|Joe Mauer on second after his 7th inning double|
For the first time this season, I went to a game in which I was actively rooting against the hometeam. Thus, it was quite the disappointment when the hometeam won. Thanks to construction on I-94, which I didn’t know about beforehand, I arrived at the game 10 minutes late, and bought my outfield grandstand tickets from
a scalper the box office. I missed the top of the first, although I figured out what I missed from the jumbotron in later innings. Ahh, Lew Ford grounded out to the pitcher in the first — I’ll score it a 1-3. But the seats were decent — 11th row from the field, just behind third base.
The Tigers scored early on three singles in the bottom of the second. Omar Infante got the RBI off a single scoring Magglio Ordonez from second. The game remained a pitchers duel until the top of the 7th. Joe Mauer, former quarterback for the Cretin-Derham Hall football team that clobbered my own Wayzata High School Trojans by some ridiculous score on their way to a state title, led off the seventh with a double. He scored two batters later on a Jacque Jones single.
|Bronze statue of legendary Tigers first baseman Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg|
The Twins defense looked good at the start of the bottom on the 7th. Juan Castro laid out for diving catch at shortstop to keep Omar Infante from getting on base. (I wasn’t fast enough to snap a picture.) But on the very next pitch, Curtis Granderson homered deep to right field, regaining the Tiger lead. Carlos Silva recovered and struck out Brandon Inge on six pitches to end the inning, but the damage had been done. The Twins never recovered and the final score remained 2-1.
The remaining play of note happened during Jacque Jones’s at bat in the bottom of the ninth. On the first pitch, Jones fouled straight back and the ball glanced off of catcher Pudge Rodriguez’s shoulder. The game stopped while the trainer came out to take a look, but eventually Pudge stayed in the game. However, he was not back in the line-up for the second game of the night, a roster move that may have cost the Tigers the second game.
Since this was the first game of a day-night double header, I had three and a half hours to kill between games. I spent the first hour wandering around the stadium. Like SBC Park in San Francisco, Comerica Park opened in 2000. Both stadiums have large bronze statues of their team’s former great players.
|The Tigers merry-go-round – $2 a ride!|
In comparison with Fenway, the oldest stadium still in use (1912), both of these newer stadiums come with attractions not directly related to the baseball game taking place on the field. SBC Park has the Coca-Cola Superslide and Little Giants Park, a miniature ballfield for kids to run around in. Comerica has a beer garden, a ferris wheel with carts shaped like baseballs, and a Detroit Tigers merry-go-round. I toyed with the idea of spending $2 on a ride, but I eventually decided against it. After all, I came to see some baseball, not play on an amusement park.
In order to
make sure we bought two tickets clean between games, the staff at Comerica required us to leave the stadium and not re-enter until 5:30. I bought my tickets for the second game, wandered around downtown Detroit for a bit, and ate at the first air-conditioned restaurant I could find — the Hard Rock Cafe. After a dinner of chili and a rootbeer float, I returned to Comerica for the second game of the evening…