The Tigers pulled off the Grand Sweep in stunning fashion, sweeping their 4th consecutive Central series (and back-to-back Sox-series-sweeps) with 2 9th-inning pinch-hit home runs, the first time that has been done since…well, I don’t know. That’s harder to look up than you would think.
The Tigers have won 12 in a row, even overcoming a Daytime-Bad Penny start, have everyone contributing, have a Cy Young pitcher, even Ol’ Smokey is on a roll. Their team batting average for September is .326 (Their WORST regular in September, Austin Jackson, is hitting .278). Their team ERA is 2.90 What could go wrong?
Oops. Justin Verlander is featured on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated. At least they waited until the division title was no longer in doubt before unleashing the jinx.
You know who else is having a good season? Over 139 games he is hitting .305 with an .864 OPS, with 29 HRs and 95 RBI. Answer below.
The Tigers could take the field tonight with a magic number of 1, as Max “Clinch” Scherzer looks to solidify his spot in the playoff rotation. It might be helpful if his spot in the postseason rotation were to fall on home game dates: Scherzer’s ERA at Comerica this season is 3.66, on the road 5.09.
The forecast in Oakland calls for 50% chance of Clown Show: The A’s lead the AL in errors with 119, and have 9 in their last 7 games.
Magic Number: 2
Best Record Standings:
NY Yankees 90 58 —
Detroit Tigers 87 62 3 1/2
Boston Red Sox 86 62 4
Texas Rangers 85 64 5 1/2
Player of the Pre-Game: Ryan Raburn
The mystery player’s “season” above is Ryan Raburn’s career numbers for August-September. Detroit needs to find a Chris Shelton-type early season guy and do a seasonal platoon in 2012. Sure, he isn’t in the lineup tonight, but there’s always pinch-hitting.
Today’s Baker’s-Dozen Lineup: