Blog Entry

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 1:39 am

By Evan Brunell

DETROIT -- The Rangers rode a four-run 11th inning to victory, taking a commanding 3-1 series lead in the ALCS against the Tigers.

Hero: The Napoli man can. Mike Napoli strode to the plate with runners on first and second in the 11th inning in a tie ballgame. For some reason, skipper Jim Leyland thought it would be a good idea to intentionally walk the 0-for-4 Adrian Beltre in front of Napoli to set up a force, after Josh Hamilton (pictured) doubled to begin the inning. After the game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, "You're just trying to set up a double play. I didn't want Beltre and Napoli both to hit against [reliever Jose Valverde]."

Problem: Napoli ripped a single into center field for his second hit of the game, scoring the go-ahead run. Look, Beltre is a dangerous hitter, but so is Napoli. In that situation, I take my risks with Beltre, who is more aggressive at the plate and may still have been hurting from fouling a ball off his knee in Game 3.

ALCS Coverage
Goat: The Tigers tried way too hard to make something happen in the 10th inning when Austin Jackson was gifted first base on a hit by pitch. The Rangers still had to get through Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera to end the inning, and yet Austin Jackson took matters into his own hand and tried to steal second, a move Leyland said he agreed with. Jackson was thrown out at second, which was an idiotic move. You can't take the stick out of Cabrera's hands, especially in the bottom of the 10th inning. Sure, Raburn could have hit into a double-play, but give him that chance instead of risking Jackson being caught stealing. The Rangers wouldn't allow Detroit another chance to win.

Turning point: The Rangers finally broke through for three runs in the sixth to take the lead. The man responsible for the go-ahead run in Michael Young had been struggling all postseason long, but finally came through in a big spot by singling in Elvis Andrus. David Murphy opened the sixth with a single, then after a popout, Ian Kinsler doubled to deep left where Delmon Young misplayed the carom and allowed Murphy to score. Andrus followed by plating Kinsler, who was on third after stealing a base. A Hamilton flyout and Porcello pickoff error later, Andrus crossed the plate on Young's single to completely deflate the Detroit crowd.
It took a while for the next run to be scored, but extra innings don't happen without this inning.

It was over when... The Tigers kept making mistake after mistake in the late innings and were burned like crazy in the 11th when they intentionally walked Adrian Beltre only to see Mike Napoli deliver a RBI single. But the game wasn't over at that point -- after all, Texas only had a one-run edge. But then Nelson Cruz blasted a three-run homer that put the stamp on the game. Cruz is the only player to ever hit two extra-inning homers in a postseason series.

Next: Detroit will attempt to stave off elimination by sending Justin Verlander to the hill at 4:19 p.m. ET. The Rangers counter with their own ace, C.J. Wilson.

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Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:50 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

IN the words of ex colts gm vince tobin.....evan brunell knows as much about baseball as my next door nieghbor and he's a mailman.  sorry but the IW was warranted you have to set up a double play there. oh but thats right leyland has no clue. he's forgotten more than you'll ever know Evan, and no im not a tigers fan

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:47 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

I forgot to add, the pregame by Alto Reed was INCREDIBLE.

I sat and watched/listened with my very "Old-School" Texas  In-Laws, complete with In-laws, and we were all wer in absolute awe of that quality rendition. Much respect!!! 

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:47 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Great article.  Most experts on the game log last night said the exact same thing.  Nobody agreed with walking Beltre at 0-4 and injured, and made we all made that clear before Napoli batted. Napoli was on fire at the end of the season.  Sending A-Jax wouldn't have been a bad move with NO outs.  Of anyone on the team, you would expect the leadoff batter to be able to steal.  It was obvious Porcello didn't have it anymore when he gave up his first run. Kinsler was thrown out at third, for me, that missed call was the game changer (at least in retrospect). The only real "blunder" was Porcello's muffed pickoff attempt.  I grew up watching the Rangers.  But nobody watching the games can say Texas is "dominating" or that the Tigers are "outmatched."  Theses games could have easily gone the other way.  If Tiger pitching can't handle the Ranger lineup, why does it take them 11 innnings to win a game?  Great series so far. 4-2 Rangers

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:44 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

As a Rangers fan, I can say this series isn't over yet, BUT, especially with the incredible injuries currently plaguing the Motor City Kitties, it will be a serious uphill battle for them.

Regardless of the outcome, much respect for the team and their fans. One of the best fanbases in Pro Sports.

As for the article, I agree with the consensus. I guess the Writer has to write about this somehow, it is his job. But, to second guess either of these managers is ridiculous. Easy to sit back at your laptop and say Leyland should've, could've and Jackson shouldn't have, but I personally put my trust in the individuals that have actually gotten each respective team this far. 

Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:37 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

CBS Sports, I'm ready to switch to Fox Sports or some other website. Your poor excuse for writers seem determined to give their perspectives on matters, when just reporting what happened would be refreshing. Somehow I doubt this writer has any more expertise than I do to tell me how Detroit screwed up.

This guy is as bad as the Power Rankings writer, though thankfully, he doesn't resort to stupid humor to make his lame points.

Another thing that irks me is comments no longer go in chronological order. How can one tell which comment applies to an earlier post.

Yep, unless things change around here, sign me off cbs sportsline

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:32 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Rangers have just been better, plain and simple. Gotta give em credit. When the Tigers get three hits for their starter they can't expect to win.

Since: Feb 2, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:30 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Of course, AJax running was a mistake. I said so at the time. The only way this is good is if the steal was successful and Raburn hit him in. No way does your best hitter see a pitch to hit.

You want to take the bat out of the and of a top 5 hitter in the AL? You're the idiots...

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:27 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Blunders?  These were in game decisions that went against the Tigers!  Way to go for the big Headline Evan, I guess it worked, I read it!

The Tigers are on fumes, the Rangers lineup is too deep, and if they just start the WS with their relievers, they should take it home......but only if the Cardinals/Brewers commit some BLUNDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 7:14 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Evan Brunell, who are you? That's right a writer. Thinking that you know the right moves is rather funny. That is like my thought of yanking Rick Porcello after the first run scored against him. Gee, I must be a genius since I am sure that would have been all for Texas and the series would be tied at 2 games a piece. Stick with writing but do it better, please, and I'll stick to what I do. Man, some of these media guys are ruining a great series (just like Buck and McCarver are).

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 5:40 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Right! Who the hell is Evan Brunell?  Idiotic is way out of line.  Are you sure they were even going to pitch to Cabrera?  Napoli is not known for his throwing prowess.  Can't blame Jackson for trying to get into scoring position.  A single by Raburn would have won the game if he successfully steals second.  Napoli made a great throw and have to give him credit.  The intentional walk to Beltre was questionable, but if Napoli bounces into a double play not just a force- it would have been hailed as a brilliant strategic move.  It's so easy to second guess after the fact.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or