Carl Crawford dominated the headlines on Tuesday night following his extra-innings RBI double gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the walk-off 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Dee Gordon gave the Dodgers an early lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the first and the Dodgers relied on another solid outing from Dan Haren to take a 2-1 lead into the ninth. Kenley Jansen was unable to shut the door on the Tigers, allowing a game-tying single with two outs.
Before Crawford was presented with the opportunity to play hero, there was an equally important at-bat from Chone Figgins that has somewhat gotten swept under the rug. Figgins pinch-hit for J.P. Howell to lead off the home half of the 10th and drew a walk on Tigers’ reliever Joba Chamberlain. Gordon was unable to get a bunt down and Crawford stepped in to deliver the game-winning hit.
The Dodgers finished the game with 10 hits, but left seven men on base and were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Given their struggles at the plate, Figgins believes the way in which Tuesday’s game was won is important, according to Anthony Witrado via ESPN LA:
The nights that we may not hit, we can score a run any way we have to. That’s important.”
While the Dodgers never trailed in the game, there was the risk of a letdown after Jansen blew the save. Figgins acknowledged the never quit attitude and likened it to his successful run with the Los Angeles Angels, via Witrado:
Not everyone pays attention to it this early, but guys get used to thinking we can come back and win, and that’s big. The expectation is to win. You focus on beating someone that night, go home, come back and beat someone again. We won a lot of games with that mentality with the Angels, just thinking about that game only.”
After his final season with the Angels in 2009, Figgins singed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Seattle Mariners that off-season. The utility player never quite found his footing in the pacific northwest and the Mariners cut him after the 2012 season. Figgins didn’t land on a team in 2013 and played his way onto the Dodger roster after signing a minor league contract with the team that included an invitation to Spring Training.
The 36-year-old has played sparingly and is without a hit in the regular season, but has walked three times. Figgins may not be the same dynamic player he was with the Angels but his experience and leadership could be of value, as was seen on Tuesday.
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