Yesterday, what with it being Easter and family in town (and using that extra man-power to get some odd jobs done around my house) I was late in turning on the Tigers game. By the time I switched it on in the 6th inning, 128 runs had already been scored by both teams, leading to the clubhouse banishment of each team’s respective pitching coaches. When I saw that the Tigers were down 2, I figured we might be in for some late inning heroics just based off of last year’s team. When the Tigers came into the 9thdown by 3, my hope had waned just a touch.
The Tigers just needed one of Austin Jackson or Brennan Boesch to get on before Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder could get to the plate…if that happened, the Tigers had a legitimate shot to tie the game. When Austin Jackson reached with a hit and the Red Sox chose not to hold him on, I was incensed that he wasn’t trying to steal 2nd (disclaimer – I am an avid/rabid fan of stolen bases). However, if he had stolen 2nd, Dustin Pedroia could have been positioned differently and thus made a clean catch and throw to get Boesch at 1st. So, with nobody out in the bottom of the 9th, the Red Sox closer, Alfredo Aceves, chose to go after Miguel Cabrera who summarily deposited the inside fastball into the Left Field seats, tying the game at 3. Certainly, with Fielder, Delmon Young, and Alex Avila to follow, the game would end in the 9th. We all got our hopes up when Fielder broke his bat while drilling a pitch 400 ft (but foul). After he K’ed, the next two were retired and we headed to extras.
In the 11th, down by 2 now, I decided to turn off the TV as my children were begging to go outside and ride their new bikes. Had I been thinking, I would have turned MLB AtBat on my phone and listened to games as I watched my kids. However, I had given them (the Tigers/the game…not my kids) up for dead. An opening weekend going 2-1 against the Red Sox was good enough for me and surely the gods felt there had been enough dramatics this weekend already. Well, by now, every should know what I missed…
This weekend has shown that the Tigers, even with all of the expectations heaped on them, still have heart. They did not take any of these three games for granted. When Jose Valverde blew his first save since 2010 they just went about their business and won the game in the 9th. On Saturday, they decided that the fans needed some fireworks, and Miggy and Prince (btw – I understand there is a movement afoot to dub this paid “ThunderCats”; I fully support this endeavor) each hit 2. And on Sunday, they just kept on hitting.
The Tigers are not a perfect team. They may not even be the best team in the AL this year (we have only played 3 games, still 159 left to determine that). However, this weekend, paired with some of the events of last year should remind us to never turn off the TV/radio on these guys. If you do, you may end up missing one heck of comeback.