This feels like 2006 all over again, but worse.
The Tigers of ’06 were 40 games above .500 on August 7th and seemed to be cruising to their first division title since 1987. For the last 50 games of the season, they went 19-31 and lost the division and ended up as the wild card entrant. Fortunately, the Tigers struck gold in October and won the American League Pennant before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
The 2009 Detroit Tigers have been in first place in the Central Division since early May, and now their late season choke job has forced them into a one game playoff in Minnesota against the Twins. The Tigers will be hanging their playoff hopes on the young arm of 20 year old Rick Porcello, who wasn’t even alive the last time the Tigers won a division title.
Having only won 4 of their final 10 games in the regular season, the Tigers will need everybody on their roster to step up on Tuesday. They need to forget their slumping last few weeks of the regular season. The post season is a totally different type of baseball. Everything is magnified. One run or one pitch can make or break your team.
On Tuesday, the Tigers and Twins will be playing like there is no tomorrow. On Wednesday, one team will be traveling to New York, and the other will be heading home for the winter.
If I were the Twins, I’d be making reservations for the Big Apple.