I had to DVR this game and then bury my head in the sand to avoid hearing the outcome. I didn't finish watching until well after 11:00 pm. What a worthwhile little endeavor that was.
Brandon Inge. I must now extol the virtues of his vertical. He saved a run and a certain Sardinha error with that leaping snare. I have to admit, I was giggling with delight after that play.
Kinsler was putting on a one-man circus on defense as well. Step right up, see second baseman run down a ball in foul territory, making a diving basket catch. See him pinch the lead runner, ranging to his left and getting off a spot-on throw. Step right up--you'll get your money's worth with the Ian Kinsler show, baseball fans.
Not to be outdone, Jarrod Saltalamacchia throws Jeff Larish out at second in the fourth inning. Better, though, was him losing a foul pop in the sun and covering his head with his mitt in defense of his noggin. Even the umpire was smirking to himself afterward.
In a not so sparkling defensive play, Clete Thomas misses a deep fly off the wall in the eighth, putting the tying runs in scoring position. To be fair, it was a tough-ish play, and rightly not scored an error, IMO. Mr. Jackson nearly extricated himself from the inning before giving up a double to Nelson Cruz to put things all square at three. Jim Leyland decides to test Edwin Jackson's grit by letting him have a go at finishing the 8th with runners on first and third. He triumphed on his 132nd pitch by striking out Saltalamacchia. Jackson was staring off into space shaking his head ever so slightly in the dugout afterward, as if in disbelief that he was left out there so long, that he threw that many pitches, that he got out of it without surrendering the lead. Oh the glory of it. Hey, that's still a quality start.
I loved that Millwood and Jackson were both out there dueling in the 8th, and each in hot water. It added to the drama.
And, oh, such a cute little bloop single by the mighty Cabrera to score Polanco. You cannot script this stuff, and that's why this game is so intoxicating.
Finally, our use-me-only-in-save-situations-or-I'll-breed-many-ulcers-in-your-stomach-lining closer Fernando Rodney comes in to try to obtain his eighth save in as many opportunities. Does he convert? Oh, he does, you doubters. Yes he does. Does he give us an ulcer anyway, as vengeance because he's been used in many non-save situations lately? Yes he does. And again, it goes back to defense as we turn a lovely 4-6-3 double play to end it.
Bless you boys!