Anybody else need to take a long drag on an oxygen tank after that one? No? Then a cigarette, perhaps? Hoo, baby. Trying to describe everything that happened in this game could take 2,000 words and I'm not sure I have it in me after going from a warm, fuzzy feeling to gut punch nauseous to hug and kiss anyone nearby.
The sickening gut punch came from Francisco Cruceta who gave up a game-tying, three-run homer to Mike Lowell, turning a sure win into possible tears-inducing loss. Will it be a while before Cruceta gets to put on his cape again in a key late-inning situation? Well... Jim Leyland doesn't exactly have a bunch of other guys he can trust right now. Cruceta will probably be out there again soon.
Actual vomiting may have been induced by Leyland's decision to send Magglio Ordonez running on contact in the eighth inning when the Tigers had men on first and second with one out against Hideki Okajima. Gary Sheffield neglected to contribute the contact part of the equation and Maggs was mowed down at third for a seemingly morale-crushing double play.
With the Red Sox having a closer that hadn't blown a save so far this season, it looked like game over, and one seriously bleak 20-hour wait until Thursday night's series finale. Fortunately for the Tigers, Julio Lugo apparently didn't get the memo. Even watching on TV, you could feel the air go out of Comerica Park when Edgar Renteria hit a ground ball to Lugo in the ninth inning for what looked like a sure double play ball.
Except Lugo muffed it, giving the Tigers a chance they probably never thought they'd see. And this time, they pounced on it, moving runners along and driving them in. Lugo was involved in the final play, as well, with Placido Polanco (who gets The Big Roar with a 5-for-6 night) blooping a broken-batted ball just over his outstretched glove to score Renteria - the runner who never should've reached base to begin with.
Let's go over that ninth inning again, in case you just joined us. Check-swing bouncer, error, sacrifice bunt, ground-out, broken-bat blooper. Tigers win. Tigers win!
Anyone else need some Dramamine? Whew!
We had a great GameThread tonight, with so many ups and downs. But these are the men who rode it out. It's always so much more fun when it's for a winning cause.
Thanks to pfuhrmeister, Germantiger, Zappatista, Fats Fothergill, Tony K, spotstarters, Grant E., Matt in Toledo, miggy4mvp, MackAveKurt, BigAl, rock n rye, ThaWalrus9, SonOfGibby, and Tigsfan, all of whom helped us through suffering and celebration in solidarity.