I don’t know where Hollywood film producers get their ideas, but I have a suggestion for them. Review the eighth and ninth innings of Sunday night’s Game 2 of the Boston-Detroit ALCS. There’s plenty of material there to support a feature-length horror movie.
It started well for the Tigers, as they tallied a run in the second inning.
Victor Martinez stroked a one out double to left center, which was followed by a crisp single to left by Jhonny Peralta. Alex Avila followed with a line drive single up the middle to drive in Martinez.
Meanwhile, Tiger starter Max Scherzer was in top form as he no-hit the Red Sox through five, striking out nine.
The Tiger offense exploded for four runs in the sixth. Miguel Cabrera, showing promising signs of regaining his extra-base power, hit a home run over Fenway Park’s Green Monster in left field to begin the onslaught.
Prince Fielder doubled to left and was plated by the streaking Martinez on a double to right. Avila followed with a mammoth two-run homer to right to bring his RBI total to three for the night, knocking Boston starter Clay Buchholz out of the game with a 5-0 deficit.
The Red Sox finally got their first hit off Scherzer in the sixth on a soft liner to left by Shane Victorino. Dustin Pedroia followed with an RBI double to center, making the score 5-1.
Scherzer retired the side in order in the seventh, adding two more K’s. He was then lifted by manager Jim Leyland, having thrown 108 pitches.
It was another sterling postseason start for Scherzer: 7 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 13 strikeouts.
Lightning struck in the home half of the eighth. With their morose fans dreading an 0-2 start to the series with three road games in the offing, the Red Sox jumped on a parade of Tiger relievers.
Spoiler alert for Tiger fans. This does not end well.
Will Middlebrooks lined a one-out double to left off Jose Veras.
In perhaps the key at bat of the game, Drew Smyly pitched too carefully to Jacoby Ellsbury, walking him.
After Victorino struck out, Pedroia grounded a two-out single to right off Al Alburquerque, loading the bases for slugger David Ortiz.
Jim Leyland, in a last-ditch effort to quell the uprising, summoned closer Joaquin Benoit to pitch to the menacing Ortiz. He threw him one climactic pitch.
In one Herculean swat, Ortiz hoisted the entire Red Sox Nation upon his broad shoulders. Torii Hunter catapulted over the right field wall in a valiant but failed effort to catch the ball, both landing in the Sox bullpen.
The grand slam tied the score at 5-5, and 38,000 Boston fans erupted into one of the loudest primal screaming exercises in the colorful history of Fenway Park.
Though the box score indicates otherwise, Boston won the game on that swing.
Koji Uehara quickly dismissed the Tigers in the ninth and Leyland sent regular season starter Rick Porcello to the mound to face the suddenly re-energized Sox.
What followed was nothing less than a defensive meltdown. An infield single by Gomes and a wild throw by shortstop Jose Iglesias (with no help from first baseman Fielder) advanced Gomes to second base with nobody out. After Fielder misplayed a foul fly near the stands, Porcello wild-pitched Gomes to third.
With the infield pulled in, Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled sharply past Iglesias to score Gomes.
As Bostonians exulted, Tiger players wandered back to their dugout, left to ponder one of their bitterest defeats in recent memory.