When Texas Ranger right fielder Nelson Cruz made that rocket throw to prevent the go ahead run in the bottom of the eight, I instantly sunk into a low funk.
Game four was not going as I planned. I could not believe Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont had sent Miguel Cabrera home. There had been poor decisions all year by Lamont on sending the wrong runner home.
I know the win was in everybody’s head and I am sure another runner would have made it easily except for Cabrera. To second-guess and play the arm-chair quarterback would not be prudent, but it’s my obligation.
So, here we are. Eighth inning, one out and a runner on third. The score is tied. Thoughts? I pull Cabrera for a pinch runner like Danny Worth. This now gives me a chance to score him on a wild pitch, slow grounder or the fly out by Delmon Young to Cruz. I figure Cabrera would not have batted again unless the game went into extra innings. If I scored that run I win game four and the series is tied.
We saw the outcome as Cruz cut down Cabrera at the plate. Not only does Cruz have four home runs in this American League Championship Series, but his defensive play foils a Tigers win. I also would have to include Rangers catcher Mike Napoli for completing the play and standing his ground.
Game five is today, and the rain is in the forecast again for Tiger Ace Justin Verlander. Last night’s two-hour delay did not help matters much, and the rain has been a thorn for the Tiger ballclub this whole postseason run.
The Tigers now have to climb up a big ladder and win the next three games to advance to the World series. Detroit will throw its best today. A win sends them back to Texas for game six and, hopefully, game seven. The club will need Max Scherzer and Doug Fister to control this hard-hitting Texas lineup and the new Mr. October, Nelson Cruz. Well, at least, to this Detroit fan he is.