Miguel Cabrera leaving after aggravating an injury, the Detroit Tigers barreling toward a four-game sweep at home against the Oakland Athletics and sliding faster than Amanda Bynes acting career, it was Torii Hunter who delivered the punch that may send the Tigers into October.
With two outs in the ninth and down three runs, the Tigers were able to get a Prince Fielder walk and Victor Martinez RBI single, setting the stage for Hunter to deliver the biggest hit in the Tigers season, and what might be the biggest hit the Athletics have given up: a three-run walk-off home run.
This is what Hunter was signed to do. The Tigers, having an outfield with more holes than Swiss cheese, needed a guy who could hit with consistency and field at a major league level — and Hunter has done just that. Perhaps the biggest tool he has given this team is his veteran presence in the locker room and his never-flinch attitude in big situations. Hunter has been the best free agent signing since Magglio Ordonez, and if you think that sounds like a long time ago, that’s because it has been. Hunter has been everything this team could have hoped for and he just seems to be getting better as the season goes on, which is rare for someone at his age of 37.
Questions are still there, though. Will Miguel Cabrera’s injury turn out to be serious? How will the pitchers bounce back from a rough few days?
The clouds haven’t fully cleared, but for a brief moment, Hunter pulled the Tigers from the brink of destruction and back into a slight feeling of comfort. Good teams find ways to win when everything is going wrong, and today the Tigers showed that they are a good team.