So I’m a fangrrrl. I admit it. Hunter has a lower OPS than all the pitchers on his team in the postseason COMBINED. But today, Doug Fister and Madison Bumgardner had themselves an EXCELLENT pitchers duel going for 6 innings – each guy had given up 2 hits and 1 walk. And the game was moving right along – as fast as a modern WS game can go with all the ceremonies and interruptions.
So anyway, Fister, who had thrown 108 pitches, came out to pitch to Pence, still hitting in the 5-hole, don’t ask me why. Well, maybe it’s like Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof – TRADITION!!!!
So it’s a scoreless game. Pence had had 2 ABs already – flied out to shallow center and to the arning track in center – a LOT better than what he HAD been doing, which was flailing wildly or grounding out. He took a breaker in the dirt for ball 1, fouled off a perfect FB on the inside, started at a FB that was RIGHT down the middle, took a slider outside that he usually flails at, fouls a curve, then hits a slider that doesn’t slide quiiite enough into LF for a hit. It’s goo-bah Fister, and in comes his relief.
Smyly, RHP, gives up a walk, then Gregor Blanco, who tried and failed to bunt his previous 2 ABs, chops one down the 3rd base line, the catcher and 3rd baseman stare at it, willing it to go foul, but it doesn’t, and ever one is safe, bases loaded. So Brandon Crawford hits into a 4-6-3, Hunter scores the go ahead run!!!
Fister is informed that strangling relievers who give up a run on the only inherited runner, which loses him a hard fought and well pitched ballgame is not allowed in MLB. He checked with Astros starters who confirmed the news. They told him about all their favorite blood pressure medications and stress-reducing yoga positions.
Very next inning, same reliever back out. He walks Angel Pagan on 4 straight pitches, gets Scutaro staring at strike 3 RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE, then Angel Pagan takes off on the first pitch and barely makes it. Smyly then decides to IBB Sandoval to pitch to Posey. Small sample size decisions ROOL, do they not? at least here, they do. Posey takes a walk, mostly because Strike 1 and Strike 2 are called Ball 1 and Ball 2. First time all night that the ump didn’t call the rule book zone.
Hunter then drives in the security run with a sac-fly the very next inning. He ain’t hittin the ball much, but today it counted.
Not real too much that was kewl, except for the second inning, in which Da Prince was HBP, then Delmon Young hits a double into the LF corner. Blanco gets it, throws a PERFECT beebee to Scutaro, the cutoff man, who makes a PERFECT throw to Posey, who nails Prince on his ass – nice target, by the way. And Prince was trying to slide in, not annihilate Posey. And Prince was barely out, too – just a slightly weak or offline throw and he scores.
So much for the Tigers win it in 5, so much for the – ohhhh this is SOOOOOO lopsided in the Tigers’ favor. At least so far.
Yes, I AM still rooting for Hunter to suddenly start hitting and get the MVP.