It’s the kind of situation everyone dreams of in the backyards of America: two outs, your team’s last at-bats, and you’re up with a chance to make a big play. Okay, maybe those dreams come in a situation like the World Series, not the sixth game of the season. And, usually, they include the game being won on your swing, not putting your team down just one. But, regardless, today in the top of the ninth inning Detroit Tigers utility-man, Niko Goodrum, took a Joakim Soria pitch out through the wind and the snow in Chicago.
The blast brought the Tigers to within one run of the Pale Legs, which was plated after a Nicholas Castellanos bloop single and a slicing line drive by Victor Martinez, that was misplayed and allowed Castellanos to score. But, were it not for Goodrum’s heroics, with two strikes, the Tigers would be heading to their hotel tonight with their heads dropped a little lower.
— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) April 5, 2018
The poke was Goodrum’s first career home run in his short MLB career. A former second-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2010, he labored around the Minors making his Big League debut last September for the Twins. He signed as a free agent with the Tigers this offseason.
Goodrum won the utility-man role during Spring Training, and on the season is hitting .308 in 13 at-bats. He entered the game when Miguel Cabrera was forced to leave the game due to a tight left hip-flexor. No further word was given on Cabrera’s condition, but there’s little reason to believe he won’t be ready for the team’s next game on Saturday. If Goodrum can continue to hit the ball with authority and make his at-bats off the bench count when called upon, he will be a valuable asset for this team as they go through this beginning year of their rebuilding process.