Torii Hunter wanted to see a first-pitch fastball from Jake Peavy (part of him wanted it, anyway) and that's what he got in the bottom of the second inning Thursday night. Only, Hunter fouled it off for strike one. The Detroit Tigers had scored twice already in the inning and had runners at the corners, but they also were lucky to have done that much against the Boston Red Sox, considering the double-play grounder misplayed by Dustin Pedroia earlier. With two outs, Peavy was on the verge of wriggling out of a huge jam with the damage almost minimal.
And now Hunter was down a strike, and thinking about missing his chance at the pitch he wanted. That, and an R Kelly song:
Torii on swinging at first-pitch fastball: "You know what? My mind said no, but my head said yes." #Tigers
— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) October 17, 2013
That's almost how "Bump N' Grind" goes — "My mind is telling me 'no,' but my body's telling me 'yes' " — but Hunter probably was trying to express being indecisive at the plate. Having to recover quickly, Hunter got his head right and made up his mind to swing at the next pitch, a hanging change up. He lined it to left for a two-run double, and the Tigers offense was out of the closet and on its way to a five-run inning in Game 4 of the ALCS.
Manager Jim Leyland had reorganized the Tigers lineup, with Hunter leading off, Miguel Cabrera hitting second and Austin Jackson eighth. The mixture came through in a 7-3 victory that evened the best-of-seven series at two wins apiece.
''That was pretty good. He switched things up, kind of shake it up a little bit,'' Hunter said. ''It gave us a different mindset. Miggy hitting second, me leading off. It gave us a different mindset to make things happen.''
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- Torii Hunter
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