I think it was during the fourth inning of this game, when the Mets managed to turn a 4-1 lead by the Tigers into a 5-4 game for the Mets themselves, that this was not going to be the kind of recap that found its narrative early and stayed on course.
Meaning only a fool would assume to know how this game would go.
Baseball has this wonderful, miserable way of changing course on a dime, and even when victory can seem assured, everything will switch on a dime. You will see the best and worst of teams. Joy and frustration in equal measure. It’s one of the greatest gifts in this game.
Unless of course your team is on a nine-game losing streak and all you want is to see them win.
For our beloved Tigers there were good parts and bad parts to this game. Reasons to be excited that had nothing to do with winning.
The Tigers started out the scoring early, with RBIs from both Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera in the first inning. In the second inning, JaCoby Jones launched a two-run blast to score himself and Josh Harrison. Then pitcher Gregory Soto got his first career hit. He almost made it count, too, with an error getting Castellanos to the plate and Cabrera netting another single, Soto got all the way to third before the Tigers were struck out.
In the third inning, the Mets started to claw back, with an Amed Rosario home run. It was the fourth inning, though, like I mentioned, where things started to get really lopsided, and Tigers’ fans hopes of an easy victory fell apart. Soto (who got his SECOND career hit at the top of the inning) began to falter. Alonso doubled, and then Wilson Ramos scored him. Then former Tiger Rajai Davis — who took an Uber up from the minors yesterday — singled. Then Adeiny Hechavarria hit not only his first home run, but his first RBIs of the season. The Mets now lead 5-4.
The Mets lead was short lived, as Miguel Cabrera, already having an active night at the plate, got his second home run of the season to tie things up. Then, because Alonso couldn’t let us have nice things, he hit a home run in the fifth. And from here we just sort of start switching the lead back and forth.
Christin Stewart scored Dawel Lugo on a sac fly in the sixth, back to tied.
Aaron Altherr, whose last name looks like a typo but isn’t, hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth to return the Mets to the lead.
Then JaCoby Jones had a two-run double. And for good measure Brandon Dixon had an RBI single to score Jones. Nice 9-7 cushion, right?
Would be, except Ramos hit a solo home run in the eighth meaning once again there was a mere one-run buffer.
Shane Greene, however, who was rung up for five unearned runs in Thursday’s game against the Marlins, was able to come on the ninth to shut things down, collect the save and let the Tigers walk away with a... what’s the opposite of losing?
Oh right, a win!
Not only did the Tigers win, but we saw strong offensive performances from Jones and Cabrera both. The pitching left something to be desired, as only Victor Alcantara and Greene escaped the game without giving up runs. Soto was actually looking pretty decent the first time through the order which makes me think perhaps the Tigers might want to consider him in tandem with someone like Blaine Hardy to try the opener routine.
But hey, the most important thing: