Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Justin Is Dead Long Live The Justin!

Ack, what a GAME!! Am I right, boffins? Seriously after getting to bed late last night due to my $5 Pepsi Max and a whole box of late-inning energy and then balancing a nail-biter with actual work at work, I'm about ready for a nap. You too, I bet.

I'll be the first one to admit that I was not confident in our ability to win today. However I was much more confident seeing what we managed to do against Fister. Our hitting was meager but meaningful and our pitching was top-notch. I went from giving them a 40% shot of winning to a 60% chance after last night.

The key of course was Masterson. He's been up and down this year. One run, 6 runs, 2 runs, 8 runs. What was he going to do today, the most important day? Because today was the day we needed a guy to pitch like Derek Lowe, except it couldn't be Derek Lowe.

He did it. He gave us 7 innings with 5 hits and only 1 run. He walked 5 but he struck out 4. He almost made it look easy, I dare say. He had all his stuff with him today, combining with Verlander to make the game just 2 hours 21 minutes. Masterson also did this weird-ass move which resulted in a missed balk call and both the Detroit manager and a coach getting tossed. Ha ha!

Verlander didn't need help from his bullpen, but we had Vinnie and Perez so why not use them? Joe Smith really really wanted to come in but he tried to come before he was invited and had to scurry back to the pen. Pestano handled his old friend Young, Boesch and Avila then Pure Rage got Jhonny, Berry and Dirks for his 16th save and 3rd in 3 days!

The other key to the game was Choo, who after going hitless last night and ending his streak at  9 came in and smacked a homer off Verlander on the 3rd pitch of the game. That was an apology home run, I think. It was 1 of the 2 runs we needed to complete the sweep and it couldn't have come from a better source! He also walked because apparently he is not intimidated by Verlander.

Big smiles today for Michael Brantley who was also not intimidated by Verlander. He went 2 for 3 and stole second, coming around to score the winning run all the way back in the 4th.

The big RBI hitter was none other than LOPEZ! who was also making amends for last night when he got caught stealing (or sleeping) at a crucial point in the game. Not only did Lopez drop one into right field to score Brantley from second, but he also saved us a run by making a good play at the plate. After last night's game and today's game I have decided that the play at the plate is my favorite play of all time! Well other than a in-the-park home run. Is that a play?

Let us not discount hit-getters Kotchman and Marson. Both went 1 for 3. Marson is now hitting an even .100! He's gotten 3 hits this year and 1/3 of them have been of Justin Verlander. Yes!!
No one else hit today and we only got 1 walk. But we only got 1 less hit than last night against someone who isn't Verlander. Total awesome success - Choo homer, Masterson low-scoring win, beat Verlander, beat Tigers, sweep Tigers, 16th save for Perez.

Can't wait for us to take all this and roll over the White Sox, widening our lead atop the Central. There's still more than 24 hours to go, the game is at 8:10.

This has definitely been 3 days of fantastic baseball, I hope you all got to experience it. I'll see you tomorrow!!

Radio Chatter:
"There doesn't seem to be a question of 'Will he get a third no-hitter?' but 'When will it come?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Justin Verlander

"They're not up there because they're left-handers, they're up there because they're going to mash it."
- Tom Hamilton on Detroit's big hitters

"'It's not how good you hit your good shots, it's how good you hit your bad shots.' If this is a bad outing, that shows just how great Justin Verlander is."
- Tom Hamilton

"Verlander right now has that mindset 'You will not touch the baseball.'"
- Tom Hamilton

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