If Tuesday’s two games between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are any indication of how the rest of the series will unfold, we’re looking at the division being decided on Sunday. In the ninth inning. On the final out(s).
The Twins and Tigers swapped nail-biting victories on Tuesday, with Minnesota taking the 10-inning, 3-2 day game and Detroit squeezing out the 5-4 nightcap. After watching 19 innings today, I’m pretty convinced that neither team has the wherewithal to poop out any kind of winning streak. We’re headed for a series split, possibly a first-place tie, after Tuesday. But that’s not the least of the story.
No, see, I could have caught Curtis Granderson’s home run ball.
I was miles away, sure, but the tickets I purchased for Monday’s game became Tuesday afternoon passes once the rain clouds dictated such. With my girlfriend — and pretty much everyone else I know — at work, I instead watched the game on TV. Hey, this kind of viewing environment has its advantages. It’s warmer, parking is free, and the seating area is slightly cleaner. But here was the downside: In the 10th inning, down 3-1 to the Fraternals, Granderson launched this beauty off closer Joe Nathan:
Yep. That was mere feet from where my tickets were, and you can safely bet that I’d have snuffed out a human life for a shot at that little white sphere.
Sigh. They look so happy.
If you’re a believer in the butterfly effect, it’s almost a given that had I caught that home run ball, then Placido Polanco also would have homered, as would have Miguel Cabrera to win the sucker. (Ryan Raburn probably still would have made an out. Let’s not get into any crazy theories all of a sudden.)
From the squeeze bunt disaster to the wild-pitch fiasco, the end of that game was pretty gut-wrenching. So was the second game, seeing a 5-0 Tigers lead dwindle to 5-4, thanks to the Human Tilt-a-Whirl closer Fernando Rodney. (In a tilt-a-whirl, you’re always safe in the end, but you generally throw up in the process.)
Will I survive these next two days? The games are going to eat me alive. Wednesday night’s game is Carl Pavano, who morphs into Sandy friggin’ Koufax against and only against Detroit this year, against Eddie Bonine, who puts the “replacement player” in “value over replacement player.” Scott Baker and Nate Robertson play Duelin’ Virgos on Thursday night.
I could probably save myself countless, chewed-off fingernails and noise-ordinance violations if I’d simply lock myself in a hyperbaric chamber until Sunday afternoon. This is, of course, assuming the two teams don’t have to play a one-game playoff on Monday. Aw, hell, I’ll just set the timer for October 5.