Baez Walk-Off lifts Tigers to Opening Day Victory

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Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Third baseman Jeimer Candelario celebrates with shortstop Javier Baez after the walk-off single.

Bradley Pennoni, Writer

Spring has begun, and so has the new season of baseball for the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers began their season facing the Chicago White Sox, on April 8th at Comerica Park. 

Fans were ecstatic about the new season for the Tigers. Opening Day in Detroit is considered a holiday in the state of Michigan. Other than playoff games for the Tigers at Comerica Park, this game arguably rivaled in the attendance aspect, having an overall attendance of 43,480 people. 

It is not only baseball that the fans are excited to see, but the festivities the Tigers organization puts together before the game begins. This year, the Tigers had Detroit native and 12-time Grammy winner Jack White perform and sing the National Anthem. The Tigers also made space around the stadium for fans to tailgate. 

Fans starting arriving at Comerica Park at 10:00 AM for all the activities. Once fans entered the stadium, they could see the fresh-cut green grass, hear the cracking of the bats and the exciting pop of the gloves as players warmed up during batting practice. 

“For me, Opening Day isn’t just the beginning of a season, it marks the start of opportunities for fans and players to have the time of their lives and make something special happen,” said Adams High School senior, Brendan DiBartolomeo. 

The game began at 1:10 PM. it was a cloudy day with a high temperature of 46 degrees. Eduardo Rodriguez was the starting pitcher for the Tigers, but he struggled from the start, giving up three runs in the first two innings of the game. Rodriguez only pitched four innings, giving up four hits, only three of which earned runs. 

The Tigers struggled early to create offense for most of the game, but the scoring started in the sixth inning when third baseman Jeimer Candelario hit a single to center field, scoring Robbie Grossman from 2nd base. 

The team still had work to do. Down two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning triggered the moment when the momentum changed. Miguel Cabrera was up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. Cabrera hit a single to the right-center field scoring Grossman from 3rd base. 

The Tigers seemed confident going into the 9th inning, but White Sox hitter, Andrew Vaughn, hit a home run giving the Sox the lead 4-3. 

Understandably, Tigers fans started to become anxious as the White Sox took the lead, but Tiger’s catcher, Eric Haase, hit a home run on a full count to tie the game 4-4. 

Newly acquired Tigers Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez throwing a pitch in his first start with the team. (Photo Credit: ClickOnDetroit)

Javier Baez, the newly acquired Tigers shortstop then came to the plate with a runner on third base,and hit a single to score the runner and win the game for the Tigers with a score of 5-4 victory.

The Tigers would, unfortunately, lose the next two games to the White Sox, but they showed signs of being a better team overall.

Many fans of the Tigers are hopeful this season that this is the year they can finally get back into the playoffs.

“I am excited to see the rookies, they have an exciting core that could make a huge contribution this upcoming season,” said Adams High School teacher Mr. Chekal. 

The victory showed the potential for the Tigers this season. The city of Detroit cannot wait to see what might evolve into a remarkable season.