It was pure happiness in the city of Detroit on Wednesday night and it was all due to the clutch playing of the Detroit Tigers and because of that clutch play, Tigers were able to defeat Boston 7-3 and even the ALCS series at two games a piece.
Not only were the Tigers good on the mound at pitching but they were good at bat which I said was the x-factor going into this game. It all started in the bottom of the second inning and went on from there. While Jhonny Peralta continued to perform well, it was great to see those unsung heroes step up that I had constantly been talking about, in this case it was Austin Jackson along with Torri Hunter and Jose Iglesias. All three stepped up in this game especially at bat which is what the Tigers needed. Miguel Cabera even looked better in this game.
Then of course I can’t forget the solid pitching by Doug Fister. He did a great job of changing hits against the Red Sox and making good use of his instincts. He set the tone to start the game and the rest of the pitchers followed suit.
However, the main credit goes to manager Jim Leyaland, he had the guts to make some changes to the lineup by dropping Austin Jackson to eighth and moved everyone else up one in the batting order and it worked. He showed the strategic ability to make this change and it worked well for us.
Now as happy as I am that the Tigers even the series out, let’s remember it’s not over yet, still plenty to accomplish.
They go into Game 5 tonight and they must continue what they started in Game 4. I want to continue to see consistent pitching from the Tigers. As I said before the Red Sox arguably have the best offense in baseball and while the Tigers have contained them well, Tigers can never get comfortable because that’s when the Red Sox will catch fire.
Even more important, Tigers must continue to back up they’re pitching with solid run support. They did it in Game 4, now they have to carry it over to Game 5. If those bats are able to stay hot, the Tigers are looking good. However for the Tigers bats to stay hot, those unsung heroes have to step up. In Game 4 it was Hunter, Iglesias and Jackson, while I am proud of them for stepping up, they can’t let it stop at one game. They must continue to step up and if they can’t step up, someone else must do it, such as Prince Fielder.
Last but not least, the bullpen must stay consistent. During the 7th inning in Game 4, Tigers bullpen had to step up and make the right calls at the right time and although Tiger fans were nervous, the bullpen pulled it out. They must continue to do that going into Game 5 tonight.
So in short and simple terms, the keys to the game are: consistent pitching, hot hitting at bat, unsung heroes step up and win the battle of the bullpen. If the Tigers do that, they should come out with a victory in Game 5 and take a 3-2 lead heading back to Boston. Tune into Game 5 tonight on FOX at 8pm.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com