Tigers vs. Red Sox, Game 6 ALCS: Grand slammed to death

I don't think I'll be able to order a Grand Slam at Denny's ever again. David Ortiz's late-inning grand slam won Game 2, crushing the Tigers' hopes to go up 2-0 before three games back in Detroit, and Jose Victorino ended their World Series dreams on Saturday with a go-ahead grand slam. Now, for another 162 days or so, I'll have this horrible taste in my mouth. 

That's Max Scherzer's robot eyes pushing Dustin Pedroia's potential three-run home run in the third inning foul. Jose Veras, who gave up the game-winning slam in the seventh inning, doesn't have such powers.

After the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning, they had runners on first and third with nobody out. Then this happened (after V-Mart ran into a tag between first and second): 

The cherry on top to Prince Fielder's down year and second consecutive horrible postseason, and then he ate that cherry. I'd say that if you had to allot blame, Fielder should receive … a lot of it. 

Some fans are going to blame Leyland. It's their default reflex. "LEYLAND OVERMANAGED THE SHIT OUT OF THIS GAME." … because he managed? Some will question why Scherzer was taken out in the seventh inning. As great as Scherzer was all year and even at times in this game, he wasn't his sharpest. He told Leyland he was spent in Game 2 around the same time, he was at 110 pitches and had just walked two straight batters.* A manager should not have to distrust his bullpen so much he has to hang his starter out to dry. He managed this game like he should have. 

(*Well, he struck out one, but strike 3 was called ball 4. Awesome umpiring.)

 Dombrowski will get his fair share of talk-show radio calls for not getting the team help in areas of need. Those callers will forget Veras — you know, the guy who gave up the game-winning grand slam in Game 6? — was a celebrated acquisition during the season.  Jose Iglesias  — you know, the guy who booted a potential double-play ball before the game-winning grand slam in Game 6? — was brought in during the season, too. He'll win a Gold Glove or few in the future.  

Dombrowski built the team heavy on starters and hitters, yes, but so heavy they should have been enough to overcome the shortcomings of the bullpen and defense. When it wasn't, and it was up to the bullpen and defense to keep the team afloat, the names brought in (or already on the team) meant to stabilize those areas of weakness failed.

The team failed. … For as much as a team can fail in reaching the ALCS for a third straight year. 

About Bob Biscigliano

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