Monday, September 10, 2007

Fantastic Finish

The season reached perhaps its lowest point yesterday with the rout at the hands of the Mariners combined with Indians and Yankees victories and the news about Bonderman's injury after the game. Many fans had all but conceded that the Tigers were out of the playoff picture. Posters on message boards were discussing off-season moves and 2008 starting line-ups. Today's make-up game with the Blue Jays was a ho hum affair for 8 innings. With the Tigers down 4-1, it looked like another nail in the Tigers coffin. The only question was whether Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay would get a complete game.

Mike Rabelo led off the bottom of the 9th with a single but Timo Perez followed by grounding into a double play to shortstop and there were two quick outs. Even the most optimistic of Tigers fans could not anticipate what lay ahead. With 2 outs, Sean Casey kept the game going with a single to center. At that point, Halladay was removed from the game and replaced by Casey Janssen. the first batter he faced was Brandon Inge who singled and then moved up to second on defensive indifference.

The next batter Curtis Granderson now represented the tying run and suddenly things were getting a little interesting. Granderson singled to right center to knock in 2 runs and make it 4-3. Placido Polanco followed with a single to left to put 2 runners on again. Gary Sheffield worked the count to 3-2 and then walked to load the bases. Up came Magglio Ordonez who already had three hits on the night. The amazing Magglio came through again with a hard single through the hole on the right side of the infield. Two runs scored and the improbable comeback was complete. The Tigers had won 5-4.

The ensuing celebration was a sight to see. Jim Leyland rushed onto the field and joined his players as they hugged and jumped up and down. It was the kind of scene that made you believe that there is still hope. And even if they don't make it, this is a game that will not soon be forgotten. It was truely one of the most thrilling comebacks I've witnessed in almost 40 years following the team. Yes, at least for tonight, I actually believe they are still in the hunt.

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