As the Tigers entered the bottom of the eighth inning against the Orioles in Thursday night's ALDS opening game, they were down 4-3. Miguel Cabrera had homered in the the top of the eighth, which had followed a line drive double play by Torii Hunter in which Ian Kinsler was doubled up, making fans wonder if that potential lost run would loom large in the outcome.
Well, it didn't. Andrew Jones reached on an error and drove in Alejandro De Aza. Nelson Cruz drove in Jones. Ryan Flaherty drove in Cruz. Nick Hundley drove in Steve Pearce. Jonathan Schoop drove in J.J. Hardy and Flaherty. De Aza, batting for the second time in the inning, drove in Schoop and Nick Markakis. Left unwritten is that six of these runs were unearned, to the extent that matters. I wrote this in excruciating detail simply to cause consternation for Beyond the Box Score Associate Managing Editor and huge Tigers fan Neil Weinberg.
This was a pretty historic inning. In the history of postseason baseball there have been very few instances in which this many runs have been scored in one inning:
Click on date to view box score
Including last night's games there have been 1,406 postseason games, so doing something that's been accomplished only 10 previous times is worthy of mention.
I don't want to confuse correlation with causality (I'll leave that to the broadcast teams, who are doing this in all series with reckless abandon, but that's a different discussion), but in nine of the ten previous instances, teams went on to win the series, the only exception being the Pirates in 1992. Included in these games is one of the most painful games in Cubs history, the so-called Bartman Game -- I still have nightmares about that game.
As of this writing J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos have hit back-to back homers to put the Tigers up 5-2, so they still have a chance. It just appears history might not be on their side.
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Data from Baseball-Reference. Any mistakes in amalgamating the data are the author's.
Scott Lindholm lives in Davenport, IA. Follow him on Twitter @ScottLindholm.