So tonight, instead of watching one of the two National League playoff games (I'm a National League baseball fan, through and through -- DH is boring), and instead of working on my upcoming season Reds stat recap, I'm sitting here glued to every pitch of the Yankees/Tigers game. Thus far, Jeremy Bonderman has thrown 6 shutout innings and the Tigers are ahead 8-0. I can't step away -- I'm so freaking excited!
I wouldn't put anything by that Yankees lineup -- it's the best lineup I've ever seen -- but you have to like the Tigers chances right now, as they are the best run-prevention team in the majors.
Some running impressions (I'm watching on Tivo tonight, so please, no spoilers):
- I love that Andy Van Slyke and Don Slaught are coaches for Jim Leyland's Tigers. It really speaks to Leyland's history as a major league manager. I don't always agree with his decisions, but there's no question he's been at the helm of some very appealing teams over the years.
- Sean Casey has been reminding me of his old (good) self tonight, especially with that rip down the right field line.
- I love watching teams that can play genuine defense. The Tigers just look so solid, with great range in the outfield and good action in the infield. Craig Monroe has made one good, and one freaking amazing catch tonight. Nice to have a left fielder who can go get 'em like that. The Padres have something similar with Dave Roberts in left.
- Bonderman seems to be inducing a lot of ground balls, which has resulted in a lot of chances for double plays -- although the balls have been hit so softly that they haven't been able to turn them.
- I had hoped to see Zumaya tonight -- is he the hardest thrower of all time? -- but I'll just have to make sure I see another Tiger game during the playoffs.
- After a bit of a last-minute rally at the hands of Posada, the Yankees are finished for the year. I'm officially happy with the 2006 playoffs. And the Tigers, with their young starters and impressive bullpen, look like a pretty darn good playoff ballclub.
- Congrats to Marc Lancaster, a Detroit native, for finally getting to see his team performing and winning in the playoffs. Hope they win it.