June 2nd: Two Tough Anniversaries For Detroit Fans
June 2nd, a date that may not be significant to some people, however Detroit fans have two rounds of heartbreak associated with this date.
First, June 2nd, 2008. The Detroit Red Wings are up three games to one over the Pittsburgh Penguins with a chance to close out the series in front of a raucous Joe Louis Arena. With less than a minute to go and down by one, the Penguins pull their goalie and with 35 seconds left on the clock, Maxime Talbot beats Chris Osgood to tie the game.
Two grueling overtimes commenced with no winner produced. Petr Sykora told his teammates and Pierre MacGuire that he was going to get the winner. True to his word about midway through the third overtime on an extended power play Sykora beats Osgood and sends the series back to Pittsburgh.
Heart break for a day, turned into elation for an entire offseason though as the Red Wings would win game 6 and celebrate their Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh.
Two years later, there isn’t the same championship winning happy ending for Detroit fans.
June 2nd, 2010. We jump to the diamond for this heartbreak. Armando Galarraga is locked in a fierce pitching duel with Cleveland’s Roberto Hernandez. The Tigers take a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning and Galarraga has gone 24 up and 24 down. With a perfect game just three outs away, center fielder Austin Jackson makes an unbelievable over the shoulder catch to get out number 25.
One groundout later and Galarraga was faced with shortstop Jason Donald, hitting .280 at the time, as the last out for a possible perfect game. The first perfect game in Detroit Tigers history.
He was robbed of it by a blown call. Jim Joyce would later apologize for the missed call. The base from Comerica Park and Galarraga’s spikes are in the baseball Hall of Fame to commemorate “the 28-out perfect game”.
In the over 110-year history of the Detroit Tigers, they are still looking for their first perfect game.