously found his way out to West Bend on Sunday morning so we could hammer out our overdue Twins/Tigers AL playoff series.  We both expected a very hard fought, tight series.  We got what we expected.

Game 1:  F.Hernandez @ T.Cahill
The  Battle of the Aces didn't disappoint.  Fish scored Matt Weiters on a Robbie Cano RBI double in th 3rd to take a 1-zip lead, and then added 2 more in the 6th on Morneau and Vladdy singles.  King Felix kept it together though, and that was all Fish would get on him.  Scoreless going into the top of 9th, the Tigers rallied, scoring runs on back-to-back RBI doubles from Zobrist and O-Dog Hudson. Hip-hip Jorge pinch hit, and advanced the tying run to 3rd, but Edwin Encarnacion hit a long fly-out to end the game.
Fish wins 3-2, Fish leads series 1-0.

Game 2: J.Pineiro @ D.Price
Pineiro and Price battled as well as their #1 counterparts.  Tigers got on the board early on a leadoff B.J. Upton 2B, followed by a Boring Barton RBI single.  While Fish's hitters were puzzled by Pineiro's stuff, my squad added another run on a Maggs sac fly in the 6th.  2-zip in the bottom of the 9th, and Pineiro had pitched a 4-hit shutout gem but was spent. Darren Oliver came in to deal with the big lefties, Cano and Morneau.  After getting by Cano, Alex Rios singled, and Morneau proceeded to go yard and tie up the game.  Oliver was pulled for Grant Balfor to preserve the tie, but Fish would not be denied on the very next batter, walking off the game on a Vladdy solo-shot.
Fish wins 3-2, Fish leads series 2-0

Game 3: D.Braden @ J.Vargas
Returning to Detroit in dire straights, the Tigers needed a win badly to have any chance of getting to the World Series.  El Tigres jumped out early, getting an RBI single from Boring Barton, followed by a Maggs Ordonez 3-run blast into the savage Detroit night. The lefty Vargas gave up 3- in a shakey 6th, but was able to hold out the rest of the way for the complete game win.
Torto wins 4-3, Fish leads series 2-1 

Game 4: J.Danks @ D.Fister
Building on the momentum from Game 3, the Tigers bats came alive.  A 5-run Tigers 4th inning built on singles and walks was made ruinous by a Michael Young error.  The Tigers went right back to work in the 5th adding 3 more runs, and one more in the 6th.  Fish scrapped back with 3 in the 7th, 1 in the 8th, and 1 in the 9th (a Thames blast), but it was too little, too late. 
Torto wins 8-4, series tied 2-2

Game 5: F.Hernandez @ T.Cahill
The King Feliz had the Eye of the Tiger in this one, giving up only 1 run (Wieters RBI-single) in another complete game effort. Much to the delight of Detroiters everywhere, the Tigers mustered enough offense to sweep all their home games (Mauer RBI single, and Beltre 2-run HR). 
Torto wins 3-1, Torto leads series 3-2

Game 6: J.Pineiro @ D.Price
Now Fish was caught on his heels, and needed his squad to deliver a win to stay alive.  El Tigres got things rolling early with Beltre driving a run across in the 1st, and Sean Rodriguez and Maggs delivering RBI hits. Fish stuck with Price though, and it paid off.  He settled in, and got a solo shot out of Morneau and a couple of RBIs out of Vladdy (single and solo HR).  Holding a 4-3 lead thru 6, my normally solid long, Brian Duensing, got 2 Ks to start the 7th. Then disaster struck. 2-out double from Rios, a Cano HBP, and another Vlad Guerrero HR (3-run shot).  Tack on another insurance run for Fish in the bottom of the 8th, and the Twins fans were believing again.
Fish wins 7-4, series tied 3-3

Game 7: J.Vargas @ D.Braden
The tension was there for both teams in Game 7, but the starters were sharp.  Tigers got on the board early, on a Zobrist RBI single.  The Twinkies countered with a Robbie Cano RBI single.  Braden was spent early into the 8th, and David 'Aaaaaarrrrdsma' came on in relief.  Aardsma walked the bases loaded, got Zobrist for the 2nd out, but then yielded a 2-RBI single to the O-Dog.  Aardsma took the long walk of shame after handing the ball to Manager Fish, relieved by Joakim Soria.  Soria gave up an single to Andrus, loading up the bases again. Daric Barton then hit a dribbler in front of the mound which catcher Rocco Cervelli (error rating of 10) bobbled and threw away.  Another run scored, making it 4-1 Tigers.  Fish got back a run in the bottom of the 8th, but it was not enough.  Grant Balfor finally had a clean outing, getting the last 4 outs of the game, and striking the last two batters out.  Game over.
Torto wins 4-2, Torto wins series 4-3

Series MVP - the lefty Jason Vargas, who pitched 15 innings, giving up 4 runs. More importantly, he delivered huge wins in games 3 and 7. 

Standard celebratory practices were followed in Detroit.
World Series here we come.
Great series with Fish, as usual.  We worked our cards to the fullest.  Jams, offs, A-1Bs, etc.  I don't think we've had a playoff series that didn't go to game 7, and I believe we've split 2-2 on those series overall.  Couldn't be much tighter if we drew it up that way.  Oh, and after we finished our playoff series, we decided to get our 2nd NL series in.  Fish won that one 2-1, so he'll have the update.


  1. Great work Torto. It was a great series as always. That Aardsma debut was my undoing in Game 7.

  2. Congrats, Torto! You are becoming a "clutch/jam" force! Great work.

    Now somebody - anybody - get Goldy and Spencer to finish that overdue series. This is an official league warning...if this continues, you'll receive...another warning!

  3. Great series gentleman! D.R.A.M.A. This rivaly is getting as compelling as those Butler/VanLanduyt battles for the basement.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.