In a week full of League Championship Series games (and rainouts), there have been few home runs. In fact, in all games played Monday through Wednesday, there were a total of four home runs hit. The playoffs weren't exactly screaming for the Tater Trot Tracker this week. Things were better on Thursday, when the Tigers finished their four-game sweep of the Yankees and the Cardinals put themselves one game from the pennant with an 8-3 victory of San Francisco. The six home runs hit in Thursday's games more than double the homers hit the rest of the week. Thank God.
Let's get to the trots!
One game, one Giants victory, one home run. And a leadoff homer from Angel Pagan at that (video). The Giants scored six more runs over the course of the night, but the early blast by Pagan was the only trot of the night.
A second night in a row with only one game to watch. What kind of a world do we live in? At least the Tigers and Yankees made it more interesting, from a trotting point of view. Eduardo Nunez, playing for the injured Derek Jeter, hit his first career playoff home run (video). Delmon Young, the eventual ALCS MVP, matched him (video).
We were supposed to have two games to watch on Wednesday, but Mother Nature had other plans. The Giants and Cards played an afternoon game, but the three-and-a-half hour rain delay meant the game didn't end until after 9pm. Matt Carpenter, who only came into the game after Carlos Beltran tweaked his knee legging out a grounder, hit a blast in his first at-bat (video). It proved to be all the Cards would need to beat the Giants.
And, finally, Thursday. The early start in Detroit meant that the Tigers' sweep of New York gave the team that much more time to celebrate. The 8-1 victory was powered by a quartet of home runs. The first came from MVP-candidate Miguel Cabrera, who blasted a no-doubter to left field in the fourth inning. The trot was slow and enjoyed, with the content face of a man about to win the pennant. His wasn't the slowest, however. A few batters later, Jhonny Peralta matched Cabrera with a two-run shot of his own. While Cabrera took 24.53 seconds on his trot, Peralta bested him with a 25.32 second trot, the single longest trot of the playoffs. It was as if the Tigers were feeling good about their chances. Following a late homer from Austin Jackson and Peralta's second blast, they had every reason to.
Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the second-slowest trot of the postseason was witnessed. This time it was Pablo Sandoval, whose two-run shot in the ninth inning cuts the Cards' lead down to 8-3 (following an earlier home run from Hunter Pence). When Panda took his time rounding the bases (video), it wasn't out of a nervous excitement, like Cabrera. It felt like more of a defeated trot – a seven-run deficit in the ninth is a tough thing for anyone to be cheery about.
Jhonny Peralta #1..25.32 Pablo Sandoval.....25.21 Eduardo Nunez......24.66 Miguel Cabrera.....24.53 Jhonny Peralta #2..24.05 Matt Carpenter.....21.51 Delmon Young.......20.32 Hunter Pence.......19.71 Austin Jackson.....19.26 Angel Pagan........19.0