Morris gave up one run in the first inning, Flanagan one in the third, and when Morris needed help in the second, Whitaker sprawled to his right to start another 4-6-3 double play. Toronto made it 2-1 in the fifth and afterward Morris said, "That was enough for Flanagan if they make the plays." Said Flanagan, "I locked myself in."
Morris knew it. "A pitcher senses the duel factor with another pitcher," he said, "and Flanagan was so great that I felt he couldn't be beaten. So it was a matter of survival." Morris survived a total of seven base runners in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, getting Bell to ground to short with two on in the seventh. By the ninth he was nearing 160 pitches and running on empty. "I knew that was my last inning, so I wasn't going to allow anything more," he said. "On sheer adrenaline" he finished his nine-inning, 160-pitch effort by striking out Moseby and Mulliniks.
When Flanagan discovered in the eighth inning that his fastball was slowing down, he made it appear faster by pounding curveballs from every conceivable arm angle. "I could have pitched a lot longer," he said, but after 11 innings and 147 pitches—about 90 of them breaking balls—Williams told Flanagan he had done enough. Rookie Jeff Musselman, who had warmed up six times, loaded the bases with one out in the 12th. Williams decided against bringing in bullpen ace Tom Henke, who usually comes on only with a lead, and chose instead Mark Eichhorn. With the infield in, Trammell pulled a skidding hopper to Lee. The ball appeared to tick off his glove, off the inside of his leg and into the outfield. It was scored a hit, and it may have won Trammell the MVP award. In any event, for the sixth time since Sept. 5. the American League East lead had changed hands.
Tanana wasn't about to let it get away again on Sunday. "Alexander gets hitters by figuring what they want and throwing that pitch an inch beyond their hitting zone," said Detroit catcher Mike Heath. "Morris challenges and overpowers. Tanana paints by instinct." Because Tanana was 5-1 as a Tiger lifetime against the Jays and had painted seven shutout innings in his last start against them (a 3-2 ninth-inning Detroit loss on Sept. 25), Blue Jay batters were advised to get up on the plate and go after Tanana's screwball. But, said Heath, "do that and Frank takes over the inside part of the plate." And indeed Tanana confounded Barfield and Garth Iorg by striking them out with fastballs on the inside corner.
It became clear that Tanana was simply performing on a higher level than the Blue Jay hitters. And everything Toronto tried went wrong. In the fourth Williams called for a hit-and-run with cement-footed Cecil (B. de) Fielder on first. But Lee missed the sign, and Fielder, whose last steal attempt (unsuccessful, of course) was for Knoxville in 1984, was out cold. Lee's triple three pitches later was thus wasted. Then, when the relentless Moseby singled to lead off the eighth. Bell felt frustration for the last time. At the plate with none out, down 1-0 in the score and up 1-0 in the count, he didn't wait to get to 2 and 0. Instead he waved at Tanana's shoetop sinker and flied out. Moseby was the last Blue Jay base runner of 1987.
The Tigers had etched their way into history by taking their seven-game match from the Blue Jays 3-4, 2-3, 9-10, 3-2, 4-3, 3-2 and 1-0. "This is the most fun I've ever had in baseball," said Evans. "It is also the year and the team I'll never forget." Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, nobody will forget them either.