Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday, April 22: Tigers 6, White Sox 5 (12 innings)

Remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? You were given a little bit of introduction, and at a pivotal moment in the plotline, the book instructed you to flip elsewhere in the book. ("As you open the carton of milk, you think you notice the faintest hint of Drano. What do you do? If you drink the milk, turn to page 37; if you simply pour the milk on your little sister's Cheerios, flip to page 49.")

Jim Leyland has been in the position to choose his own adventure this weekend. The story's the same; the Tigers get out to a respectable lead, the White Sox close the gap, and the game goes to extra innings. Saturday, Jim flipped to page 142, where the story ended with yet another Fernando Rodney meltdown. Sunday, Jim did the right thing and let Wilfredo Ledezma get 3 innings of work. The result? A crucial win over a division opponent.

Hats off to Marcus Thames for hitting a clutch homer in the bottom of the ninth to allow the Tigers to get back into the game and to Placido Polanco for (let's face t) just being who he is. And of course, it's great to see Justin Verlander fending off that sophomore slump. A 2.08 ERA after four starts, none of which was shorter than six innings pitched? I think we'll take that.

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