5. Salty and the walk-off home run
It was fun to be a Detroit Tigers fan in July. The team was 16-10 and had two walk-off wins. Unfortunately, July also saw two Chicago White Sox walk-off wins against the Tigers, too. But, one of the most memorable walk-off wins was on July 17 against the Kansas City Royals. Fransisco Rodriguez was pitching against former Tiger Joakim Soria. The game was tied at two.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was catching that day. In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Collins singled off of Soria. Salty was up to bat and he later commented that he was actually expecting a bunt sign. Instead, he got a fastball and took the opportunity to smash it out of the park.
Salty’s day at the plate defined his type of offense: three true outcomes. That day, he struck out, walked, and homered. No defense is involved in any of those outcomes.
As the backup catcher with the Tigers, Saltalamacchia did not have his best season ever. In fact, statistically, it was one his worst. But, moments like this walk-off still made him a fan favorite simply because he seemed so grateful to still be playing ball.