Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2009

Tigers' magical ride ends in game 163

Detroit fought valiantly from start to finish, but when push came to shove, the Tigers were unable to beat the Twins in a one-game tiebreaker at the Metrodome, falling one win short of clinching the AL Central and making the playoffs.

Finally, in Fernando Rodney's fourth inning of work, the Twins punched their postseason ticket. Gomez's leadoff single in the bottom of the inning started the final rally. Cuddyer's ground ball to third stayed just fair, moving Gomez to second as Inge threw over for the out at first. After an intentional walk to Delmon Young, Casilla slapped a grounder through the right side, sending Gomez home.

History will say losing a three-game lead in the American League Central with four games to play was unprecedented heartbreak for the Tigers, as was losing a division it either led alone or shared since May 10. (sic!) That sickening feeling in the Tigers' stomachs says losing a tiebreaker lead in extra innings feels worse.

Manager Jim Leyland's crew had a terrific ride, but fell in the tiebreaker. «It's a tough pill to swallow, obviously,» Leyland said, «but like I told my guys, there's not a manager alive that can complain about what they did today. They played their hearts out.»