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.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.