Game 2012.160: Tigers at Royals

86-73, 1st place, magic # is 1.

The Tigers won their 6th game in 7 tries in dramatic fashion last night to move 13 games over .500 for the first time all year, and 3 games ahead of the White Sox with three to play. Sweet October is here.

I’d like to point out that while Valverde has now thrown 4 consecutive scoreless and hitless innings, allowing only 1 walk, two of his outs yesterday were scorchers that took great plays by AJax to call them outs. And he’s only struck out 2 in those 4 innings, which isn’t an acceptable K/9 ratio for a closer. Benoit is coming off of his worst outing of the year, so we do have a bit of bullpen chaos, though Leyland likely doesn’t recognize it; which is probably best at this point in time.

But let’s be honest, the playoffs are a mere formality. While losing 3 to the Royals is not out of the question (2006 anyone?), the White Sox would have to concurrently win their last 3 to force a one-game playoff. Winning one will be a chore for the pale hose. Sox and Indians start an hour before us. Remember what we discussed last week about the Tigers’ playoff performance and Leyland’s contract.

The AL Playoff Scenarios are wide-open, as the Rangers, Orioles and Yankees scramble for pole position, and the A’s hang on to the final WC spot. As stephen reminded us yesterday, some funky MLB scheduling means that the lower seeds will open at home this year for 2 games, with the final 3 games on the road. So if the Tigers do indeed find themselves in the postseason, they’ll open with Verlander and Fister/Scherzer at Comerica on Saturday and Sunday. As of now, the Tigers could find themselves opening against any of the Rangers, Orioles, Yankees and Athletics.

Max Scherzer threw yesterday and said his shoulder was fine, though unless the Tigers find themselves in a win or go home situation on Wednesday, I expect his next start to be game 2 in Detroit.

Cy Chen against Ricky P tonight. Considering how well Sanchez has thrown as of late, I imagine that this could be Porcello’s last start for a while.

A few notes:

– ESPN is going to cut in for each of Miggy’s ABs on Wednesday. Cabrera holds a slim lead over Mauer for the batting race (.325 to .323) is tied with Hamilton for the HR lead (43) and has a comfortable lead in RBIs (136 to Hamilton’s 125).

– JV’s 2-0, 1.20 ERA last week earned him co-player of the week honors.

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game – Big Prince Fielder. Fielder has 3 HRs, 7 RBIs and 5 runs over his last 10 games. A hot Fielder means more pitches for Miggy.

Tonight’s Playoff Clinching? Lineup:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Infante, 2B
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH (remember when he used to play in the OF? Hilarious.)
6.  Peralta, SS
7. Dirks, LF
8. Garcia, RF
9. Laird, C


  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    What better way for Little Ricky P to turn his outings around than getting a win for the Tigers and a Central Division Championship? What other motivation does he need?

  2. Tom in Lakeland

    October 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    A Tiger fan since 1950 here, and familiar with the years in the wilderness when the boys were not very competitive. No matter what happens over the next few day/weeks, it has been an entertaining year, and I have hopes that Jim will return next year. He is a good old fashioned baseball man. It’s good to have his kind around.

  3. Vince in MN

    October 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    WSox 0, Indians 0 after 4. Cy Santiago vs Cy Kluber.

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Jhonny P! Let’s beat Chen!

  5. Vince in MN

    October 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm


    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      I think that was all Dirks as the replay showed him running without a glance to the 3b Coach. However the arms of Gordon and Francouer shant be tested! However maybe the Tigers are learning how to beat Chen by hitting basehits?

  6. PHToy in HK

    October 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Time for a pitching change?

  7. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Little Ricky successfully makes it past his nemisis of the fickled, fateful, funky, fifth inning. (Thank you Omar!)

    • Vince in MN

      October 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Leyland should take him out now and let him finish his regular season Tiger career on a positive not.

  8. PHToy in HK

    October 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    That was good.

  9. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Miguel 3C Cabrera. Pretty soon it will be mathematically impossible for Mauer to catch him in batting average!

  10. PHToy in HK

    October 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    More good!

  11. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Mauer goes 1 for 5 tonight and is at 0.322 to Cabrera’s 0.327.

    • Vince in MN

      October 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Toronto tied it, the game is still going.

      • Vince in MN

        October 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm

        Twins lose, no more AB for Mauer tonight.

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          October 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm

          A quick back of the envelope calcuation….if Cabrera goes 0-8 in the last two games and Mauer goes 8-8, Cabrera bats 0.325 and Mauer 0.324.

          • Vince in MN

            October 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm

            I looked it up in the tables. With that scenario Mauer finishes at .332 (182 for 548) and Cabrera .323 (201 for 623). But Cabs has one more AB as I write.

            • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

              October 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

              Thanks for the math check Vince as I was keying off 178 hits for Mauer. Meanwhile we can’t forget Mr. Trout.

              • Vince in MN

                October 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm

                He’s 3 for 3 tonight, now hitting .324.

  12. Coleman

    October 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    A double and walk…I guess Alburquerque decided to audition for the closer job. He needs some work on the uncontested steal though.

    • Brenden

      October 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Eek…this could get ugly…

  13. Vince in MN

    October 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Props to Leyland for allowing Benoit to pitch through his slump in an important game.

    Next up, The Potato.

  14. Vince in MN

    October 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    At last!

  15. Doug of troy

    October 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Only Babe Cabrera should be MVP

  16. Vince in MN

    October 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Raburn, Kelly, Santiago and Boesch to start tomorrow. Fister pitches gem, but Tigers lose 1-0.

    • Florian

      October 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      He could even pitch a no-hitter in that scenario and lose 1-0, right?

  17. KW

    October 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Well, what a surprise this season ended up being.

  18. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Little Ricky get’s his 10th win! Sweet!

  19. tom in troy

    October 2, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Out of town and just heard the excellent news. GO TIGERS!

    • stephen

      October 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

      Another year of Leyland!

      • Tom in Lakeland

        October 2, 2012 at 7:22 am

        Let’s hope!!

        • stephen

          October 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

          Kill me now.

  20. Coleman

    October 2, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Am going to stay up late tomorrow and watch the A’s/Texas, if the A’s win we could have one of the best game 162s ever on Wednesday (afternoon, unfortunately).

  21. Jim Eggers

    October 2, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Just read the Tigers used an alcohol free sparkling beverage to celebrate in deference to Miggy, our TC candidate. Nice gesture, as someone sober for 19 years, I can relate! And now, the second season!!!!!

  22. StorminNorman

    October 2, 2012 at 7:51 am

    DET likely will open the ALDS @ home in the new 2 -3 format…against ??? probably the Yankees, but that could change.

    Congrats to DET!

    • travisfrymanfan

      October 2, 2012 at 10:56 am

      It is only for this year.The second wild card was added too late

  23. StorminNorman$

    October 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    good piece by Jeff Passan on Cabrera, JL & Tigers… interesting how today Passan is saying Cabrera is a ‘lock for MVP’, when yesterday his column stated that Trout ‘should win’ it. Individual honors are nice, but delivering a World Championship to Mr Illich, DET players/coaches and fans would be astronomically better than a MVP (Cabrera) or another Cy (for Verlander)…and if they play anywhere near what they’re capable of, it could happen.

  24. Jim Eggers

    October 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I am old school, and can see no reason to deny Miggy the MVP esp. if he wins the Triple Crown. Someone asked me the other day what WAR was, I replied that it was the opposite of peace, and something our country has been at for too long. I cannot see how a stat can be derived from two intangible factors, these are humans, not machines we are talking about.