The Best Game Played Last Night Nobody Bothered To Talk About
The game started as normal as it could, with Minnesota's starter Glen Perkins throwing just 8 pitches in each of the first three innings, and Detroit looking for something out of Dontrelle Willis' first start this season after being on the DL with anxiety issues.
However, the strike zone was one of the most inconsistent ones I've seen this season, and not one person on the field or in the stands could tell you what was considered a strike. Because of this, Perkins struggled through the 4th inning giving up 3 walks, and a 2-run, bases loaded, infield single to Adam Everett. On the other side, Dontrelle Willis, who pitched a pretty good first game (although, probably not shown on his line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) was equally upset with the calls he got throughout the early innings. It became a bullpen game by the 6th inning, where there was a total of 3 blown saves, 18 hits, and 15 ER given up in a combined 13 innings of work.
In the top of the 7th inning, Magglio Ordonez at the plate on a 0-2 count, a breaking ball that was clearly low and away, was ringed up for strike three. A stunned Mags, standing at home plate simply asking one of those "That looked really off, you sure on that one Ump?" kind of questions, who seemingly did so in an innocent manner. Not more than 10 seconds, home plate umpire, Paul Schrieber chose to put his hand on the right shoulder of Magglio and physically push Ordonez off of the plate. As The Detroit News points out, if roles were reversed, the player would receive a penalty no less than a 5 game suspension - hopefully, the same or stiffer penalty happens with Schrieber.
As a result, Leyland was irate, and quickly thrown out after yelling at Schrieber for his actions.
During the same half inning, Miguel Cabrera hit a 3-run HR followed by a solo shot by Jeff Larish (both off Matt Guerrier) gave the Tigers a late 9-7 lead. However, in the bottom of the 8th inning, after a 1 out single by backup catcher, Mike Redmond, Jason Kubel was up pinch hitting against Joel Zumaya. A first pitch 98 mph fastball up was blasted over the baggie in right to tie it back up.
It stayed tied til the 13th inning, where Curtis Granderson roped a 1 out triple. After an unsuccessful job of Placido Polanco to bring him home, Jesse Crain balks to bring Granderson in. In the bottom of the 13th, a leadoff single by Kubel followed by a sacrafice bunt by Denard Span had 2B Matt Tolbert up, who looped a RBI single into left-center to bring home the pinch-running Punto tying up the game again at 10-10. After a soft groundout by Joe Mauer (who's batting average is down to .463 after a 1-5 game), Justin Morneau was walked intentionally, and Michael Cuddyer was walked on four pitches to bring Joe Crede up with the bases loaded and 2 out.
Brandon Lyon hangs a curveball on 1-2, and Joe Crede crushes it for a walk off GS for a Minnesota 14-10 win.