It has the same feel, I can tell you that much.
Tonight's Tigers game, in which Detroit starter Doug Fister has yet to permit a baserunner through six, feels exactly like the Imperfect game of last season, and by that I mean it is moving right along. We've been at it for one hour and 15 minutes, and we are in the top of the 7th. These things get on you in a hurry. The top of the Roayls order is up to start the 7th. It is exciting. If he gets through this inning, it will be nerve-racking. And there is something else at play this evening: the Tigers have yet to score a run.
And it ends. Alex Gordon doubles to lead off the 7th on Fister's 74th pitch of the night. The Perfect Game, gone. The no-hitter, gone. And the game itself, following a sac bunt, in jeopardy as KC has the go-ahead run at third with only one out. Billy Butler plates Gordon with a long sac fly to center, and the Tigers, somehow, trail. There's another single for KC, but the inning ends with incident. So now the Tigers trail 1-0, and they have been outhit in this game, somehow, 2-1. Talk about a pitchers duel. Jeff Francis and Doug Fister are having at it tonight.
Frances is coming out of the ballgame. Delmon Young reached on a error and Miguel Cabrera hammered a single to left. So, even though he has a 2-hitter going and has thrown only 90 pitches, Francis leaves leading 1-0. Both teams now have 2 hits. Victor Martinez is up with men on first and second and one out. Greg Holland is the new KC pitcher.
The Tigers can't get it done in the 7th, but in the bottom of the 8th, Ordonez singles in a run and we go to the 9th, tied 1-1. Fister, for the record, has an ERA of 0.83 (2 ER/21.2 IP). He will be no-decisioned here tonight.
What a ballgame! We are heading to the 10th after the Royals walked the bases loaded with two out in the 9th when 12 of the last 13 pitches thrown by Louis Coleman were balls. But former Royal Wilson Betemit--what a story it could have been, no?--struck out to end the inning. Benoit, perfect in the 9th: 1-2-3 on 11 pitches, stays on to start the tenth. Still 1-1. Still a very exciting night.
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