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Austin Jackson’s incredible throw saves game for Tigers

Aug 21, 2011, 6:46 PM EDT

Alex Avila, Kosuke Fukudome Getty Images

Jose Valverde can thank center fielder Austin Jackson for improving to 37-for-37 saving games this season.

Jackson made an amazing throw to cut down Kosuke Fukudome at the plate on a game-ending double play as the Tigers edged the Indians 8-7 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep in Detroit.

Better late than never, MLB.com has the video here (this entry would have been posted an hour and a half ago if MLB.com were more timely with game-ending highlights).

The Tigers racked up seven runs in the third against Ubaldo Jimenez, with Delmon Young and Victor Martinez homering to knock in five of the runs.  Jimenez, who beat the Tigers with eight strong innings on Aug. 10, is now 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in four starts for Cleveland.

Detroit won despite a poor outing from Rick Porcello, who gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings.   The Tigers needed six relievers to finish off the Indians from there.  Valverde, who has been perfect in save situations, got himself into big trouble in the ninth, walking Fukudome and then hitting Jason Donald to start the inning.  However, after a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, pinch-hitter Matt LaPorta came up and hit the fly to center that wasn’t deep enough to score Fukudome.

With the sweep, the Tigers moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Indians in the AL Central.  The good news for Cleveland is that it’s still just three games in the loss column.  Still, the Indians really needed to salvage one of these three games.

  1. Walk - Aug 21, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    That was an imperssive play to end the game. Seeing that i know i would think hard about tagging on medium depth fly to center. The best part was both players at the plate seemed ok after the slide.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 21, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Anyone else’s link go to the 7 run inning? stupid mlb.com. They also took about 2 hours to get Teixeira’s HR up even though Granderson’s inside-the-park, the previous play, was up right after the game.

    here’s another for the double play
    http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18286533

    • Senor Cardgage - Aug 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM

      Why are you blaming mlb.com? It’s the blog author who got the link wrong.

      This clip has the radio call as well.

  3. silverdeer - Aug 21, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Just watched the replay on TV. The strike that AJ threw to the plate was a beauty.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM

      A strike? The Yankees sent the wrong AJ to Detroit.

    • bigleagues - Aug 21, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      Indeed, a very good play, but I don’t think it was a strike. I think Jackson threw that with a tail, and it luckily went toward the 3B side and ended up being in the zone that Avila needed to make the play.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Aug 22, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        My dad used to say, “Whaddya want, egg in your beer?”

  4. bigleagues - Aug 21, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    MEMORANDUM
    ———————–
    TO: Buster
    FR: Bruce
    RE: Proper Plate Blocking Technique

    Please watch the Jackson to Avila play from 8/21 Tigers game, over and over. Then watch it some more.

    Please take note of how Avila pivots from catching the ball to blocking the plate, keeping his left leg under himself and loaded (as opposed to dangling defensively in the path of the runner), ready to receive the impact of the hit from the runner.

    • hittfamily - Aug 21, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      Actually, it was terrible form. His knee was full extended, and his leg was in front of his body. He got lucky that it was such a weak slide. If the runner doesn’t start his slide 6 feet in front of the plate, his knee gets hyper extended. So If Bochy does forward this to Buster, it says :Don’t do this either.

      • bigleagues - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:13 AM

        Terrible form? Did we watch the same play? His left knee was fully extended?

        And you WANT the runner to start his slide about 6 feet out (or more!) – players, on average, are 6 feet tall or taller . . . depending on what kind of slide it is, if he starts, say 4 feet out from the plate, he may miss the plate altogether! Fukodome’s slide was fine.

        Avila receives the ball, pivots to his left, shifts his weight forward – bracing for the impact – his left leg perfectly blocks Fukodome’s path to the plate as Avila applies the tag. Avila’s left leg wasn’t in jeopardy. On a play that happens that fast, you can’t ask for (nor expect) any better execution than how Avila attacked it.

        Now contrast that to Posey who had plenty of time to set himself properly, but inexplicably stretched his left leg out across the baseline – losing all leverage and ability to properly “block” and push back against an airborne Cousins.

    • paperlions - Aug 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Actually, if the runner threw a cross-body block at Avila’s shoulders, like Cousins did to Posey….you know what happens to Avila? The same thing that happened to Posey, he get’s bend over backwards.

      Posey didn’t get hurt from poor technique, per se; he got hurt because the ball was a little late and to the 1B side of the plate and the runner decided to hit him shoulder high instead of going for the plate.

      • bigleagues - Aug 22, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        paperlions,

        I agree that Cousins was a HUGE x-factor in why Posey got hurt . . . but no coach worth their salt would ever teach a receiver to stick his leg out across the baseline like Posey did.

        They way Avila was set, he maintained leverage throughout. If Cousins had launched on him, Avila would have absolutely been laid out backwards, but Avila would have been able to receive Cousins momentum better, and less likely to have injured a joint.

  5. mmowery2323 - Aug 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Here’s a video of Austin Jackson’s reaction to the play, along with the thoughts of Jose Valverde and Delmon Young: http://bit.ly/oXe89D

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