After today’s 5-4 defeat at the hands of Central division leading Chicago, Detroit now stands 3 games behind Chicago for a playoff spot. While much of Detroit is now skeptical that the Tigers will be playing in the post-season in 2012, the race is far from over. What does appear to be off limits at this point is the wild card. It’s going to be division or nothing at all for the Tigers at this point.
This season has been a maddening one for Detroit and it’s fans, a season rife with inconsistency. The season started with great promise and expectations, especially after the surprise Prince Fieldersigning in the off-season. The supposed weakness of the division helped those expectations, leading many prognosticators inside and outside of Detroit to believe the Tigers would be running away with the Central division.
In baseball, best laid plans seldom come to fruition.
For the Tigers, there is no putting their heads down after today’s game. There is 16 games left in the season, 13 of those of which are against the Twins and the Royals. While the Royals tend to be a pain in the butt at inopportune times, the Tigers should be able to handle those two teams to the tune of a 9-4 record. If they take 2 out of 3 against the A’s, that’s an 11-5 record. They would need the White Sox to go 7-9 in that stretch, and they have series against the Angels and the Rays, both of whom are still vying for playoff spots themselves.
The easier schedule down this stretch these last few weeks means the Tigers still have a good opportunity. But losing today to the Sox also means there is little room for error. It can still be done Tigers fans, and I for one am not giving up hope. The Tigers still boast the best offensive player in Miguel Cabrera, and probably the best pitcher in Justin Verlander. Not to mention that one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball, Max Scherzer, is getting 4 more starts down the stretch.
As a great baseball man Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over” and in this case, I am with Yogi.