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The Top 10 Tigers moments of 2019

@beckjason
November 11, 2019

DETROIT -- During a season in which many things were lacking, the Tigers' efforts and athleticism weren't in question. Detroit certainly took its lumps in 2019, but the club also gave its fans reason to cheer even in defeat. Before we venture any deeper into an offseason full of unknowns,

DETROIT -- During a season in which many things were lacking, the Tigers' efforts and athleticism weren't in question. Detroit certainly took its lumps in 2019, but the club also gave its fans reason to cheer even in defeat.

Before we venture any deeper into an offseason full of unknowns, let's take a moment to celebrate some of the Tigers' top plays of 2019.

1. Jumping JaCoby brings home run back
June 29 vs. Nationals

Victor Robles’ third-inning drive on a summer Saturday afternoon would’ve been a home run in 13 of 30 Major League parks. It would’ve also been a homer at Comerica Park if not for center fielder JaCoby Jones, who dug his spikes into the left-center-field padding, propelled himself up and flopped against the fence as he reached over to bring Robles’ drive back in. The run it prevented turned out to be important in a 7-5 Tigers victory.

2. Jordy walks it off
Aug. 8 vs. Royals

The Tigers and Royals and Royals combined for eight home runs on a warm August night at Comerica Park, none bigger than Jordy Mercer’s drive to right in the bottom of the ninth for his first career walk-off homer and a 10-8 Detroit win.

3. Mercer's walk-off single
Sept. 10 vs. Yankees

The Tigers and Yankees had a wild back-and-forth battle that featured a dozen combined runs by the end of the third inning and six New York home runs by the end of the seventh. But on a night when the Tigers had just two extra-base hits, a Mercer single -- the Tigers’ 14th of the night -- in the bottom of the ninth was enough for a 12-11 Detroit win.

4. Stewart slams it
April 6 vs. Royals

Long before the Tigers’ season took a turn for the worse, Christin Stewart hit two go-ahead home runs in Detroit’s first nine games, including this seventh-inning grand slam off Royals reliever Wily Peralta down the right-field line at Comerica Park. Stewart got the ball back from his first big league grand slam by exchanging an autographed bat for it with a fan after the Tigers’ 7-4 win.

5. Miggy returns with a slam
June 4 vs. Rays

On the day Miguel Cabrera returned to the Tigers' lineup after being diagnosed with chronic changes in his aching right knee, he gave fans at Comerica Park a flashback to his power of old with his first grand slam in six years, sending a Blake Snell pitch deep to left to put Detroit up for good in a 9-6 slugfest.

6. Holy Harold, what a catch
June 15 vs. Indians

Though the Indians used a Leonys Martin steal of home to help them on their way to a 4-2 Detroit defeat, Harold Castro prevented further damage with an over-the-shoulder grab in straightaway center field to strand two runners in the third inning.

7. Stewart brings it back
May 15 vs. Astros

Verlander won in his return to Comerica Park in May, but Stewart saved a pair of runs by traversing the left-field warning track and reaching over the fence in the corner -- while still in stride -- to take a fourth-inning home run away from George Springer.

8. Dixon's diving catch
May 5 vs. Royals

Brandon Dixon walked off the Tigers’ 5-2 win with a 10th-inning home run, but his diving catch in the top of the inning helped keep the game tied. Dixon took off for the left-field line to track Alex Gordon’s opposite-field fly ball, covering 107 feet with a near-elite sprint speed of 29.9 feet per second before going to ground for the catch.

9. Run-off relay
Aug. 21 at Astros

Robinson Chirinos looked set to hit for the cycle and spark a ninth-inning rally off Joe Jiménez when right fielder Travis Demeritte dove at and missed his drive to right-center. But while Chirinos chugged around second in search for his missing triple to complete the cycle, center fielder Castro retrieved the ball in front of the fence and made an off-balance throw to second baseman Gordon Beckham, who whirled around for a perfect relay to third baseman Dawel Lugo on the outfield side of the bag for the game-ending out, finishing off a 2-1 Detroit win over the ex-Tiger Justin Verlander.

10. Goodrum slides into foul ground for catch
May 14 vs. Astros

Niko Goodrum went tumbling onto the track in foul territory in left field for an acrobatic grab to retire Alex Bregman for the first out of the seventh inning. It was a badly-needed bright spot in an 11-4 Tigers loss.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.