As the ball off J.D. Martinez‘ first swing of the bat in six weeks settled into the hedges behind Comerica Park’s center field wall last night, the 2016 Detroit Tigers had their signature moment. At that same moment, my neighbors were likely dialing 911 to report the cacophony of screaming and jumping emanating from the adjacent unit. But nothing could match the remarkable sound of Mario Impemba, Rod Allen, and 33,000 faithful Tigers fans:
The 435-foot blast delivered a 2-1 victory over Cy Young favorite (and noted fashion aficionado) Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox. It was yet another highlight during an impressive eight-game winning streak that has propelled the Tigers to within only two games behind the suddenly collapsing Indians.
GM Al Avila stood pat at the trade deadline this week, disappointing some Tigers fans looking for a boost from outside the organization to propel the team towards another playoff berth. But as I pointed out last week, the roster now boasts two of the most impactful post-deadline additions on both sides of the ball between Martinez and now Jordan Zimmermann who just happens to return to the mound today as they go for the sweep against the Pale Hose .
The Tigers are riding a tremendous wave of momentum and still have seven games remaining against Cleveland to make up the remaining ground in the division. Whether they can turn this momentum into a playoff run obviously remains to be seen, but they’ve positioned themselves perfectly to do so.