Jim Leyland shuffled his lineup.
He moved Torii Hunter into the leadoff spot, moved Miguel Cabrera into the No. 2 hole and dropped the slumping Austin Jackson from first to eighth in the batting order.
Was it the right move? Well, you can't argue with Wednesday's results. The aforementioned three Tiger hitters combined to go 5 for 11 with six RBIs as Detroit defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-3 to tie the best-of-seven series at 2-all.
Detroit roughed up Boston starter Jake Peavy, scoring five runs in the second inning and two more in the fourth to take a commanding 7-0 lead it would never relinquish.
I think, though, that the success of Leyland's lineup shuffle was more of a coincidence than anything else. Quite simply, Peavy had a horrible game. I've watched most of the right-hander's starts over the last four years, and normally his strikeout-to-walk ratio is around 4 to 1. On this night, Peavy uncharacteristically walked three batters in the fateful five-run second inning alone, including a bases-loaded free pass to the struggling Jackson. Peavy had no command of the strike zone whatsoever.
I'm not really sold on the idea that the Tigers are out of their slump now. I think they were the fortunate beneficiaries of a terrible performance by a starting pitcher who is normally pretty good.
We'll see what happens in Thursday's Game 5. If Detroit cuffs around Boston ace Jon Lester, then I'll be convinced that Leyland's lineup juggling has actually made an impact.
Dodgers stay alive in NLCS
Speaking of offensive breakouts, Los Angeles finally got its bats going with four home runs Wednesday in Game 5 of the NLCS. Adrian Gonzalez homered twice, while Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also went deep as the Dodgers stayed alive with a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals still lead the series, 3-2, and the scene shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night.
Despite all the home runs, the most critical moment of this game came in the top of the first inning. The Cardinals loaded the bases with nobody out, but failed to score after Los Angeles pitcher Zack Greinke struck out Matt Adams and induced Yadier Molina to ground into an inning-ending double play. The Dodgers were one mistake away from finding themselves in a big early hole in an elimination game. Instead, they got out unscathed, and you had it feeling it was going to be their day from that point forward.
Los Angeles will send its ace to the mound in Game 6. Clayton Kershaw will try to lead the Dodgers to a series-tying victory. His mound opponent will be Michael Wacha in a rematch from Game 2, which Wacha won 1-0. Should be another great pitching matchup in a postseason full of them.