Go ahead and call me a foolish optimist, but after tonight, I am very confident in the Detroit Tigers' playoff chances.
Yes, the Tigers are now 1-7, a record nobody would have predicted before the season, and have played some sloppy baseball along the way, but I have to say that I have never felt so much confidence in a team with this record.
Tonight, I think that the Tigers got over the hump. They beat a pretty good pitcher in Jon Lester, and held the mighty Boston lineup to two runs.
The most encouraging thing I saw tonight was the patience at the plate, especially by Carlos Guillen. He had some lengthy at-bats, which effectively tired out Lester. It was his patience that set the table for Edgar Renteria's game-tying double, and Marcus Thames' two-run home run over the Green Monster.
Guillen also added to his night by hitting a solo home run over the monster in the ninth.
The heavily criticized bullpen also turned in an impressive performance. Bobby Seay, Francis Beltran, and Denny Bautista all were stellar in holding the lead that Jeremy Bonderman gave them in his five plus innings of work.
Then, Todd Jones came in and closed the game in typical fashion-by scaring the living daylights out of every Tiger fan alive and loading the bases for Kevin Youkilis. Still, Jones got the job done without letting any runs in, completing the 7-2 victory.
Edgar Renteria had a very good day for the Tigers, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. Rookie Clete Thomas also collected a hit, giving him a cool .500 batting average in his young career.
And I cannot forget to mention Pudge Rodriguez, who slapped his trademark single into right field for his 2,500th career hit. Congratulations, Pudge.
And congratulations, Tigers. Now that the monkey is off our back, lets get back to playing the baseball we are capable of.