It was starting to look like the Detroit Tigers might drop another game due to their bullpen, but the Boston Red Sox are the ones who will be asking themselves questions about their closer after Andrew Bailey served up a meatball to Jhonny Peralta.
The Tigers trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning and got a leadoff baserunner thanks to a walk issued by Bailey. Peralta was the next batter, and he took a patient approach before waiting for his pitch. Bailey hung a slider that was deposited into the Tigers’ bullpen to pull off the come-from-behind victory.
It was starting to seem like all the walk-offs were going against the Tigers, but they finally got one to go their way.
The Tigers wouldn’t have been in position for the comeback if it weren’t for Drew Smyly, who has been the MVP of the bullpen for the Tigers, and he dazzled yet again on Thursday. After Phil Coke walked the first two batters of the eight inning, Smyly came in and did what he does best — he allowed just one hit in two innings of work.
Smyly has gotten more work out of the bullpen than any other pitcher in the American League.
Smyly back out for the ninth inning, having only thrown 14 pitches. Gives him 717 on the season, more than any other AL reliever. #Tigers
— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) June 21, 2013
The Tigers needed one of these close games to go their way. It was starting to feel like they were never going to win a game in the later innings.