DETROIT – Spencer Turkelson saw AJ Bullock catch Javier Baez’s ninth game at the right field wall and thought he was heading into overtime. He never imagined getting out of the wall.
“I thought he played hell,” Turkelson said after the Tigers’ 5-4 win on opening day over the White Sox. And we’re like, ‘Okay, let’s move on to the tenth. Then we saw the replay.
Austin Meadows, standing on third base representing a potential winning streak while Baez hit his single, was thinking the same.
‘It was weird,’ said Meadows, ’cause I hit the house and didn’t realize it. I thought he was outside. I didn’t know. Then I saw everyone cheering in the dugout and then [manager] AJ [Hinch] He came and said, “Have you touched the home plate?” And I was like, “I think I did.”
Loyal Jacob Barnes of TV saw her at the Tigers Club, having just finished his act having made an eighth.
“When he hit her, we were like, ‘Wait, I hit the wall,'” Barnes said.
Bullock knew only the end result, not what happened behind it.
“It was an unconventional play,” Bullock said. “I knew I caught her. I had no idea if he hit a wall first.”
Bayes only knew he was going to win.
“I thought it hit the glove and then the wall,” he said. “I knew he hit the wall, but I didn’t know if it was the wall first.”
After reviewing the replay, the recoil from the wall became apparent. The Tigers were emptied of the dugout, and stormed the field in celebration after rallying the White Sox near Liam Hendriks.
A year after starting Detroit 8-22 and spending the rest of the season trying to get out of it, the club scored a remarkable victory over the defending champions, the team the Tigers targeted in their bid to get into the MLS. contenders. In the process, they beat one of the most powerful painkillers in baseball.
Hendrix had never lost to the Tigers in 33 games as of Friday.
“They added a couple of pieces that make their lineup exponentially more challenging,” Hendricks said. “Two of these guys were the reason to come out.”
Báez was clear, although it wasn’t obvious at first. He hit the swing on his first two hits against starter Lucas Giolito, both times with a runner in the starting. Baez’s sixth stroke left with two put Andrew Vaughn back on the warning lane. His first hit as Tiger was the eighth single in the first half, as Miguel Cabrera’s two-stage singles bases were loaded into a shallow center off Hendriks – Cabrera’s career hit in 2988.
Another hitter that Hendrix referred to was Meadows, who made the Tigers’ best showing of the day with three walks and threes for four pitchers, just four days after getting it from Rays. What seemed like a sudden move from Hinch, arriving at Meadows in second place, made him a backgammon player.
The promoter was set to finish fourth at the bottom of the ninth, after Homer Vaughn put off the Tigers near Gregory Soto’s White Sox lead once again. Eric Haas, who came in eighth and stayed to catch, tied again in an eight-pitch battle, each fastball against Hendrix which ended with a home run to the left.
All of the damage to Hendrix came from Fastball. The promoter didn’t chase the cabinet slider and worked 3-1 before making contact with the 98 mph heater away from the outside corner.
“He put in a really good show,” Meadows said. “I was just trying to be simple and using my hands, and I was able to hit the ball to the right center.”
Baez, who swung and missed the speedy Hendrix came in for the first in the area.
“I’m going to swing really hard,” Bayes said. “Sometimes I’ll control it better than the first hitters, but I’ll swing hard.”
With Hendrix ahead of the count, Baez prepared to break the ball.
He said, “I was sitting on a slide there, and I kind of reacted to the fastball and got it.”
Yes, Báez was able to catch the fastball at 98 mph after he thought it was going to be a slip.
He shrugged, “I don’t know how you did that.”
“He’s a special hitter,” Hendricks said.