Thanks to a sweep at the hands of the Indians this weekend, the Tigers now play a three game series against the Royals that could decide who finishes in last place in the AL Central. There’s no chance at third place, and there’s no chance of a winning. And there’s no chance that the Tigers can redeem themselves this year even if they win out. Yeah, they’re checking to see what guys like Dontrelle Willis has going, but I think even he needs the frest start of a new season to get past everything that’s gone on.
Magglio Ordonez had a mediocre weekend and he now finds himself in third place in his pursuit for his second straight batting title. His primary nemisis is the 2006 batting champ in Joe Mauer and there’s also Dustin Pedroia to contend with. Still, the six point deficit isn’t insurmountable. What’ll be interesting to see is, if he has the lead and the Tigers have to play the White Sox, does he get time. I don’t know if it’s still there, but there was some bad blood between Ordonez and the White Sox and it wouldn’t suprise me to want to go in there knowing it could cost him the batting championship. The last and only time that happened was when Ty Cobb did it from 1917-1919. The Tigers did have three straight batting champions from 1925-1927, but Harry Heilmann sandwiched a batting championship by Heinie Manush in 1926. Heilmann won four batting championships in the 1920s but they were every other year beginning in 1921.
Miguel Cabrera has fared better though and he’s now tied for the AL lead in homerun with Carlos Quentin, who’s likely out for the rest of the season. Alex Rodriguez is hot on his tail though and A-Rod is just one homer behind him heading into today’s games.
The Twins and White Sox both won so there’s still the 2 1/2 game deficit. The two teams square off for a three game series beginning on Tuesday and if the White Sox can take at least two of three, they’ll ensure at least a tie for the division title. A sweep would put things out of reach. Still, forget the math because anything less then two of three by the Twins means they face a huge uphill battle to reach the postseason.
The Tigers play all week and all seven games are at home. I’m going on Tuesday and it’ll be interesting to see how many people make it out to the ballpark. With seven games left, even with a bare bones walk up crowd, the Tigers should still break their attendance record set last year.
Remember Humberto Sanchez? He finally made his major league debut for the Yankees on Thursday. He made three stops this year in the minors with most of his time at the Gulf Coast League. Still, he pitched a perfect inning and struck out one against the White Sox. And speaking of former Tiger farmhands, Cameron Maybin has been very solid in his callup after an injury plagued minor league season. He went 0 for 5 today but prior to that, he had a four game hitting streak with two of those games being of the four hit variety.