It's pretty hard for an analytical writer like myself to capture the excitement of game like today's 9-8 victory over the White Sox, but I need to say something. I couldn't watch the game because the Red Sox were on Fox and all other games were blacked out even for those who paid for Extra Innings. But you guys already know about that Saturday afternoon foolishness. As a result, I listened to the game on the radio.
The Tigers were down 8-1 in the fifth and it was a beautiful day out, so I went outside to do some yard work. I checked in periodically and noticed that the Tigers were chipping away. They scored three in the bottom of the fifth, when red hot Austin Jackson (four for five on the day) tripled in a run and Delmon Young hit a two-run homer. Third baseman Wilson Betemit belted another homer in the sixth to make 8-5 and I started paying more attention.
Then there was a rain delay in the eighth, so I went out to get a pizza. I came back to hear shortstop Jhonny Peralta single in a run to close the gap to 8-6. Meanwhile, the Tigers bullpen was doing a great job keeping the Tigers in the game - three scoreless innings by David Pauley and one perfect frame by rookie Luis Marte.
White Sox closer Sergio Santos came in to pitch the ninth. Santos has been outstanding this year, but the way the game and the season has been going, you sensed it wasn't over yet. With one out, Jackson lined a triple down the left field line. Ryan Raburn, who earlier entered the game as a pinch hitter for the left-handed Andy Dirks, followed with a long blast down the left field line to tie the game at eight. With two outs, big Miguel Cabrera then launched a shot over the left field fence for a 9-8 walk-off victory.
As it turned out, Tigers radio broadcaster Dan Dickerson did such a great job capturing the drama of the ninth inning that is was almost good that the game was not on television. This was one of the most exciting comebacks in an important game the Tigers have made in my 44 years as a fan. The game needed a great call and Dickerson gave it to us.