10/14/06 8:10 PM ET
Chess Match: Tigers sweep away A's
Ordonez takes Street deep to send Detroit to Fall Classic
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
The situation: The Tigers load the bases with one out in the seventh and the game tied, 3-3.
The decision: Macha decides to summon closer Huston Street from the bullpen to face Carlos Guillen.
The outcome: Street gets Guillen to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Missed opportunity I
The situation: Game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, two outs and runners on first and third with Detroit shortstop Ramon Santiago at the plate against Oakland left-hander Joe Kennedy.
The decision: Leyland lets Santiago bat instead of pinch-hitting, even though the switch-hitter batted .208 against lefties during the regular season. Leyland had options like Marcus Thames, a career .250 hitter against lefties who hit eight of his 26 homers against southpaws this season, available on the bench.
The outcome: Santiago flies out to left as the Tigers left the go-ahead run at third.
Missed opportunity II
The situation: Game tied, 3-3, in the top of the eighth, the A's load the bases with two outs.
The decision: After 13 straight pitches out of the strike zone, Leyland replaces Jason Grilli with Wilfredo Ledezma.
The outcome: Ledezma gets Oakland's Marco Scutaro to pop up in foul territory to Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez to end the threat.
Taking the fifth
The situation: The Tigers trailed, 3-0, entering the bottom of the fifth, but a infield hit by Brandon Inge, Eric Chavez's throwing error and a one-out double by Curtis Granderson ended the shutout and brought Craig Monroe to the plate. Monroe hit a sinking liner to left field.
The decision: Oakland left fielder Jay Payton tries to make a diving stop instead of playing it on the bounce.
The outcome: The ball gets by Payton and Monroe motors into second with an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2. Only a lineout double play off the bat of Placido Polanco prevented the Tigers from doing more damage in the fifth.
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.