-Destroyed White Sox in the second biggest butt-kicking in the MLB this year
-Won series opener against Indians by way of Doug Fister's 13 (!!!) strikeouts, a career high
-Chased Fausto Carmona out early by putting up 8 combined runs in the 1st and 2nd innings, going on to win 10-1
-Jose Valverde got his 42nd save, tying Todd Jones for most club saves all time
-And, finally, swept and demoralized the Tribe with a come-from-behind victory thanks to Victor Martinez's grand slam (which got him a good slapping around from Justin Verlander!)
Yeah. Not much. Just two sweeps, one home and one away, of our two closest division rivals.
(Also, apparently we CAN win in Cleveland. Maybe because that
For serious, though--who could have dreamed this would happen? We're not part of the grumble-grumble-pessimist-We-Hate-Leyland-Tigers-Are-Collapsing crowd, but never in our wildest dreams did we think our team would do this. Chicago is closest to us in the AL Central race, at 9 back. Our Magic Number is now 12.
Barring what would be an unbelievable, epic, Met-like collapse, the Tigers are going the playoffs (knock on wood). There. As much as it scared us to actually write that sentence, it is what is going to happen. There is no denying it now. Besides playing the White Sox in Chicago next week, there aren't any more difficult series. The Central belongs to the Tigers.
And you know what we love most about the past six days? Before, we kept hearing that, save for Verlander, this team's pitching staff was average at best. What Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, and Rick Porcello just did was not mediocre. No, if our pitching staff can keep going strong throughout these last few weeks, we will roll into October with a lineup that absolutely no one wants to face.
Oh, and our hitters! We've said it before and we'll say it again: this year, Dave Dombrowski is looking like a straight up genius. Our hitters, led by Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera, have scored 57 runs in the past 6 days. It really doesn't even matter who Leyland puts out there--even with the cringe-inducing lineup today, we still pounded out 8 runs. Our hitters can do no wrong.
Plus, we love the attitude. The Tigers, as Rod has frequently and persistently reminded us, now have lots of Swagger. They come in confident, but not cocky. They've learned that lesson. Jim Leyland, too, is taking the appropriate response to his team's success. Obviously he wasn't going to go "Yep, we got dis ish in the BAG" but it's good to see him constantly say that the Tigers have to keep grinding out the wins and that nothing is guaranteed yet.
Of course, there is always at least one catch, and that is our poor Baby Brennan's thumb. He's out for the year, but at least he can still hang with the team. We actually don't need him, what with Maggs, Delmon, Dirks and Raburn coming up big, but it makes us sad to see his baby face on the bench. Poor thing! He's the one Tiger who can be tamed...
Well, maybe him and Big Brad, the one starter who has underperformed this week. We'll see how he does Friday against the Twins. Hopefully he can move the Tigers closer to their goal of division champs!!