01 September 2012
The DOOM sentiment that was present after the Tigers were swept by the Royals in glorious fashion this week seems to have ebbed a bit after the Tigers went on to take the series opener from the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. The win means the Tigers pull back to within two games of first place, and it keeps the possibility alive of drawing even with a series sweep.
It wasn’t necessarily a pretty game for the Tigers. Starting pitcher Doug Fister labored through five innings allowing four walks and a home run while recording only a pair of strikeouts, but the White Sox never could quite take advantage of his lack of crispness on the mound. Perhaps he’s still feeling some lingering effects of the injury that caused him to miss his last start, or maybe he’s just a bit rusty after not pitching for ten days. Either way it felt nice to escape with the win.Offensively, the Tigers provided plenty of support. The team scored seven runs on eleven hits including a home run each for Miguel Cabrera (hobbled ankle and all) and Jhonny Peralta and a big three-run double by Delmon Young in the seventh that turned a 4-4 tie into the eventual 7-4 final score.
For Young, it was the cap to a fantastic month at the plate. He finished August with a robust .313/.350/.521 with a season low in strikeouts (11) and a season high in extra base hits (12).
The back end of the bullpen was excellent in the winning effort. Octavio Dotel, Joaquin Benoit, and Jose Valverde combined for 3.2 innings in relief with five strikeouts, a single walk, and only one hit allowed. The highlight of this group was Benoit’s perfect eighth inning in which he struck out all three batters he faced.
The Tigers turn their attention to Saturday night where they’ll battle left-hander Francisco Liriano (at the plate) and the University of Michigan football team (for viewership).
Matt Snyder writes about Baseball, Football, and College Basketball. He can be found online as the creator and editor of Forever Faithful, the editor of The Tigers Den, a contributor to Call To The Pen, and a contributor to SideLion Report. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.