The AL Central is going down to the wire

Leave a comment

The Tigers had a three game lead with four to play.  No team in that position has ever failed to make the playoffs.  With their loss last night and the Twins’ win, the Tigers are threatening to make history. According to a couple of game reports I read, they were even getting some boos. Boos? Really? But everything I read has told me that the Tigers are totally saving Detroit.  Ingrates.

The good news for Detroit is that the Twins have to face Zack Greinke this afternoon, while the Tigers get Freddy Garcia.  If things go according to expectations, Detroit will pop some champagne this evening.  If Minnesota beats up Greinke, however, the Twins will start to give off that team-of-destiny stench.

Yes, the Tigers could still win the division tomorrow if they had to, but they really don’t want to take it that far.  For one thing, the matchups don’t favor them: the Twins will face Luke Hochevar while the Tigers face Jon Danks.

Another reason why tonight is a must-win (and a Twins must-lose) for Detroit? Because if Detroit has to play to win tomorrow, they’ll have to run Justin Verlander out against the White Sox.  That would make him unavailable to pitch in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees, and if the Tigers make it that far, they’ll want to be able to start with their ace.

Of course, with things going the way they are, they’ll be thanking their lucky stars if they have to worry about ALDS matchups.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
1 Comment

Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.