Despite the fact that the Detroit Tigers were not involved in the 2016 World Series, the game was completely satisfying.
The Detroit Tigers foe – the Cleveland Indians and the newly crowned champions Chicago Cubs battled it out in a baseball game for the ages.
And cemented baseball’s place as the great game of all time.
From the moment that Dexter Fowler hit his lead-off home run, the game never slowed down. The Tigers never faced the Chicago Cubs in Interleague play during the 2016 season, and that is probably a good thing. The Cubs meant business.
Davis’ Clutch Moment
The game went back and forth all night, with one of the most exciting moments belonging to former Detroit Tigers outfielder, Rajai Davis. At the beginning of the 8th inning, the score was 6-3 Cubs and Joe Maddon decided to take John Lester out and put Aroldis Chapman in. At this moment, the Indians had two outs and Jose Ramirez was on first.
The exhausted Chapman pitched to Brandon Guyer, who hit a double scoring Ramirez. Then Davis approached the plate. Tigers fans and players had a feeling that something big was going to happen.
Throughout the game, Tigers fans were treated to a live-Tweeting Justin Verlander who immediately recognized that something amazing could happen:
With a 2-2 count, Rajai hit the home run that tied the game. And, Twitter exploded. Especially Tigers Twitter.
J.D. Martinez Tweeted:
His clutch home run brought back memories of Davis’ grand slam against the Oakland A’s:
The 6-6 tie remained through the ninth, but not without drama. The elder statesman, David Ross walked to lead off the ninth. And Maddon put in Chris Coghlan as a pinch runner. Coghlan ended up reaching third base, until Dexter Fowler grounded out to Francisco Lindor who made a play that was reminiscent of Jose Iglesias – preventing the run and getting the third out. The Indians then went one-two-three.
And the rain came.
The tarp went on the field and the questions began. Would the game continue? Would play resume Thursday night? What was going to happen? Fortunately, Fox Sports handled the situation perfectly, having Ken Rosenthal interview one of the umpires on the field. Hopefully, this will become the norm for games in the future.
The 2016 Season Ends
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After a short delay, the tenth inning arrived and we all know what happened. Kyle Schwarber continued dominating as DH and Ben Zobrist continued showing why he deserved the World Series MVP nod. Then, Rajai Davis delivered again – earning another RBI, but the Indians could not catch up to the two-run lead that Cubs scored in the top of the inning.
This game truly had everything, big home runs, errors, stolen bases, strategic pitching changes, a rain delay, and plenty of emotions. For all of the complaints that Fox Sports gets for their national coverage of baseball, they got this game right. Putting the dugout microphone on David Ross was a brilliant choice, especially when Ross and Anthony Rizzo discussed Rizzo’s “glass case of emotions.” The choice of putting Alex Rodriguez at the table with Frank Thomas and Pete Rose was perfect, too. A-Rod shined in his commentary and insight about the greatest game.
Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians for showing the world that baseball really is the greatest of all time. Thank you for an entertaining and exciting game!