Gum Time strikes again

Nate_robertson That was Gum Time in the seventh. That was the only time we put it in. After all the times this year, we thought, "Why not?" It was a tie game.

Jamie Walker got a big double play there, got us out of that inning. It was time. If it came down to the battle of the bullpens, we’ll take our chances. We had Walker in there already, and you have Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones out there. In a tie ballgame like that, get it done and see what happens. Threw it in before the inning started, told Bondo, "Get ‘er done." He said, "You call it, you stick with it." Once we got some guys on, it certainly was put in, and it was a good situation. Marcus led off with the hit. Get him over, get him in. That’s all we needed. We haven’t had any exciting comeback stories here for a while, but what better place to do it than the playoffs against the Yankees here? Guys just came out when we could’ve just died.

The bottom line of the heroics and the rally is certainly attributed to the confidence of our players coming up with big hits in big situations — very difficult, backs-against-the-wall situations. It was big to get the split here, going back home now finally with some momentum. You know, we haven’t had momentum in a while, and now we have it. Very big, and that’s what this game’s about. Hopefully we can jump out, and you never know in playoff games. They’re going to be tight. They’re going to be tough. Every little play and pitch matters, as we’ve already seen. Hopefully we won’t have to go to Gum Time, but you know what, it works when the game’s tied, too. We need a rally. We needed something going and got it going and scored. That was huge. You have to have a couple breaks. Just like today, some balls were hit right at our guys, some balls that might’ve been hit decent. The thing is, you have to have those things happen, just like the other day when I pitched and there weren’t a whole lot of breaks. Everything that they hit seemed to scrape over a wall, go when a guy’s covering second base and gets by shortstop, seeing-eye ground balls, the one that I don’t field, all the little things that could’ve gone another direction.

Last night could’ve been very detrimental. Even if you’re down 2-0, this team’s not going to die, but I will say this much: Having to stick around and go through what we had to go through, changing hotels, getting the luggage up and back down, just turning around the next meeting, a lot of guys didn’t get a ton of sleep. To come out and win a ballgame like that is huge. It could be a moment, you know?

I hope we get a big reception in Detroit. I hope people try to understand. We got swept at home by the Royals, and then to come here and split, you can’t explain it. That’s baseball. Just understand that there are some things about baseball you can’t explain. If they can deal with that, I’m sure we’ll have a very good reception. The biggest thing for our fans following back home is that this gives them a little spark, something to feed off of. I’m sure the atmosphere will be very electric. It’ll be good that we get home at a decent hour today. We’ll be ready.

32 Comments

Nate – I’ve watched you pitch since the mid 2003 season. And I love that you are steady and positive no matter what. This team needs guys like you, and the fans appreciate all that you’ve done. As a transplanted Tiger fan, I got to see both games in New York – its great to see this team compete. Keep it up this weekend.

Nate – I grew up a Tigers’ fan, but being born in ’83, I didn’t really get to experience ’84 or the ’87 when the Tigers last made the playoffs. It feels really good to finally see the team I grew up cheering for, even through the rough times, winning games. And that was a great game against the Yankees today. Best of luck in all your remaining games (may there be many).

I wouldn’t worry about the reception, Nate. You guys were amazing today, and congrats on getting the split. Comerica will be rockin’ tomorrow, I’m sure of it. Good luck for the rest of the series!

The Yankees jersey on the front porch is being used as a foot wiping mat, there is a Tiger’s banner out there and Big League Chew beside the TV, waiting for game 3. That you guys got the win in a 1-run game is big! JV had the curve going! I was a kid with the Tigers in ’68, took my daughter to games in ’84 and now I make my 1-year old grandson cheer with me. He doesn’t have enough teeth yet to participate in Gum Time, so I have to chew double for him. Do your jaws get as sore as mine? Having a blast! Thanks for the blog, Nate! Go Tigers!

Nate – You may not remember me but we met last year in KC after your royals game. My brothers wanted your autograph and I’ll never forget what you said, “How about we talk a little first.” You’re more than just a superstar athlete Nate, your’re a genuine person who cares about genuine interaction with your fans. I love that you don’t fall into the typical impersonal star-athlete personna that so many other athletes exude. Anyway, I really wanted to say thanks for what you did for my Grandpa in Kalamazoo. We don’t know how much longer he’s got and as a long time Tigers fan that hasn’t seen much from his team in the last 19 years, I know you’ve been a blessing both on and off the field for him and the rest of my family. What a year to come thru! Go Tigers!
Thanks,

Tyler Hambley

I don’t know if you will read this or not but I got to share with you a tale.

See, I have had the privaledge of meeting you twice. The second time we met you mentioned that you remembered me and I was in complete shock. I thought it was because I was telling you that my partner in crime was driving me nuts with baseball.

However, You and the boys are making this a year to finally smile about. It was a bad year for my family and I. My older sister died in February and it made me wonder if, seriously, I would enjoy watching another Tiger game again.

You see, she was the one who got me and my other sister hooked and going to games. She took us to Tiger stadium many times and we just had a ball (pardon the pun). She even got me started on that baseball you signed for me the first time I met you. The one where you sounded interest as well as equally shocked that I had Roger Craig’s autograph.

Yep, losing my sister Monica was pretty hard on us. I started to catch things on the club via the papers and some games but I couldn’t pay too close attention because it was painfull that my sis wasn’t around. Then I caught that game. The game where you started to pack all that gum in your mouth and Rod and Mario just had a great time commenting on it.

I was hooked back in from that point on. When I said you make it fun to watch I meant it sincerely. I never really got a chance to thank you for making this year great for my family (yes, they all love you guys big time).

I also want to thank you for making Amanda (my partner in crime) probably one of the biggest baseball nuts on the planet. And yes, you are her Tiger! LOL.

Sorry this was so long and good luck in the play-offs!!!

Nate, I love your positive attitude. You are a great role model for children and adults as well. I hope you (all) understand what this Tigers team has meant to the city and state and how much you’ve inspired people.

I’ll be at both games this weekend, and CoPa will be rockin, I can promise you that.

Thanks for the memories this year. No matter what happens in the post-season, this year has been very special.

Good luck to the Tigers.. see you at the ballpark.

It’s playoff baseball in Detroit. We’ve been waiting for this for 19 years. I’m pretty sure we’ll be loud enough for you…I’ll do my best to contribute to the madness.

Also…I’ve looked at some of the other comments…and it really is true. With the gum and all the looseness you guys have out there…it makes watching the game 10 times more fun…and so many of my female friends and my girlfriend enjoy watching you guys.

P.S.-If gum time does become necessary tomorrow…I’m going with Sour Apple against all your recommendations

good to know gum time works with the ties as well 🙂

you guys made the yankees look pretty silly after all that “controvercy” last night and all the guys they left on base today.

thanks for posting, Nate

and keep on chewing! (only when necessary of course!)

Nate, was great to read that you guys did the GumTime in the seventh, and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know fans were too. However I had to share, nhat a fabulous international Tiger fan group, was throwing it it at the same time with you! We are a group that got tired of negative thrash talkers,and other teams ‘trolls’ in the chat room from Gameday, so some computer savy members started our own. . .”Tiger’s Den”. We span the U.S. Ca, Fl, Tx, In, Ky, Ha,and Austria and other countries. Most grew up in Michigan or had a family member get them started on Tigers, and have been fans their whole life. Thought you’d like to know. . . . we were chompin right along with you guys. .and screaming. . .to boot!

Hey Nate… I lived in the Detroit area when I was a kid and I was 8 years old when Kaline and the crew won the WS… What great memories… Now, I live in southern West Virginia, but my family and I are still huge Tiger fans. I took the kids to Pittsburg to watch the Tigers play interleague ball against the Pirates this past July. What a great time. Last year, we drove to Detroit and caught a couple home games. We watch most of the games on the internet through MLB.tv. My family and I all have Tiger jerseys and people have made fun of us in the past when my kids wear them to school… 🙂 But not now… Hey, thanks to you and the team – I feel like I’m 8 years old again… Let’s send those stinkin’ store-bought Yankees back home this weekend with defeat on their faces! It’s post-season big league gum time!!! “Let’s Go Tigers!!!” God bless and press on! Randy

Nate – I was reading your post and thinking “you’re kidding me” – when you come out in the stadium today, you are going to feel some serious Detroit love man! KC is a distant memory. You’ve got the Yankees 1-1 in the ALDS and that’s all that matters brother! I read some of the posts from today and they just confirmed what I already thought – you’re a stand up guy and this Tiger team is special. Go get ’em Nate!

Wow Nate,
I want to Tell you what a great job you guys are doing.I never got into watching baseball until this season.I sit and watch and yell at the TV just like I am there.I am so proud to be a Tigers Fan.I remember when I was 10 years old watching the 84 Tigers in the World Series and it was so cool, even though I didnt really know what baseball was all about! I was friends with Aurelio Lopez’s daughter (they lived by me) and it was so exciting.I am such a huge fan, I can’t wait when it’s gameday to watch you guy’s play no matter what the outcome..Just one question though? How in the heck do you breathe with that big wad of gum in your mouth? I get a good laugh when I see the camera pan to you with that gum going!!! Keep doing what you are doing…Good Luck Guys..I will be here supporting you no matter what…

Picked up some BLC when I was in Chicago – so know that my brother are I are throwing some in (as needed) all the way down in Mexico! Suerte boys – SUERTE!

Nate,

Since I was a very young boy, I have been a tigers fan. I remember many night’s as a child listening to Ernie Harwell, and Paul Carey broadcasting from ” the Old ballpark ” and I gotta tell you, this city has come to life all over again thanks to your pitching, and the overall play of your fellow teammates.

There is nothing like the ROAR of a tigers fan when you guys win a game. Taking game 2 in Yankee Stadium just proves that you, JV, Zoom Zoom and the rest of the Tigers bullpen have what it takes to bring our team back to glory once again !!

I’ve got my ticket’s for Saturday’s game at Comerica, and I gotta tell you – It’s going to be me and my fiancee’s first postseason game, and I have NEVER been more excited to see you guys play when it’s all on the line.

GIVE THEM YANKEES **** NATE – Bring the pennant back to Detroit where it belongs !!

Wow – who knew you could cry reading a baseball blog!! We’re so proud of you Nate, more so of the person we know and love but also of the amazing pitcher and Tiger you are! But what is so awesome to me is that all these people realize what a special person you are too! It literally had me bawling!! Go get those Yankees – Iowa and Kansas are cheering loud and clear!! And we’ve got the gum just in case!!

Nate- What a great game 2 yesterday. I was on pins and needles the last couple innings. I was at work up until the 7th, and was only able to keep one eye on the game. But I got off work just in time to meet up with my dad and watch the last 3 innings. We are both huge Tiger fans. My dad grew up on the east side of the state and was huge Detroit fan. He then move to SW michigan and thats where I was raised. We always watched games on PASS sports, and I grew up a die hard Tigers fan in an area that everyone lovs the Sox and Cubs. I was only 8 years old the last time we were in the playoffs. I have always stayed loyal, because I knew these good times would come. I have been to 6 games this year. 3 at home and 3 in chicago (I am only an hr from chi-town). I am so excited that I have tickets for game 4 saturday. I will be rooting you on hard tonight in front of my TV. Go get them tonight, and lets clinch tomorrow. This summer has been the best summer of my life. Its been a magical feeling to follow you guys. You guys are special. I made a trip over there in August and saw you guys play the Twins. On that trip, I proposed to my gf (not at the game) and we became engaged. It was a special trip, and this is a special season. Lets finish it off. And no matter what you guys will always be special to me and my fiance. Go Get em! Lets go Tigers!! Thanks for writing nate.

What a GREAT season. I’ve been a Tiger fan since my 1st Little League team,the Tigers, in 1963. My now 18 yo son is watching his first postseason with his favorite team also. We’ve watched you all year on the Extra Innings pacakge for years. So cool to watch you and the team progress. We catch Spring Training every year and you may remember him, the kid in the wheelchair, every year in Lakeland. Even catch some games on our b-days (Sept.28 &29) at Comerica when we can.

Thanks for the season. It will stay with my son for a lifetime…..I’m diggin it too.

Sean & Ian Berry

Athens, Ga

Nate, you write you look for a “big reception” back in Detroit.

NATE, YOU CAN COUNT ON THE BIGGEST RECEPTION EVER!!

A RECEPTION RIGHT UP THERE WITH THE BEST AT BRIGGS AND TIGER STATIUM!!!

Nate, BIGGEST RECEPTION EVER!!

Ben and Dan Richter

Durham NC

Another ALDS blogger has just arrived in the Nate State. Take a look, Gum Timers, and go easy on the Yankee commenters!

Mark

http://alds1.mlblogs.com

Nate, I am thrilled for you and Mike Maroth and your families, along with the other Tigers. My son and I met you guys on the field at HomePlate and appreciate the example that you set for our young athletes. We enjoyed your description of your pregame preparation. Gum is good, God is great! PEACE

Cre e mos! (We believe!) Make it the clubhouse mantra! All the best.

Dear Nate,
For the first time i put a whole pack of big league chew in my mouth. It was hard to chew. Thank you for bringging playoff baseball back to detroit and restoring the roar. Good Luck in the rest of the playoffs. Go TIGERS!

Dear Nate,
For the first time i put a whole pack of big league chew in my mouth. It was very hard to chew. Thank you for bringging playoff baseball back to detroit and restoring the roar. Good Luck in the rest of the playoffs. Go TIGERS!

What a game! The momentum’s shifting, baby… I could feel it as soon as Guillen hit that homer. Granderson’s coming up huge, the bullpen’s mowing ’em down, and gum is still plentiful. Take these Yankees, boys!

LET’S GET ‘EM BOYS!!!!!!!!!!

GO TIGERS! YAY NATE!

❤ Erica

Nate, first I’d like to thank you and all the tigers for putting together a great season. I’ve been a fan since I was born, and have never given up even when we lost 100 games(I watched that season to the bitter end). Now to see you guys in the playoffs, and to watch you win in New York(even though it made me late for my biochem class) was wonderful. PS thanks for siging my ball, and being so kind to take a pic with me(it’s framed on my mantle).

-Matt

I’m watching the game on TV right now. You guys are ahead 3-0 in the top of the 3rd inning. My mom and I watch you all, and I just got my dad hooked again….My parents remember ’68 and ’84.

Nate:
The Tigers perservered and never gave up. Your team has the perfect chemistry; with players, manager & coaches. I watched the Tigers in Milwaukee this year & thought your team was awesome! Beat the Yankees!

The reality is that the marlins with young pitchers defeated the feared and favored Yankees, no wtha Tigers are doing the same. The common bond_ Ivan Rodriguez. Yes that is the importance of an experienced catcher!

My Dad grew up in the Bronx across the street from Yankee stadium. He started following baseball in 1935 when he was 7. In those days the Yankess would fly a blue flag over the Stadium when they won and a red flag when they lost. In 1935 there were a lot of red flags flying over the stadium when the Tigers came to town (they won the World Series) …so he became a tiger fan and remains a diehard Tiger Fan to this day (he’s 79). I took him to games 1 and 2 at Yankee Stadium. After losing Game 1 he said ” we’ve got them right where we want them: lulled into a false sense of security”. He met Bonderman outside the bullpen in Memorial Park on Wednesday night as Bonderman was walking to the field before the game (which was rained out). He shook his hand and said this: “there are a lot of people like me here in Yankee Stadium tonight who are rooting for you guys… rest up because we are going to need you when it counts back in Detroit”. Bonderman just smiled and continued out onto the field.

wish you the very best, Nate.I have cringed everytime your team did not back up your subperb performances this year with their best efforts. This is your time to really shine!! God Bless you and the Tiger Team!

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