past several weeks have caused many a die-hard Tigers fan to question
what had appeared imminent just a few weeks ago – could the Tigers win
the pennant? By the time they had finished playing Tampa Bay, Detroit
was sitting in the catbird seat. The division title was within sight.
The magic number countdown had begun, and it was all just a matter of
At that time, I cautioned everyone about becoming overly excited.
First, the Tigers had to get past the Kansas City Royals. The Royals
are always a royal pain in the butt, and the Detroit Tigers were swept.
Following that series, they split with the Blue Jays, went on to lose
two of three with the Royals (again) at Comerica Park, and then
traveled to the Metrodome to lose the series there.
It has been rough, to say the least. Heading into this afternoon’s game
with the Twins, the seven game lead had dwindled to just two.
Nate Robertson, who has been trying to get into the rotation, had a
chance today to show he deserves a starting role. If this was a test,
he passed. Robertson only allowed two earned runs over five innings,
and the Tigers won, 6-2.
Placido Polanco had a 3-RBI day, and Ryan Raburn helped the effort with a solo home run in the eighth.
As big as it was to win today, the Tigers are still not out of the
woods. Detroit has a three game lead, and the magic number falls to 11, but the remainder of the schedule
features their AL Central rivals. Detroit has only won four of their
last 13 games.
Can they win the division? Absolutely. Will it be easy to do?
Absolutely not. The offense still has to pick it up in these last
games. That seems to be the biggest hurdle for them.
But, there is still something to be said about not running away with
the division. It keeps us (the fans) into the game in a more focused
way. Don’t you find yourself hanging on every pitch, every single,
every stolen base? I do.
Also, in a strange way, I feel good complaining about their losses,
because I feel exponentially better when they win. It’s the ups and
downs of a pennant race. The Detroit Tigers are in the thick of it. I
would rather have it this way. I have seen the alternative. I didn’t like it.