93-66, 2013 AL Central Division Champions. No small sigh of relief there.
Wednesday, the Tigers clinched with a gutsy 1-0 win over the Twins. Couldn’t watch (I was sick, still am), but I’ll catch up with it after the postseason, no doubt. Must have been the nail-biter of the season.
They really had us going there, didn’t they? I can’t be the only one who had “collapse” in the back of my mind after Monday’s loss to Minnesota. A team that can come back to win from 6-0, bottom of the 9th should be capable of anything, but “anything” didn’t include giving away the next game, at least as I saw it. Now things are back on track and Tigers are in the postseason – through the front door. Not only that, but there’s also a real chance they can wrest home-field advantage for the ALDS from the A’s.
There have been grumblings (including mine) about how far the Tigers are likely to go in the postseason. This team doesn’t just have an “Achille’s heel.” It has at least 4 or 5 glaring weaknesses that I can think of offhand. However, they’ve been able to overcome them more than once for significant stretches of the season; how else would they be 93-66 right now? I think I’ll enjoy, for now, the fact that Detroit is ALDS-bound, and save the major postseason worrying for when the postseason has actually begun. Don’t let that stop you from voicing your worry, though. I would worry if you did.
Three in NL Miami are up next to close out the regular season, day game on Sunday for the finale. I don’t think I’ll look up the forecast for this series. The options for Miami are either “nice” or “hurricane.” Haven’t heard anything about a hurricane, but I’d be the last to know. The 59-100 Marlins are a no-name, rebuilding team reputed to have loads of future potential, so let’s hope that potential stays at least a week in the future. The Tigers definitely have something to play for here. Will they? Messrs. Porcello, Sanchez, and Verlander would certainly appreciate it, as would we. Be advised that the Marlins have a better home record than the Twins and the Mets do. (But not by much.)
93-66, 27 games over .500. 14 wins are the difference between ho-hum and on top. Every win counts the same as any other in the standings, but it goes beyond subjectivity to suggest that some wins were more important and/or impressive than others. Specifying which is where it gets more subjective. I’ll give you my take on “The Big 14” in a bit, but first I’ll let the early-bird commenters think on it and make their own suggestions (and get an early start on all the other stuff there is to talk about – there’s plenty, no?).
OK, I tried hard, but could only narrow it down as far as “The Big 19.” Tell me which five don’t belong:
A Hunter throw, a Fielder relay, a Pena tag and hold through collision, and a hard-earned victory is preserved.
A thumping of a good team that wasn’t swinging like one at the time (tough luck). Sanchez! Quite the morale boost at the time.
Laugh about the Astros now, but the first two games weren’t easy. Imagine a team that comes through in the clutch like this more often.
A ray of hope in a dismal series. Porcello.
Impressive come from behind from a team not known for it.
On a 4-game skid, on the heels of the Valverde implosion, Tigers put the hammer down on a team they find hard to beat.
They stole this one, and considering what lurked around the corner, larceny was just what the doctor ordered.
Only up on CLE by 2.5 going in, winner of 3/4 going out, a classic winner’s win. “We’re comin’ to get ya. See? Told ya.”
Strong shutdown of an intimidating opponent. Verlander. Bastille Day. (Extra points if your next thought was “Caress Of Steel.”)
A torching of one of the better lefties in the game.
Bouncing back from a blown save and keeping a monumental streak rolling.
The traditional August 5 Chris Perez Beatdown.
Miggy Moment of the season… so far.
Did one swing of Torii Hunter’s bat save the season? Maybe it did.
Preserving a shred of dignity against the mighty BoSox. Fister.
10 earned runs off of (or on) James Shields. Need I say more?
Stepping up in the late innings to pick up your starter. Imagine that.
The miracle game.
The clincher. Scherzer. What was that about one-run games?
9 of these were road games. Hint. Also, if you look into them (as opposed to looking into every game of the season, as I feel like I’ve done about 10 times over by now), you might start to bristle a bit at the term “Sunday lineup,” as I do. Lotta contributors here.
Go contributors! All of ya!