Well this weekend did not go to plan, but it was glorious the way it finished.
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The man who the Detroit Tigers traded for pitched like the Cy Young candidate we thought we were getting. Ian Kinsler, whose offensive in the second half was greatly lacking, but his heart and defense were always there, got the big hits. Joe Nathan, a much maligned regular season recorded a 1-2-3 inning. The Tigers themselves, battered for a million runs the last two days shut down the opponent.
They survived Zubaz-gate, 9-20, the ups, the downs, the bullpen, the shaky defense to claim another divisional crown. The Tigers have flaws heading into the playoffs, but so does everyone else. All you gotta do is get in.
3-0. 4-time American League Central Champions.
It wasn’t easy. Kyle Gibson allowed a third inning homer to Ian Kinsler and that was it until a nice rally in the eighth inning brought two more insurance runs in, including one more RBI by Kinsler.
Price finished the game by going 7.1 innings, four hits and no runs, striking out eight. Joba Chamberlain recorded the final two outs and Nathan finished it off in style.
By clinching the division, the Tigers avoided a 163rd game scenario tomorrow at Comerica Park and if they had lost that game, they would have fallen into the wild-card game on Tuesday.
None of that matters now.
The only thing that does is that the Detroit Tigers will face the Baltimore Orioles in the postseason for the first time ever. Game 1 is on Thursday.
So we all have seen this before, a divisional title. Now the Tigers have to win three rounds of playoffs to accomplish the ultimate goal.