BY CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Staff Columnist
Well, after a great two weeks in sports for the city of Detroit, the honeymoon has finally come to an end.
Adding to the fact that the Wolverines lost this past weekend to Michigan State, the Tigers were ousted from the ALCS and the playoffs by the Texas Rangers and the Lions are no longer undefeated thanks to the San Francisco 49ers after winning Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. Luckily the winning was kept barely alive by the Red Wings as they beat both the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild to stay undefeated on the year.
Detroit Tigers: The American League Championship Series began in Texas and finished in Texas. The Tigers went down three games to one and clawed their way back, winning two of three games in Detroit to send the series back to Texas. Unfortunately they couldn’t force a Game 7, falling 15-5 in one of the most lopsided losses in postseason history.
After losing the first two games in Texas 3-2 and 7-3 (11 innings) respectively, the Tigers needed a big win at home in Game 3 to get right back in this series. They did so with a strong performance from Doug Fister as they won 5-2. The following night looked great too as the game inched closer to ending but a home run to ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz in the top of the seventh inning to tie it at three put the Tigers into extra innings again. They wound up losing 7-3 in 11 innings, again to the Rangers, falling to the brink of elimination at home with the best pitcher in all of baseball this year, Justin Verlander on the mound.
He pitched great, enough to earn the win, 7-5. Max Scherzer had the start two nights later in Texas in Game 6 and he had his pitches up until the third inning. The Tigers took the early lead after a couple of home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta in the first and second innings respectively, but couldn’t hold on. Scherzer took the loss in the final game of the season for the Tigers. As the Rangers move on to the World Series, they will face the St. Louis Cardinals, starting Wednesday.
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings stayed perfect for the first time since the 1997-1998 season. Goaltender Jimmy Howard earned his first shutout of the season at home against the Canucks this past Thursday winning 2-0. Justin Abdelkader and Valterri Filppula had goals for the Wings as they defeated the defending Western Conference champions in a battle of Western Conference powers.
Two nights later they traveled to Minnesota to take on the Wild and they pulled out a win in overtime, winning 3-2. It wasn’t looking good early for the Wings, opposite of the Tigers who played at the exact same time. Greg Anon and Cal Clutter buck both scored for the Wild late in the first and early in the second period. Luckily, defenseman Ian White put the Wings on the board with his second goal of the season late in the second period. Jiri Hudler put his second of the season in early in the third period to tie the game up. That goal sent the game into overtime and Johan Franzen finished it with 49 seconds left in overtime shoving the puck into the net while being pushed in as well.
The Red Wings next game is at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7:30pm as they look to go 5-0 on the season. They will also travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Capitals on Saturday night.
Detroit Lions: The Lions couldn’t stay perfect all season, even after a big win over the Bears last week on Monday Night Football, 24-13. They didn’t win this past weekend against the San Francisco 49ers, falling 25-19. It was the loudest game probably in Ford Field history as Monday Night Football returned to Detroit for the first time since 2001.
It was a great atmosphere for the game as it started out slow for the offense but it eventually picked up. As fitting as it could be, Calvin Johnson scored the first points of the game with a 73 yard reception for a touchdown early in the second quarter. The Bears responded with a field goal which made it 7-3 and after some great defense by the Bears, their offense stepped it up as Jay Cutler threw a nine yard touchdown reception to Kellen Davis. They took the lead 10-7.
The Bears would start the second half with the ball but the defense stood strong. The Lions offense responded on their first drive of the second half with a Brandon Pettigrew 18 yard touchdown reception to put the Lions back on top, 14-10. The following Bears drive lasted almost five minutes but the defense held them to a punt. The first play of the Lions second possession of the half turned into points as Jahvid Best ran 88 yards for a touchdown. That pretty much wrapped the game up even though it was in the third quarter. Both sides would get a field goal near the end of the fourth quarter but the Lions took a bigger lead with that 88 yard touchdown run and never looked back. It was the first time the Lions went 5-0 since 1956, the last time the Lions won a championship.
This past week the Lions tried to stay undefeated, but as previously stated, couldn’t against a good 49ers team. San Francisco had 120 yards of penalties on 15 calls while the Lions only had 6 penalties for 54 yards. It seemed to resemble the Wolverines-Spartans game as the Spartans had penalties that Michigan couldn’t capitalize on. Same goes for the Lions as they couldn’t do much either. The Lions took the lead early with a Jason Hanson field goal and followed that up with a 16 yard touchdown reception to Brandon Pettigrew. San Francisco took the lead going into halftime with a touchdown, a safety and a field goal to go up 12-10.
It actually might have been good for the Lions considering they have done well with comebacks in the second half this season, but this one was going to fall just short. Two field goals from both sides in the third quarter put the score at 15-13, 49ers lead. A Nate Burleson touchdown in the fourth quarter put the Lions up 19-15, but they couldn’t hold it. Two more field goals by the 49ers put the game out of reach. It was a disappointing loss for the Lions and the emotions boiled over after with Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh both having a scuffle. It looks like we could have a new rivalry in the NFL, but as for now, the Lions fall to 5-1 heading into their bye week. Their next game will come against the Atlanta Falcons at home at 1:00pm on FOX.