It was Sept. 2, 2011 when the Detroit Tigers made a miraculous comeback from 8-1 down to the Chicago White Sox to all but seal the AL Central from the Cleveland Indians. It was Sept. 21, 2013 when the Tigers did it again. The Tigers down a stunning 6-0 in the ninth inning and came out of nowhere to absolutely stun the White Sox and cement the AL Central for all realistic purposes.
The Tigers’ offense, who was colder than a mother-in-law, suddenly found itself banging out hit after hit and scoring shocking run after shocking run until the score was tied at 6. The game went into extra innings where in the 12th inning, the Tigers loaded the bases on three walks. Then Omar Infante stepped in and delivered the infield single that ended it.
These are the games that can build unity; these are the games that could build the foundation for a team to have confidence with each of its teammates and to shake away the nerves and pressure that come along with being one of the highest-paid teams in baseball. One that can create an atmosphere of looseness and fun that every team needs to be able to compete at its highest level. Gone was the tenseness that seemed to fill the team and its fans for those long, painful eight innings. In was elation, and a fan base that couldn’t believe what had just occurred. The Tigers hadn’t had an emotional game such as this in a long, long time, and it could not come at a more crucial point in the season. This was why you become a sports fan; this is why you have to love the game of baseball, and the fact that there is no clock. Because if there was a clock, well, let’s just say it wouldn’t have been pretty.
It counts as just one win, but in reality it counts for a lot more. Confidence, team unity and excitement are at their highest levels. When you can get contributions from guys like Andy Dirks mixed with what you know you are getting from Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez, you are going to get a lineup that can roll up the runs at any moment. Let’s hope tonight was just a preview of the potential the Tigers are going to show the next few weeks.