For the next several weeks we’ll be rolling out our list of the best The Moment’s of 2013. The list is the product of winnowing down 173 moments from April to October into the best twenty. They vary in their importance but all captivated us in an important way. A few are silly, a few are excellent plays, and a few will travel down in Tigers lore. I hope you enjoy it.
#12 – Anibal Sanchez nearly throws a no hitter
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At the time, I wrote that it snuck up on us. Sanchez didn’t look dominant early on and his stuff wasn’t dynamite out of the gate. Both times I watched Verlander toss a no-hitter, I knew he was on from the first batter. He’s had that look other times, but on the night of his first one in 2007, I said to my father after the top of the first that “no one’s touching him tonight.” They didn’t. Sanchez didn’t have that look early, but before you knew it he had kept a zero under the “H” column in the box score. The tension built in the final innings until that pesky Joe Mauer came to the plate ready to ruin everyone’s good time. There’s something about a Friday night game during the summer – there’s just a different feel, even 700 miles away. It felt like it was going to be a spectacular finish right up until Mauer sent one right back up the box. Sanchez nailed down the shutout, but the no-no was gone. A great moment, even if it didn’t end the way you wanted it to. Pretty much the whole season in one game right there.