4. “There are backbreakers and there are backbreakers. This was a backbreaker.” September 3rd,2011 Detroit Tigers vs Chicago White Sox
It’s hard to believe now, but not so long ago there was a time when the Detroit Tigers won the American League Central in four consecutive seasons. The first division title came in 2011, and it came rather easily as Detroit finished 15 games ahead of 2nd place Cleveland. That was not the case in the opening days of September, however, when the Tigers held a 6.5 game lead on the Chicago White Sox on September 3 and trailed the Sox 8-1 at home at Comerica Park.
The first year I watched the Detroit Tigers play competitive baseball was 2006. That season, I watched Detroit crumble in September and allow a 5.5 game lead in the division on September 1 evaporate, losing five straight games to hand the crown to Minnesota. on September 3, 2011, it looked like more of the same. And then Comerica Park became a bomb factory. Down 8-6 in the 9th, Ryan Raburn belted a two-run shot to tie the game, and in stepped Miguel Cabrera. Miggy looked at one pitch from Sergio Santos, a slider that didn’t slide, and blasted it over the bullpen in left field, letting the air out of the American League Central. This was the first time Cabrera made the Tigers’ fate feel different to me because of his presence, a reminder that with his steady hand, they would not collapse.