Costly miscues doom Tigers 

October, 27, 2006
Whaddya know -- drama! I remember drama. Haven't seen it in a while, mind you, but I'm pretty sure this is what it looks like. It wasn't a pretty game, but at least we had a lead change and some late seesawing for the first time in the series. In a postseason of mostly dull games and dull series, this was one of the better contests.

More than any other reason, the Cardinals won this game because of the wet grass. It could have favored either club, but as the ball bounced, the Cardinals ended up with two runs they didn't earn -- enough to tip the final score in their favor. In the bottom of the seventh, Curtis Granderson -- a center fielder with good range due to his above-average speed -- slipped on the turf, and David Eckstein's routine fly ball to deep center became a double. The next batter, So Taguchi, bunted, and Fernando Rodney picked the ball up off the wet grass and had it slip out of his hand. Both runners would end up scoring later in the inning, helped when Preston Wilson's two-out single to left died on the damp grass just past the shortstop.

The Tigers are actually a very good defensive club, but they haven't looked like one in this series. Their one major position-player error so far in this series was by Brandon Inge, an outstanding defensive third baseman. Pudge Rodriguez, considered by many to be the best defensive catcher in history, missed a third strike in the bottom of the eighth that allowed Aaron Miles to reach second with two outs. Then, Eckstein's bloop -- a ball Craig Monroe should have caught, but one on which he got a terrible jump -- knocked in the go-ahead run.