Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Was the Tigers' Win Today a Turning Point?

You always hear about a turning point in a season that turned a team around.  The Wings had their March 26, 1997 McCarty, Lemuiex, Roy, Vernon brawl, the Tigers had their 2006 Jim Leyland rant, etc.  Did the 2012 Tigers have their turning point today with their dramatic come-from-behind win vs. the Chisox?  Could this be the game that wakes the team up and gets them rolling?

In case you missed it while in your cubicle (I had been listening with headphones at mine), the Tigers started off the game looking dead, listless, lifeless, flat, whatever you want to call it, and found themselves in a 6-0 hole after 5.  They were, per usual, leaving men stranded on base (6 at this point), failing to get hits with 2 outs, Peavy was mowing them down, players looked disinterested (Miggy getting gunned at home while not hustling around the bags was a glaring example), and Scherzer was rocked since giving up 2 runs in the 1st inning.  It was a disaster and looked as if they had hit rock bottom.  Social media sites were burning with fire and brimstone and the "Fire Leyland" movement was in full charge. 

Then came the 6th inning and...BOOM!  Literally...BOOM!  The Tigers bats all of the sudden woke up as if there had been an alarm clock set.  A 2-run HR by Cabrera...6-2.  A 3-run shot by Raburn (not a typo)...6-5.  And then a 3-run bomb by Jackson and all of the sudden the Tigers had taken an 8-6 lead IN 1 INNING!  This is how we expected the bats to be.  An explosive force that can seize a game at moment's notice.

The boys were not done.  The Tigers added 2 more runs in the 7th with RBI singles off the bats of Raburn (again, not a typo) and Peralta.  They now had a 10-6 lead and Coke had come in to calm the Sox bats.  Benoit completed a 9-pitch 8th inning to preserve the lead going to the 9th.  Bullpen lookin' solid now too!  High fives!


Papa Grande got the 1st 2 batters fairly easily only to give up a single and a double to put 2 in scoring position before he left with a sudden injury.  Word is it is only a stiff back so no big deal. 


A walk to Rios loaded the bases.  A Ramirez double and now we have a 10-8 game with 2 men still on with Viciedo due up.  Dotel delivered the pitch and Viciedo launched one to right field...could it be a walk-off 3-run HR to knock the wind out of the Tigers and their fans?  It can't be!  It...wasn't...Boesch caught the wall at the warning track.  Close but no cigar.  Crisis adverted.

It wasn't pretty but it was a win.  A much-needed win.  And more so, it was how they won; with the electric bats we expected.  With the determination of a champion to not quit when it looked dire.  With the bullpen stopping the bleeding (for the most part sans the 9th).  This could be the confidence booster this team needs.  Could this be that turning point that propels them to start winning consistently and win this weak division?  If not, will their be another moment?  More of a drastic moment such as replacing Jim Leyland?  Underachieving teams need a spark and coaching changes are not uncommon sources in professional sports (i.e. Blues, Capitals, Orioles).  Will it have to get to that or was today it?  Time will tell.  They will need to build off of this.  Let's hope they do and never look back.

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