How do you cap a 14-inning game that saw the Tigers and Mariners combine to strikeout 40 times?
With a collision at home plate for the final out, of course.
Everybody on the East Coast, maybe even the West Coast, too, was long asleep when this went down in the wee hours Thursday morning.
Down by a run, the Mariners tried to score Justin Smoak from first base on Dustin Ackley’s two-out liner to the fence in right. Torii Hunter collected it and Prince Fielder’s cutoff throw from the infield to catcher Brayan Pena beat Smoak by a couple feet. Smoak plowed into Pena at full speed, but the burly catcher held on to preserve Detroit’s 2-1 victory.
There’s a lot of talk from ex-catchers — many now managers — to outlaw collisions like this. Pena was shaken up, but held up the ball in triumph as he was attended to by trainers.
Pena also had the game-winning RBI in the top of the 14th.
Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez were your starting pitchers in this one, each finishing with 12 strikeouts.