By Greg Bowman
WOW! Unbelievable! That’s how Tiger fans are reacting to Sunday’s exciting come from behind win, as the Tigers scored five times in the bottom of the tenth to beat the Cleveland Indians 10 to 8. The winning blow was a two-run homer by slugger Miguel Cabrera. And all the runs scored after two were out. The Tigers mounted their unlikely rally against Cleveland’s closer Chris Perez who has owned the Tigers this season. And it came after the Indians had scored three in the top of the tenth, sending thousands of fans home, thinking the game was lost.
But that is what is so great about baseball. There is no clock. Y0ur team can keep batting forever, as long as the other team can’t get the third out. Compare that to the three other major sports: Football, Basketball, and Hockey, where the game ends when the clock runs out. There is nothing more boring than seeing a quarterback take a knee to watch the clock tick down. And there’s nothing the other team can do about it. Same thing in basketball. The team with the ball can walk up and down the court until time runs out. And if your hockey team can keep control of the puck, the other team can’t win.
I’d say I feel sorry for those fans who left early, but that’s why you don’t leave a baseball game until the last out is made. You never know what might happen. In April of 1901 (No, I wasn’t at that game!), the Tigers played their first game in the American League. They won 14 to 13, scoring ten runs in the ninth inning after trailing 13 to 4. So that will show you why you shouldn’t leave a game early!
Despite the exciting win against Cleveland, the Tigers are still wasting too many scoring chances. Austin Jackson got a leadoff triple to start the ninth. But Omar Infante, who was having his best game since re-joining the Tigers in a trade, struck out. And after back-to-back intentional walks to Cabrera and Fielder, Quintin Berry hit into a double play. And he’s the one guy who has speed and can bunt. Couldn’t the Tigers have tried a suicide squeeze, or something to avoid a DP? At the least, Berry should have waited for a pitch he could have hit to the outfield, which is all they would have needed to win the game with Cleveland’s strange five man infield shift.
Still, who am I to quibble? The Tigers won. But they may not get as many chances when they play the much tougher New York Yankees for four games starting Monday.