All of MLB tees off at about 3:00 today. Did that happen last season too? Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention last season. These season there are three games going that will demand our attention.
I’d normally say there is too much at stake to worry about individual numbers today, but Detroit’s chances at a postseason game are going to be directly related to the ERA title. Verlander ERA sits at 3.10, Toronto’s Sanchez sits at 3.06, and both start today, with Detroit needing either Toronto or Baltimore to lose to have a chance to play Monday for a tie. If the do play Monday, it’s Fulmer’s turn to start, so Verlander could also give the rookie a shot at the ERA title by pitching well today.
This one won’t be easy: the Braves start their ace, Tehran, and the team and the fans will have an emotional rush as they say goodbye to Turner Field today, with a ceremony before the game.
Here we go, three left, we need to win at least two. I think this is the game, the one that will determine things. If the Tigers win this one, they go into tomorrow with Verlander on the mound.
And what can you say about Cabrera? “Locked in” is an understatement; I can’t think of the last time I saw anyone dead-center two balls in the same game, much less in a must-win game. I have a feeling they will need a few runs tonight, with “No, Really, I’m Ready Now Zimmermann on the mound.
This is turning out to be a strange, if not strangely exciting end to the season, as the Tigers finish out, once again, with an interleague series on the road (Detroit finished 2013 at the Marlins). That means, oh boy! the pitchers get to bat, which I guess is one advantage to having long-time NL’er Zimmermann in the rotation. Norris is no slouch though, he hit a 2-run HR last season.
The team formerly known as The Worst Team in Baseball seems to have found themselves, and is actually the hottest team in baseball–the Braves have won 10 of the last 11.
Game time for the makeup game with Cleveland is set for 1:10 Monday, if necessary, which it likely will be if Detroit takes 2-of-3. One scenario no one has mentioned: if the Tigers are eliminated from the wild card, but Cleveland is within a game of anyone for playoff seeding, the makeup game will be necessary. And quite a drag.
Daniel Norris has motored on down to Hotlanta to start this off. There’s a great little documentary on Van Norrison on YouTube, check it out:
JD Martinez, RF
Victor on the bench looking for his 4th PH home run of the season. Gates Brown, eat your heart out.
First of all, the obvious one, we’re 1 game out of the Wild Card. It’s a crowded race, there is no margin for error. 5-0 doesn’t guarantee us in, but I think that 4-1 probably gets us to at least a (first) play-in game.
Secondly, Fulmer needs 6 1/3 to qualify for the ERA title. He’s got a decent lead, it would be great for him to win it to cinch ROY.
Third, Casty is back. This is a good looking lineup.
That was an inopportune time for the blowpen monster to rear its ugly head, not to mention its ugly rear. It seems ol’ Frankie just didn’t have it, alternating between completely losing the strike zone and serving up batting practice. I called for him to be yanked before the home run, but in reality closets are almost never pulled; you kind of go down with the ship there.
The Tigers are back home, and yet probably feeling a bit homesick, as they leave Sweeptown. How about that? The Tigers did what they needed to do, and now the Wild Card is a thing again.
Hopefully vintage Fulmer shows up tonight, and not the recent version, which may have been a blip, or may have been a rookie arm boarding the fatigue boat.
KC sends out Cy Duffy tonight, who has stymied Kinsler (.208, but welcome back!), Cabrera (.182), and JD (.150). Hopefully we get something from Salty (2-for-3, oh, that’s why he’s playing!), Aybar (3-for-6), and Upton (not that good, but stats do not apply to him at the moment).