PREGAME: Well, this is it. For the bulk of the week the Tigers were in a terrific position to clinch the division. As the Twins continued to lose there were so many favorable scenarios for the Tigers (i.e. “they just have to win 3 of their last 5 and it won’t matter what the Twins do”). But now here we are on the last day of the season and it’s all pretty simple. Win and you win. Lose and you hope for a Twins loss.
Back in July when I bought tickets for today’s game, and even back on Sunday, and even yesterday afternoon, I didn’t expect this to be a potential clinching game. So much for a nice relaxing day with the family. But the good news is this could also be one of the most memorable Tiger games I’ve ever attended. I’ll be in the rightfield grandstand, so the out-or-town scoreboard won’t be an option for me.
Jeremy Bonderman will start, which indicates he wouldn’t be pitching until Game 3 of the playoffs at the earliest.
Lefty Odalis Perez will start for the Royals.
Game Time 1:05pm
POSTGAME: There aren’t words to express how disappointed I am right now. It was a beautiful day. There was an electric sold out crowd. There was a big early lead that yet another starting pitcher couldn’t hold onto long enough to even qualify for a win. There was another collapse by a member of the bullpen (which really turned in a very good performance outside of Rodney). There was a dramatic game tying homer. There was a walk-off grand slam that hooked foul. There was the lost opportunity as 2 hitters failed to put the ball in play with the winning run on third. There was Kenny Rogers walking in a run in relief.
I’m frustrated and disappointed, and generally miserable right now.
As was the case all weekend, the game and the division were there for the taking, and the Tigers didn’t take it.
As for collapsing or choking, you can call it what you want. Just be consistent in what you’re saying. If you’re calling this a bad team, then you can’t call what just happened a collapse or a choke because they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. If you think they’re a pretty good team that woefully underachieved down the stretch, then so be it.
I won’t disagree that the expectations for this team changed from the begining of the season, and rightfully so. There is no denying that the last week was awful. The end result is this, this team won 95 games and Comerica Park will be hosting its first playoff game this week. I have a hard time being disappointed about that.