Friday night’s contest with the New York Yankees turned into perhaps the best win of the season so far for the Detroit Tigers. The new school, represented by budding Tigers’ starter Casey Mize, took on the best pitcher in the American League in Gerrit Cole, and went toe to toe with him. The bullpens, incredibly, returned serve over and over again. And after leaking a run in the top of the 10th, it was the Tigers’ most consistent player in Robbie Grossman who came through in the end.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, down a run, in a 3-2 count after a very narrow ball three call on a pitch right on the outer edge of the strike zone, Grossman launched a Justin Wilson fastball into the Tigers’ bullpen for a walkoff homer.
Bally Sports Detroit’s Johnny Kane talked to Grossman postgame, and it was fun to hear his reaction. “I’m just glad we won that game. It’s cold out man.” Kane went on to reference the fact that this was Grossman’s first walkoff homer of his career. “Are you aware of that?”
“Oh I’m very aware of that,” smiled the usually taciturn Grossman.
If there’s one small detail we really loved in this moment, it was the slight nod, as though after a job well done, in the instant after the ball left the bat.
Can we also note the Friday night crowd going wild in 40 degree weather? Note to Chris Ilitch: If you build it, we will come. This is a great sports town and region being done wrong on numerous fronts. Let’s go.