Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:00 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:27 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

This same writer would have called the moves "aggressive" or "gutsy" or even "genius".  Instead, he tells us he could have done a better job by letting us know what HE would have done.  Just like I think I could have done a better job writing this story!

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:21 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

not always so clear in the heat of the battle.
Totally agree justmytwocents.  If Napoli had hit into a forceout or a DP, this idiot writer would be talking about what a genious he is.  I didn't know that Napoli was the best hitting catcher in MLB in the 2nd half, but even still, he is not a fast runner and could have been easily doubled up had he hit a ground ball to the infield.  The main thing was that Valverde was once again doing his best impression of Jose Mesa in the 1997 ALCS for the Indians vs. the Marlins.

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:57 am

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Hind sight is always 20-20; things are not always so clear in the heat of the battle. Managers play their gut instinct - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What we don't need are Monday-morning QBs calling managers idiots, when the manager did what he thought was best under the circumstances at that time.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:50 pm

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

It is excellent to see Young finally do something productive. But he's not out of the woods yet, he K'd in the 11th and didn't look good in many of his at bats tonight.
Burnell would be bashing Ron Washington had Cruz not hosed Miggy, so since Napoli got that big hit he has to bash Leyland. I probably wounld not have done either one of those things but those guys don't just show up and get to be baseball coaches. They obviously know a little thing to two about the game or they would not be around it at all. Writers need to lay off. Leyland didn't do anything Idiotic he created a force out situation. Let's say that they K'd Beltre and then Napoli drove Hamilton in. Whoop-de-do at least a grounder WOULD have ended it. Smart if you ask me.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:45 pm

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Blunder this...blunder that.  The Rangers won this game just like they've won more games than any other team the last 2 playoff seasons.  Rangers are always going to force other teams into "mistakes" with that lineup.  I'll stick with crediting them.

Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:39 pm

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

@TD - I agree. It's one thing to say the move was questionable, but to call out a World Series manager like that? Are you kidding me?  There may be more going on in the dugout that we don't know about...

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:34 pm

Blunders cost Tigers as Rangers blast way to win

Who is Evan Brunell and where does he get off calling anyone "idiotic"?  How many Major League Playoff series has Brunell managed?

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