Game 154: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: So the Tigers magic number to clinch the division is 10, but they only have 9 games left. Essentially they can’t guarantee their own fate anymore. It’s time that they took control again.

The first step will be with a 3 game set in Kansas City. Wil Ledezma will start for the Tigers. After making a big splash when he first entered the rotation, he’s struggled his last 2 games.

He’ll be opposed by Luke Hudson. Will it be the Hudson that retired one Indians batter and allowed 10 runs, or will it be the Luke Hudson who fanned 10 Yankees?

Game Time 8:10pm

POSTGAME: I’m glad this one turned out the way it did, because I was getting frustrated watching Detroit hit ball after ball hard but at people. Meanwhile the Royals cobbled together a rally out of a bunt, a groundball through the middle, and a comebacker gone awry.

Ledezma was very solid and the Royals weren’t able to get good swing off him. He nibbled around the edges too much as he battled with control, but he kept the Royals off balance and the Tigers in the game.

And with the Twins losing, the Tigers now have the opportunity to “control their own destiny.”

23 Comments

  1. Coach Jim

    September 22, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Yesterday was the 4th time the Tiger loaded the bases with nobody out and didn’t score. They lead the league, tied with Seattle and Toronto. Does this mean they are unusually inept at driving in runs, or do they just load the bases with nobody out a lot.

  2. billfer

    September 22, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Jim – considering the season is almost over and that the league “leaders” are tied at 4, I don’t think you can really read anything into it. They’re not particularly inept at driving in runs, nor do they load the bases with nobody out a lot.

  3. Alan

    September 22, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    This is our chance tonight. Leyland better pull out all the stops. It appears that Minnesota and Chicago may go down. With a win we can get a 1.5 lead over Minnesota. It is feasible the Tigers will clinch a playoff spot in Kansas City with the way Chicago is playing. It can be kind of nice to clinch on the road, but the Division will be at home. Does anyone think that the White Sox will really give it their all against the Twins and try to help Detroit win the Division? I’m under the impression that the White Sox despise Detroit more than Minnesota because Minnesota has been contending the last 4 years for the Division or won it and the Tigers have risen from mediocrity.

  4. PHT in HK

    September 22, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Looking good!

  5. Adam Holwerda

    September 22, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Unless Minnesota can muster 4 this half-inning with only 2 outs left, they’re done.

    And the White Sox…I don’t know if they’re going to be able to come back from 5 runs down at this point.

    I need for us to win this game…at this point it’s looking good, but I need more insurance. 1 run isn’t enough.

  6. Cameron in Singapore

    September 22, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    This is a great chance for us to pick up that game on Minnesota. We need to take advantage.
    I think Chicago has a lot more against Minnesota than they do us, since they’ve been rivals with Minnesota for a long time. So I would expect them to still have some motivation to beat Minny in the final weekend, not to help us but solely to try to stick it to the Twins.

  7. Pete

    September 22, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Since I can’t complain about Casey tonight, I really don’t know what to write. This game is too close for comfort, we need an insurance run or two.

  8. Pete

    September 22, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    Great job by Zumaya tonight. Can’t wait to see that kid pitch in the playoffs. I’d still like an insurance run, but I’m feeling better about this game.

    The Sox are coming back, but realistically, their season is over and they know it.

  9. Jeff M

    September 22, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    Did Monroe touch third on that throwing error?

  10. PHT in HK

    September 22, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to see the Tigers manufacture runs by stringing hits together with some bad defense than to see them just hit home runs. Good hitting seems more sustainable than power hitting.

  11. Pete

    September 22, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    I wish we could play the Royals every night. Oh, wait! We can!

    We would have to run the table, but we can still win 100 this year…

  12. Alan

    September 22, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    Why is Leyland weakening Jones by pitching him with a 4 run lead, when we may need him tomorrow in a closer game? Isn’t there another pitcher available who can hold a 4 run lead in the 9th inning?

  13. Alan

    September 22, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    Magic Number: Wild Card (3)*

    Magic Number: Division (8)

    *Wild Card will be 2 Magic Number if Seattle holds on to a 2 run lead in the 7th inning over Chicago White Sox.

  14. Alan

    September 22, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    If the Seattle lead holds for 6 more outs, then we will have a magic number of 2. Since the White Sox play at 12:30 on Saturday, the Magic Number for the Wild Card could be 1 by the 7pm start of the Tigers game tomorrow. This means that it might be time to put the champagne on ice.

  15. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 22, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    White Sox r going down~~~ Their schedule just sucks. After Seattle and the Japanese mojo, they have to go against Cleveland and Minnesota.

  16. Kurt

    September 23, 2006 at 1:22 am

    The actual magic number is seven. Minnesota has to finish one win better than Detroit because the Tigers own the head-to-head record tiebreaker. So all we need is 7, tying them.

  17. Andrew

    September 23, 2006 at 8:03 am

    Question: Do you celebrate being guaranteed a playoff birth or do you wait until you see if you can win the division?

    Unchartered territory here for these Tigers, but I would rather not see them celebrate just being in the playoffs. If they are satisfied with “just being in” will they make a run at finishing things out and winning the division?

    Just wondering.

  18. Kyle J

    September 23, 2006 at 9:50 am

    I think they will and should celebrate clinching a playoff spot. One thing I love about Leyland is that he doesn’t deny reality. Example: Admitting it’s OK for Verlander to think about winning Rookie of the Year. Clinching the playoffs is a big deal for this franchise. No sense trying to pretend it’s not a big deal. And I really think there’s not much chance that a celebration is going to make them lose their competitive edge. If that’s really a possibility, whether or not you celebrate isn’t going to matter–they’re going to know they’ve clinched.

  19. T Smith

    September 23, 2006 at 10:43 am

    They WILL celebrate, whether you think it’s a good idea or not. I guarantee there is champagne on ice in the locker room as we blog. (Anyother Chisox loss and a win tonight….)

  20. Fritz

    September 23, 2006 at 11:29 am

    Didn’t the Yankees celebrate their own playoff spot the other night, even though they lost the game? If a team for whom not winning the World Series could result in getting fired can celebrate a berth on a loss, I think the Tigers’ equipment guys had better get to the Beverage Depot to stock up on Korbel…y’know the good stuff.

  21. Kurt

    September 23, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    I think it’s fine to have a little celebration. Making the playoffs isn’t exactly an everyday occurance in baseball.

    Otherwise, when exactly do they celebrate? If the Twins pass them in the final week for the division title, that puts a damper on things.

    So, they’ll celebrate, we’ll celebrate, it’ll be great fun. And hopefully within the week we get to repeat the process at Comerica Park, bigger and better.

  22. Walewander

    September 23, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    If we clinch tomorrow, Billfer or someone else try to get a clip of the celebration onto the site? I really want to see it and I have daytime commitments tomorrow.

  23. Jeff M

    September 23, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Is it selfish to hope they don’t clinch until Tuesday? I have tickets. 🙂