Around the Central: Tigers Sweep Sox, Twins Sweep Tribe
By Chris Hannum
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing the White Sox not just beaten, but dominated, in Detroit. The series is over, Tigers 3-0 in the game and 3-0 in the series. Over three games, the Tigers allowed only 3 runs and scored 21. Our biggest drags in the lineup and the rotation (I’m looking at you two Jackson and Penny!) made major contributions, even a hobbling Magglio Ordonez. The Tigers now sit at 12-10, half a game behind KC and 1 1/2 back of the suddenly faltering Indians. As I write this, the Royals look likely to lose Sunday’s game to Texas, which would drop them into a dead heat with Detroit. Suddenly things are looking pretty good for the Tigers.
What happened to the Indians? The Twins started to play like a contender again, beating Cleveland 10-3 & 4-3 after a rainout on Friday. Thanks to the Tigers treatment of Chicago, the Twins are no longer in the Central cellar – yet they still trail Cleveland by four games. Despite their slow start, we all knew it was foolish to count the Twins out – more likely than not they will be a part of any pennant race that materializes come autumn – but the first 21 games have highlighted precisely the concerns raised about Minnesota all along: the health of Mauer & Morneau, unpredictability of Francisco Liriano & Carl Pavano (who were both great last year), the middle infield w/o Orlando Hudson & J.J. Hardy and a bullpen rebuilt from scratch.