The Tigers have been playing horribly for much of August, losing 14 of 20 and allowing the White Sox and Twins to get within five games back. They still have the best record in baseball, but I've been a little worried lately. I know slumps happen, but this one has been marked by (a) horrible hitting; and (b) horrible game decisions, like playing Neifi Perez over Omar Infante or not resting Magglio Ordonez, who is obviously tired and slumping badly.
Today, they played a day-night doubleheader with the Yankees. Their anemic offense showed up for game one, and they lost 2-0. For the second game, they scored just two runs in the first eight innings, and looked like they were going to lose yet again. Getting swept by the Yankees in a doubleheader would have been crushing, as there's a good chance the teams will meet again in the playoffs.
The season seemed to be hanging in the balance, and my computer was going on the fritz in the last inning. I closed out of Mozilla, then re-opened up all the programs I need to to watch mlbtv, and - as if the clouds parted - it flipped back on and I was able to see Curtis Granderson's nine-pitch walk in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. Then, Craig Monroe's three-run home run to win it on the first pitch.
It was one of the greatest regular season game endings I've ever seen. Definitely the biggest win of the season and just a great, great game. I felt like the umpires were being paid off by the Yankees and it felt so good to beat them. God, I hate the Yankees.
Memorable home runs of my life:
1. Cecil Fielder's 50th home run in 1990. It was on the last game of the season, and it was back when hitting 50 home runs meant something; Big Cecil was the first in a couple decades to get it (and there wasn't any steroid help). It wasn't televised, so I was listening to Ernie Harwell's call of the home run on the downstairs television, which played Tiger game broadcasts over community message boards. I was so excited that I ran upstairs, screaming, and hit my head on the basement ceiling on the way up the stairs. Later that night, Cecil hit another home run, just for the hell of it.
2. Larry Herndon hitting a home run to beat the Blue Jays in the final game of 1987, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 in a game that Frank Tanana pitched.
3. Alan Trammell, Johnny Grubb, and Matt Nokes hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to beat the Orioles in some game in 1987. It was the moment I thought they could win it all.
4. Robert Fick hits the last home run at Tiger Stadium - a very long one.
5. This Craig Monroe home run has to be #5. And it could rise in prominence if it gets the Tigers out of this funk.
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