DETROIT — Let’s set the scene. It’s the seventh inning with a scoreless tie. Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson and Yankees counterpart Phil Hughes have been outright dealin’ it all game. It was intense. It was exciting. It was … gonna get ugly really quickly.
Let’s dissect the anatomy of the top of the seventh inning and see how it pertains to the human condition of the fans in attendance of the game, which included me:
Ryan Perry comes into the game in relief. He allows two baserunners to reach second and third with just one out. Jorge Posada steps to the plate. He lines a ball to left field, and a charging Josh Anderson misses the ball entirely, letting it go by him. The score is now 2-0.
Stage 1, Denial: That did NOT just happen.
Another walk is allowed before Perry is yanked in lieu of Louis Skolnick lookalike Nate Robertson. Johnny Damon steps in and hits a single to center. The score is now 3-0. After Mark Teixeira hits a pop fly out, Hideki Matsui gets a hitter’s count and drills a single right about where Damon had one. It’s suddenly 4-0.
Stage 2, Anger: What the HECK is wrong with the bullpen?
The next batter, Robinson Cano, is quickly down with no balls and two strikes, and it appears that Robertson is going to stop the bleeding just enough with a makeshift tourniquet. But, oh, no, Cano gets under the 2-2 pitch just enough and the ball is driven to right-center field, plating another run, making it 5-0.
Stage 3, Bargaining: Please, just give us one more out in this inning. I’ll do anything. I’ll start donating blood again!
At this point the entire lineup has gone to plate in the seventh, and Swisher’s second at-bat of the inning results in a walk. This brings in bullpen trainwreck Brandon Lyon, who promptly allows another walk to the next batter, Melky Cabrera, which forces in the sixth run of the inning.
Stage 4, Depression: I’m so ashamed for not going yesterday, when they won. This is looking hopeless. How are they going to score six runs in an inning?
With the bases loaded, the next batter, Jose Molina swings at the first pitch, which lands in the left field seats for a grand slam. That’s ten runs on the inning.
Which brings us to Stage 5, Acceptance.
(Photo credit: Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press)