The Detroit Tigers are — double-checks notes — playing some excellent baseball over the past two months. They aren't a supremely talented team yet first-year manager A.J. Hinch has them playing aggressive and confident. Hinch comes with the obvious baggage. He also comes with the winning pedigree and determination to try new things in the interest of winning ballgames.
Like this defensive alignment he signed off on tonight in Texas against the Rangers' Joey Gallo. Six players were on the outfield grass with only first baseman Jonathan Schoop joining the pitcher and catcher on the dirt.
This is known in many parts as The Slow Pitch Softball Against a Hitter With Great Power and Multiple Knee Surgeries. Gallo is among the American League leaders with 20 home runs but does not make much of a habit of grounding the ball the other way. Ergo, something wild like this.
Raise your hand if you had the Tigers making a run at .500 as the All-Star Game approaches. Things were looking pretty damn bleak after they crated out at 9-24. Now they have fans excited about shifts. What a turn.