On Thursday the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians had a great battle. IN fact, it was so great that it took extra innings to decide the game. But in the end it was a great lift for the Indians and an absolute heartbreaker for the Tigers.
The Afternoon game between these two teams was about as big as a game in August can get. This game was to see who would win the three game series. And with the Tigers entering the game as a game and a half behind the Indians, at the end of the day the division lead was either going to be razor-thin (at a half game if the Tigers won) or as comfortable as it’s been all season (two and half games if the Indians won).
Both of these teams can score runs when they want to. But on this day it was a pitching duel. The game went the first nine innings without any runs being scored. During the first nine innings the Tigers pitching was dominant, thanks mostly to starting pitcher Nate Robertson. Robertson went eight and two-thirds innings and gave-up just four hits and no walks. He was truly dominant.
Jake Westbrook was nearly as dominant for the Cleveland Indians. He went eight innings and gave-up just five hits and two walks.
But the Tigers came close to scoring off Westbrook a number of times. And the Tigers also came close to scoring off the Indians bullpen. But in the end the Tigers weren’t able to push any runs across until the tenth inning when they finally scored one run.
But scoring one single run in the bottom of the tenth was just a little too little a little too late. The Indians has already scored three runs in the top of the inning.
The Indians won the game three to one.
So now the Indians move on to play the Kansas City Royals while the Tigers stay home to play the New York Yankees. The Indians hold a two and half game lead in the AL Central and that lead could easily balloon with the Indians playing the lowly Royals while the Tigers have to play the hot Yankees.
If he Indians go on to win the division and they Tigers don’t, fans can look back at this game and honestly say this was the one game that sealed the fates of the two teams.