Game 161: Rays at Tigers
PREGAME: It’s shirts off their backs day as the Tigers will disrobe at the completion of the game and give their uni’s to some lucky fans. They won’t really need them with this being the last home game and all (sad face).
It may be their last game period depending on the outcomes in Chicago and Minnesota. If the White Sox win, the Tigers will be playing in Chicago tomorrow. If the Twins win and the White Sox lose, they won’t be.
As for things in the D, it will be Zach Miner and James Shields. Shields has kind of owned Detroit. But he’s not the same pitcher at home as on the road. He allows more baserunners, more homers, and strikes out significantly less away from the Dome.
Zach Miner has been a little up and down since becoming a starter, but mostly up. In his last outing he allowed 10 baserunners and 4 runs in 6 innings.
Game Time 1:05
POSTGAME: It was strange at the park today. The weather was gorgeous. The fans were more into the game than at any I’ve attended since July. They chanted Gary. They roared for Granderson’s homer. They marveled at Zach Miner retiring 12 straight to start the game, with only 2 balls leaving the infield. Even after a typical bullpen meltdown, Magglio Ordonez added some drama by tying the game in the 9th.
Even the loss didn’t necessarily seem to dampen spirits. It was odd, I don’t quite get it.
Maybe it was the fan appreciation or the weather, but people seemed really happy. And the fan appreciation, with was appreciated. My kids each scored autographed balls, my daughter got Magglio and my son got Inge. They promptly traded and were thrilled.
The organization thanked the fans, all 3.2 million with an announcement on the scoreboard late in the game. And when they did that a number of players went up on to the top steps of the dugout to say thank you.
There’s something about that last day of the season, where you don’t know which guys are going to be back and which you’re cheering for the last time. One of those guys in limbo, but most likely gone is Vance Wilson. My kids were just finishing running the bases when Wilson came out of the dugout with his kids. As he walked past, I didn’t really know what to say given his situation. So I just said “Good luck with everything Vance.” He then circled the bases with his kids, and everyone else’s, surprisingly without creating too much of a commotion.