Good, bad and drama for Tigers

You want the bad news — the kind that makes you so frustrated that you want to throw your remote control at the television?

Or do you want the good news on this cool autumn night — the part where Miguel Cabrera looked like a super hero again, smashing a pair of home runs and leading the Tigers to a 12-2 victory over the Oakland A’s, and you feel like anything is possible and maybe, just maybe, the Tigers still have some hope?

OK. Let’s start with the bad.

After pitching two innings Tuesday night, right-hander Max Scherzer was pulled from the game. A short time later, a voice crackled over the intercom in the press box: “Max Scherzer has left tonight’s game because of right shoulder fatigue. He is scheduled to have an MRI.”

Right shoulder fatigue? MRI?

Now, Tigers fans never overreact, but it’s safe to say, at that moment, every single one of them screamed, “OH NO! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! NOT TO SCHERZER! THIS SEASON IS CURSED! NO!”

Because nothing about “shoulder fatigue” and “MRI” sounds good.

Not in the middle of a pennant race.

NO TIME TO PANIC: Now, to the good news.

The Tigers didn’t fold like a bunch of pansies (no offense to any pansies out there). They didn’t give up. They kept plugging along with several replacement parts and, oh, yeah, a couple of stars. “That was a pretty hairy situation,” manger Jim Leyland said. “Fortunately, we exploded and got some runs.”

Darrin Downs replaced Scherzer and pitched fantastic, throwing 2 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and no runs to earn the victory.

And then, it got even better. Everything that could have been bad turned into something good.

Gerald Laird, who was inserted into the lineup only because Alex Avila still has some headaches after ramming his face into Prince Fielder’s elbow on Sunday, got three hits.

And after botching a double play — seriously, another one? — the Tigers actually turned a double play and the botched one didn’t hurt at all.

BIG GUY, BIG NUMBERS: And then, there was Cabrera, who continued his quest to win the MVP award — how in the world can anybody not vote for this guy? He reached the 40-home run barrier for the first time and suddenly, he might just have a chance to win the Triple Crown, too.

“It’s amazing,” Cabrera said. “Wee. Yeah. Yeah.”

Although when he said it, it sounded very cool.

Which is how he does everything.

Now, back to the bad news.

MORE CRINGING: In the seventh inning, Quintin Berry dived for a fly ball, crashing hard on his shoulder. Leyland worried that he had separated his shoulder or broke his collarbone.

Now, as we said, Tigers fans never overreact, but at that moment, every single one of them screamed, “OH NO! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!”

Now, back to the good news — the really, really good news.

The Tigers won a game they had to win, and by that we mean, they have to win just about every game from this point out.

And then it got even better when the medical reports came back.

Avila only has mild concussion-like symptoms.

Berry has a right shoulder contusion, but the X-rays were negative.

And Scherzer had an MRI but there was no structural damage. The problem is in a muscle in his shoulder, which might be the best problem to have. Now, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. But that news is a heck of a lot better than the alternative.

“It’s a good day, all around,” said Fielder, who also jacked a home run “You get the win and everybody is healthy.”

Knock on wood. Of course, when Cabrera knocks on wood, the ball usually ends up on the other side of the fence.

Up, up and away.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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