'It ain't over till it's over!'
I was watching Detroit and Cleveland on MLB Network on Sunday night. It was a great game but turned sour when the Indians scored three runs in the top of the 10th frame to take an 8-5 lead.
You can imagine my frustration when closer Chris Perez got the first two batters out in the bottom of the 10th. Game over, right?
Well, not so fast slugger.
With two outs, Perez walked Alex Avila and pinch-hitter Andy Dirks before Austin Jackson doubled home a run and Omar Infante’s two-run single tied it.
Then Detroit’s slugger Miguel Cabrera, who is having an M.V.P. season, crushed a two-run, walk-off homer for a stunning five-run rally to give the Tigers a 10-8 victory over the Tribe.
It’s the first time all season a team has trailed by at least three runs with two outs and nobody on in its last at-bat and come back to win in that inning, according to STATS, LLC. The last time it happened was Sept. 27, when Arizona scored six runs in a similar situation to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6.
Also in the game, the Tigers never led this one until the end. They rallied to tie it after trailing 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 — then managed their remarkable comeback in extra innings.
You never know what’s going to happen in baseball. No team can count out an opponent until they record 27 outs. Actually, the Indians only recorded 29.
The most spectacular comeback of the 2012 baseball season got me thinking, what is the biggest comeback in a game in Major League history.
There is two different answers. The first is based on down the most runs and the second is based on most runs scored in the final at bat.
The biggest deficit ever that a team ever overcame to win a game has been 12 runs. And it happened three times (1911, 1925, 2001) with the Cleveland Indians involved with two of the games.
The 1911 Detroit Tigers trailed the Chicago White Sox, 13-1, going into the bottom of the fifth inning and scored 15 runs to win the game, 16-15.
In 1925, Philadelphia trailed the Cleveland Indians, 14-2, going into the bottom of the sixth inning. The A’s rallied to score one run in the sixth, one in the seventh and 13 runs in the eighth, to win the game, 17-15.
In 2001, Cleveland was down, 12-0, to the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning and 14-2 in the sixth. The Indians rallied to win, 15-14 in 11 innings.
Now, the biggest final at bat comeback ever was in 1901 when the Cleveland “Blues” trailed the Washington Senators, 13-5, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and no one on base.
The Blues managed to score nine runs to win the game,14-13.
Yogi Berra was correct. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”