This was one of those games that really could have gone either direction. The Tigers and Royals played a well-balanced game of trading off leads and everyone was, well, pretty decent.
I think if we’re going to be completely candid, the most exciting thing in this entire game for me was the reappearance of old friend Tiger Suit Guy, who had himself some front row seats behind home plate, a plethora of signs including “Make Comerica Great Again,” a fan club sign I didn’t quite manage to jot down, multiple 1-800 number sign, and a couple of messages for the front office.
Tiger Suit Guy is back in KC, and he has a front-row seat tonight for Tigers-Royals. He also has a Tiger puppet, it appears. pic.twitter.com/uquS116WmI— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 22, 2021
I don’t know why the reappearance of Tiger Suit Guy felt like such an important moment to me, but it was one of those “nature is healing and all is well in the world” kind of bits of normalcy. Might be the only time “normalcy” is used when referring to Tiger Suit Guy, but we sure missed you, buddy.
Here’s how the Tigers got their win tonight.
Miguel Cabrera hit home run number 490, making me think we actually will see the big 5-0-0 this year.
Career home run No. 490 for @MiguelCabrera! pic.twitter.com/snC8psNuFq— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 22, 2021
Eric Haase had himself quite the evening, first with this out. Looks like Hinch’s choice to go with the bold “three catchers in the game at once” strategy paid off as Haase, Ramos, and Rogers all contributed tonight.
A catcher threw out a runner from left field and no we won't provide more context. pic.twitter.com/GU0ReP5iW0— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 22, 2021
And then with this slide, which was originally called an out but after a replay review, went the Tigers way.
Never doubt Eric Haase, especially when he's on a roll. Wilson Ramos singled and Haase took off for home. After he was initially ruled out at the plate, Haase was found to be safe after the review, giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead! #DetroitRoots pic.twitter.com/lQJAuEjHnV— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) May 22, 2021
Go. Ahead. Grand. Slam. (And home run 491.)
Go-ahead grand slam.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 22, 2021
Miggy is CLUTCH. pic.twitter.com/7mSC3Y8uux
If you would prefer that as narrated by Dan Dickerson, we’ve got that too.
Number 491 for Miguel Cabrera. pic.twitter.com/V2K86VyxiT— Rogelio Castillo (@rogcastbaseball) May 22, 2021
Anyway here’s the inning-by-inning if you want to know precisely how the score got to where it is and aren’t satisfied by a highlight reel.
First: Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top; Benintendi was the sole single for the Royals after two outs and was caught stealing to end the inning.
Second: Cabrera lead off the inning with a solo home run; Perez reached safely on a Goodrum fielding error, but then was eliminated in a double play.
Third: Grossman reached on an infield single; okay deep breath here, one second... Gutierrez singled, Merrifield singled, Santana singled to score Gutierrez, Benintendi singled but no additional runs scored.
Fourth: Candelario doubled, Haase singled, Goodrum singled to score Candelario, Ramos singled to score Haase (after the reply showed he was safe); Gutierrez singled, but no runs.
Fifth: Grossman singled, but got tagged out stealing second (this also went to review and he should have been safe, but it was ruled an out); Lopez doubled, no runs scored.
Sixth: Cabrera singled, no runs scored; Perez doubled, O’Hearn singled to score Perez, Taylor homered to score Perez and himself.
Seventh: Jones singled, Rogers singled, Grossman singled and Jones was out at home on some truly dismal baserunning (see below), Schoop walked, Cabrera hit a grand slam, Haase singled; Merrifield walked, no runs.
Eighth: Rogers doubled, no runs; Royals went 1-2-3 for Cisnero.
Ninth: The Tigers went 1-2-3; MICHAEL FULMER THREW A 100MPH PITCH, wtf? Oh, and the Royals went 1-2-3 and the Tigers won.
The Uglier Moments
JaCoby Jones had a pretty poor night on the basepaths tonight, exemplified best by an opportunity to score a run when he headed home and... didn’t slide? It was a tight plate and he was up against the pitcher covering home, and he... didn’t slide. He also one hundred percent got tagged out in the junk, so sliding might have been a good move for more than one reason.
After a shortened outing against the Cubs, Jose Urena went a solid six innings with a final line of 6.0IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K on 94 pitches. Yeah I said it “solid” on a guy who gave up 10 hits, because quite honestly it could have been a lot uglier and it really wasn’t.