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So this is how the Mariners-Tigers game ended

Apr 18, 2013, 9:22 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 7.08.42 AM

It went into the wee, wee hours. There were 40 strikeouts between the two teams. And then it all ended with the Tigers relying on their bullpen and the Mariners relying upon the foot speed of Justin Smoak.

Not exactly a strength against strength situation.

The game-ending play: Smoak on first, Dustin Ackley at the plate facing Joaquin Benoit. Ackley doubles to right field. Smoak is on his horse! His horse suffered shrapnel wounds at the Battle of the Vicksburg and is just barely holding on, but Smoak is on it! Torii Hunter fields the ball, relays to Prince Fielder who relays to Bryan Pena. IT’S GONNA BE CLOSE!

Oh, wait. It wasn’t particularly close at all, but it still was fairly spectacular.

Look, I don’t know why third base coach Jeff Datz sent Smoak. It was really, really late so maybe he was tired. Maybe he thought Smoak had another gear. An old riding lawn mower has another gear of course, and that doesn’t make it fast, but maybe that’s what he was thinking. I’m sure there have been worse sends in the history of the game. None come to mind at the moment, but there had to have been worse sends. They’ve been playing baseball for, like, 150 years. As I sit here now, I’m gonna say that it was the worst send since Walter Donovan made those soldiers go into the cave without Henry Jones’ Grail diary to help navigate the Three Trials.

But don’t get too down about it M’s fans. Here’s Dave Cameron to put it all in perspective for you:


  1. easports82 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Datz could have also looked in the on-deck circle, saw Andino and his sparkling .087 and figured, ‘What the hell? Probably better to send him than trust Bob.”

  2. historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Beautiful! Look at that chemistry — V-Mart wipes Pena’s face, Benoit hugs him, and the boys do a little celebratory bonding. I love it! But, that tweet makes it oh, so sweet. I’m so tired — am I getting work done today?

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      And after the game they all had a group hug in the shower. That team has sure bonded well with each other.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        Now, now, PC. You be nice and don’t let your jealousy get the better of you. Our chemisty is grrrrrrrrrrreat!

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        Congratulations to the Tigers on winning in overtime. I have seen a notification that there are mouse droppings polluting this thread. Silly mouse!

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        Verlander was a tough luck loser today as he did not get any run support. Detroit’s hitters seem to be in a mini slump.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        They are probably TIRED today. lol

      • dirtyharry1971 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        the jays bonded well after their loss which sent them to 6-9. They all had one big cry along, i really hope gibbons didnt buy a house….the ship is sinking….again….

  3. timmmah10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    As a Tiger fan, this ending was awesome.

    As a Mariner fan, why is Smoak running in the first place? 2 outs, bottom of the inning… there’s not even a relief pitcher you could have put in to run who would be faster than Smoak? Or is it they had no faith in Ackley’s ability to hit a double? (Ackley’s track record in the big leagues would make the 2nd one more likely unfortunately. I liked him as a prospect coming up)

    • timmmah10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      * I meant to say “If I was a Mariner fan”, not As a mariner fan… doh!

      My point is still valid though.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        Gotta say: best of both worlds for me, watching King Felix and Max pitching so well. It was an amazing match up.

    • Robert Dobalina - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      I believe the only position player they had left was the backup catcher Shoppach so unless he can also play first…but then they wouldn’t have had the backup catcher and most managers like to keep that guy on the bench in case of emergency.

  4. Jason Lukehart - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    mentioned this in ATH, but it fits better here:

    The Tigers and Mariners combined for 40 strikeouts, tied for second-most in history with a Padres/Giants game from 2001 (15 innings, started by Adam Eaton and Russ Ortiz). The record is 43, set by the Angels and A’s, way back in 1971 (20 innings, started by Rudy May and Vida Blue).

    Felix and Scherzer become the first pair of starters to both strike out at least 12 in the same game since Mark Prior and Javier Vazquez back in 2003 (and just the 12th pair in history).

  5. billyboots - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    He got smoked!

    I know it’s bad, but it’s the first thing that I thought of after I watched that collision.

    • cur68 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      “Smoaked” (ftfy)

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM


      • cur68 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        Seriously: beano. It makes those gas pains go away.

      • billyboots - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Thank you

  6. thomas844 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    That was epic the way Pena held up the ball for the ump and was pumping his arm even right after getting trucked.

  7. shaggylocks - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I just gotta say, write-ups like this are what keep me coming back here.

  8. zzalapski - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    “None come to mind at the moment, but there had to have been worse sends.”

    You’re gonna hurt Dale Sveum’s feelings if you keep forgetting him like this.

    • blacksables - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Willie Randolph in the 1980 playoffs, against the Royals.

      Steinbrenner fires Dick Howser, who ends up winning a World Series with those same Royals 5 years later, while the Yankees wait another 16.

  9. jm91rs - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Does Pena have pink finger nails?

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Not sure if they’re pink, but a number of catchers paint their nails to increase visibility for the pitcher when they’re putting the signs down.

      • Robert Dobalina - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        This is the must see video for all those people who continue to blame the runner for “barreling into” the catcher at times when the catcher gets hurt. Pena catches the ball and runs right into the basepath of Smoak, to the point where Smaok could do nothing but run right into him.

        I hear people say “The runner should have slid around him” Not in this case. I hear people say “The runner lowered his shoulder and went out of his way to hit the catcher”.. Not in this case.

        The rule should be that the catcher can tag the runner with the ball while standing outside the basepath. That’s what happens at every other base. And if the runner knocks the ball out of the catcher’s glove, a la A-Rod on Arroyo, then the runner is out. Unless the catcher does not give the runner a clear path to home plate. At that point, the runner is awarded home.

        Or, as I always say in situations like this: “Leave things the way they are. Catchers rarely get hurt, but it is their instinct to block home plate. Just ask Pena, who gravitated right in front of Smoak after he caught the ball.”

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        @RDobalina, your point has some validity, as the catcher COULD do more to avoid the runner, but the same rules about the runner do not apply elsewhere in the game. There are times when a 1B catches the ball somewhat up the line and stands in the basepath waiting to tag the runner. Those runners never barrel into the first-baseman. If he did he would probably be called out for interference (ala, the ARod slap on Arroyo, for which he was much maligned).

  10. steve7921 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    this enters the Hall of Sending Fame…along with Dale Sveum and Wendell Kim!!

  11. Joe - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Announcers are all over Fielder’s throw. “Prince throws a strike!” The ball pulled Pena two steps up the line – that’s not a strike.

    It got the job done, but it wasn’t going to take much to get that job done.

    • kalinedrive - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Agreed. He had plenty of time, and threw the ball up the line and drew Pena closer to the collision. The thumbs down are from stupid people.

  12. The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    May as well send a guy, since even if he doesn’t beat the throw, he gets a free shot at the catcher. I continue to be baffled by why that’s allowable. Any other base, when a throw beats you by that much, you get tagged out and that’s that. Here, it was all about whether he could hit Pena hard enough to knock him unconscious so he’d lose a grip on the ball. Call me what you will, but that ain’t right.

  13. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    On these collision plays, are catchers allowed to thrust a knee into the runner’s balls? It seems like that might lessen the blunt force of the collision. At least the catcher could sit on home plate with his spikes up and wait for the incoming runner. We could really take it to the next level and go Mortal Kombat rules once the runner enters the dirt cutout around home plate.

  14. sleepyirv - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I’m so glad Pena is okay though they would have had to bury him with the ball if he didn’t survive it.

  15. Minoring In Baseball - Apr 18, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    It was great game for those who stayed up to watch it. Great job by Pena, and great throws by Prince and Hunter. The Tigers bullpen held up, too.

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