12th Man Report: Wipe the slate clean

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It’s like Austin Jackson isn’t the leagues worst hitter anymore. It’s like Big Papi didn’t rip out an entire team’s — and city’s — heart with one swing of the bat. It’s definitely like the Tigers’ ace closer hasn’t been possessed by the ghost of Jose Valverde past.

After last night’s victory Tigers’ victory, Detroit and the Boston Red Sox are now tied at two games apiece in the ALCS and Detroit get's a fresh start. It’s been a bumpy road for the Tigers, but the American League pennant is still anybody’s to take.

The ALCS has been a roller coaster (putting it gently) of a ride. I’m not even going to try to predict what will happen in these final three games because both teams have proven that anything can happen — literally anything. With one more game in Detroit tonight and then two more in Boston, the Tigers will have to take at least one from the Red Sox in Fenway to advance in the playoffs.

But when you’ve got a seven-game series tied 2-2, that’s all it is — a brand new three-game series. They have a minor home-field disadvantage, but are slated to start their three hottest pitchers if all three games are necessary. They only need to win two-out-of-three games to advance to their second-consecutive World Series. Easy, right?

As if.

There’s a silver lining in this whole situation though. Tying this series up at two allows the Tigers to forgive and forget all the bad memories that have been part of this series.

Everybody gets a wash: a second chance. How many people can say that they’ve gotten a chance to make amends for something they’ve done (or haven’t done in some of the Tigers’ cases) that needs redemption? I can think of a chock-full of hungry players on the Tigers’ roster who definitely won’t waste a second chance.

So when Anibal Sanchez throws the game’s first pitch tonight at Comerica Park, it’ll be like game one of a three-game series and the Tigers could be looking at a much worse situation. They should take their second chance and turn it into some much bigger.

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