For many of us, the most significant desire of any summer is to relax. Usually it’s a nice Sunday afternoon nap on the couch with the ceiling fan on and muted chatter coming from the community swimming pool about 100 yards away. At least in my home it is. Not so much at Tiger Stadium, now renamed to promote a bank.
Sunday it was the Tigers who napped and the Indians who were able to relax. The Tribe cruised, except for an annoying ninth inning, to an 11-8 victory.
Eight runs in four innings is a great way to relieve stress, especially when you enter the game against a pitcher who has a legitimate chance to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame, Justin Verlander.
Lonnie Chisenhall’s two two-run homer in the second certainly took the edge off any early anxiety. Jose Ramirez’s homer and Carlos Santana’s RBI double in the third brought some smiles. By the time Ramirez homered again in the fourth, Verlander was showering and making dinner plans.
Little did the Indians know that they had the bare minimum number of runs needed to get to equal the Tigers. They added three more sixth and it appeared the only issues remaining were when the bus would be leaving for the airport. It turned out they needed those runs.
The crowd thinned, the Tigers appeared to be relaxed and ready to chill.
Summon Boone Logan and the Tigers foolish but scary summer flirtation with an embarrassing comeback.
Logan entered the ninth with a 2.95 ERA after 34 previous appearances that only toted up to 18 1/3 innings. He’s a loogy — left-handed, one out guy. His mission today, however, appeared to be to finish the game. The problem was, he seemed locked in that “one-out” format. Yeah, he got one out but added five hits climaxed by a James McCann homer. Add in another home by Nicholas Castellanos off Shawn Armstrong, another hit and the Tigers had a six run inning, forcing a save situation.
That was not in the plans. The Tribe must have been hoping their loogy could log a nice juicy “game finished” before happy hour at the airport.
No, suddenly the Indians were calling closer Cody Allen to get a single out. A waste of his multi-million-dollar talents. Don’t you hate when a nice nap gets interrupted by someone insisting you go mow the lawn, grill some burgers or retired a Detroit Tiger?
The good news is that things did not get more dramatic. Allen did his job. Logan’s ERA balloogyed to 5.30.
So give Allen the best seat on the plane, let Mr. Francona snore, if he must, and forget the jittery conclusion of this otherwise tension-relieving jaunt.