Stay with me for this one. It is possibly the most interesting Tigers game of the entire month, if not the season.
Things started off well, a one-run homer from Justin Upton giving us a chance to say something different from “Gary Sanchez starts the scoring with a home run.” The lead was short-lived however when Chase Headley was able to single into left field and score Aaron Judge, tying the game in the second.
Michael Fulmer was efficient and in control through the game, looking much more like his old self.
Jaime Garcia, on his third team this season, got beaten up by long at-bats against the Tigers, but luck was on his side rather than the Tigers. A bases loaded situation in the third inning came to nothing when Miguel Cabrera flied out to right field.
Gary Sanchez struck again, his fourth of the series, in the top of the fourth giving the Yankees the lead. In this particular battle of the 2016 Rookie of the Year contenders, Sanchez came out on top. I can’t wait to stop hearing about Gary Sanchez home runs. In the last 10 game the Yankees have scored 19 home runs.
Redemption came later that same inning when some head’s up base running from Nicholas Castellanos was followed by an RBI single from John Hicks. In the fifth, the lead once again shifted to the Yankees thanks to a Kinsler error, followed by a bobble from Iglesias that caused a double-play to turn into a single out. After Fulmer hit Gary Sanchez with a pitch he showed visible signs of discomfort, shaking his arm, a cause for concern given his recent DL stint for ulnar neuritis issues (causing him to lose feeling in his fingers). He stayed in the game, however.
A Justin Upton double in the bottom of the fifth signaled the end for Jaime Garcia. A sac fly from Nick Castellanos scored Mikie Mahtook and gave the Tigers the lead once again. Adam Warren had some control issues, with two walks in his first inning of work, loading the bases. Jones took advantage scoring two runs on a perfectly located single. A double from Iglesias scored Hicks, bumping the lead up to 6-3. Warren was the second Yankees pitcher to get pulled in the fifth.
Tommy Kahnle came out of the Yankees pen for relief and found the strike-out rhythm early, then got tossed for throwing behind Miguel Cabrera in an obvious retaliation for the Fulmer hitting Sanchez. Joe Girardi was tossed for arguing with the umpires over there being no response to Fulmer (who honestly didn’t seem to have any intent when he hit Sanchez), and no warnings issued to the teams after that hit. Aroldis Chapman was forced to warm up in a hurry.
Miguel Cabrera and Austin Romine ended up throwing punches at each other, no pitches required, and the benches cleared in an all out brawl. It was an ugly, intense fight and not one that reflected well on either team. Andrew Romine, Cabrera’s teammate but Austin Romine’s brother, tried to calm the situation, but it was clear temperatures were hot.
Wow this picture. There's Andrew trying to break up a fight between his teammate and brother. pic.twitter.com/qZR84GUtyS— Hailey ⚾️❤️ (@haileygirl10) August 24, 2017
As a result of Austin Romine’s ejection, Gary Sanchez had to move into the catcher position, and the Yankees lost their DH. Dixon Machado came in to replace the ejected Cabrera. Sanchez almost immediately started barking at Nick Castellanos, but it was a short lived interaction. A squirrel took to the field at the end of the inning if there wasn’t enough excitement already. Security were unable to apprehend it.
The extended bouts of rest didn’t help Fulmer much, when the seventh rolled around he struggled to locate the zone, and an inside pitch netted Fulmer a warning. After letting the first two batters he faced get on base, manager Brad Ausmus pulled Fulmer.
Then things got bad. Stumpf came in and gave up two runs, and was pulled so quickly I didn’t even see him throw a pitch. Alex Wilson relieved Stumpf and blessedly did not hit Gary Sanchez otherwise the entire stadium might have collapsed into donnybrooks. Instead Sanchez hit a single and tied the game, so on second thought the hit by pitch might have been preferable.
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER... Delin Betances nailed James McCann in the head with a pitch. At this point they should have just called the game. Betances was ejected, and complained about it, but come on, you hit a guy in the head. Intentional or not, the ejection was warranted. McCann was thankfully unhurt, though the immediate reaction was scary. Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson was also tossed.
THEN THEY HIT JOHN HICKS.
Y’all I can’t even make this stuff up. Robertson was allow to stay in the game, since the hit did not appear intentional, and both benches remained seated, but it’s pretty hard to think otherwise given the circumstances. What a ride.
A clearly fired up Jose Iglesias hammered in three runs on a bases-loaded double. The right way to get revenge.
Alex Wilson hit Todd Frazier with a pitch. Wilson was ejected (a decision which took too long), and again, the benches cleared. Seriously, can games be called early on account of insanity? Notably, Alex Wilson’s first career ejection. Does he get to keep the ball? Brad Ausmus also ejected. Why? Not sure, probably because things were getting ridiculous?
Let’s catch up.
If you were using a scorecard for today’s game, well... my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Also, some noticed Victor Martinez and Justin Verlander squabbling in the dugout after the second fight.
Verlander flipped off Victor Martinez in dugout for standing with Sanchez as Castellanos told of cheap shot. V-Mart then had to be held back— Josh Mansour (@joshmansour) August 24, 2017
Martinez and Verlander getting into it. pic.twitter.com/N32MdMGy2p— CockyAstrosFan (@astros_dude) August 24, 2017
Shane Greene came on, and sweet mercy it’s still only the top of the 8th. Greene made it through the inning without giving up any runs or hitting anyone. I’m having flashbacks to that Indians game last season where Kinsler got a concussion.
Another sweet revenge moment in the eighth as James McCann hit a solo home run, though the ball hit a kid in the face in the outfield (he was fine). A JaCoby Jones tag out at second was a review call, but the out was held up and the inning ended. Three outs left, let’s not kill anyone.
Double play took down the first two outs of the inning. Greene ended things poetically by striking out Gary Sanchez. Game over, Tigers win.
Let’s all take a deep breath and be thankful this is the last time the Tigers will see the Yankees this season.
Justin Upton - a home run, a walk, and a double, he was certainly making everything work.
JaCoby Jones - where others struggled to take advantage with the bases loaded, Jones gave the Tigers a much needed lead in the fifth.
James McCann just barreled a ball a projected 411 feet... for an F8.— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) August 24, 2017
The Majors hit .987 on balls 411+ this year.
Miguel Cabrera, who just can’t seem to hit anything, especially with guys on base. Cabrera was visibly upset with himself after striking out in the bottom of the fifth, showing that the frustration is very clearly present for the future Hall of Famer. Then the fight meant he didn’t get a chance to redeem himself.
The fights. The intentional hits. There was a lot of ugly to go around.
STREAKS & INFO:
Four generations threw out today’s opening pitch:
And the almost-30-year-old Justin Upton capped off his last day as a 20-something nicely.
Justin Upton celebrates the final day of his 20s with a solo homer in the 1st. Tigers up 1-0.— Noah Trister (@noahtrister) August 24, 2017