Tigers fans biggest fear was put to rest today as the Tigers beat the White Sox 5-3 extending the season at least one more game. If the Royals somehow catch the Twins today (the Twins lead 10-4 in the seventh as I type), then the Tigers would face the Yankees in the playoffs. More than likely though, the Tigers will travel to Minnesota for a one game playoff in the Metrodome on Tuesday. In that case, the second biggest fear of Tigers fans would have been realized but that's a lot better than elimination.
After three totally uninspiring games, the Tigers showed some life today. Ace Justin Verlander cruised along for 7 1/3 shutout innings and, with just 101 pitches through seven innings, a complete game shutout looked possible. However, Verlander quickly ran out of gas allowing four consecutive hits and three runs. With two outs and two men on base, he was relieved by Fernando Rodney.
Rodney got the final out of the eighth thanks to a spectacular diving catch by Curtis Granderson. That makes up for two misplays by Curtis earlier in the week. Rodney then preserved the victory with a scoreless ninth. It was the 37th save in 38 opportunities for Rodney in 2009.
The Tigers finally did some hitting today collecting 12 hits including three home runs. Most of the damage was done by two players. Ryan Raburn blasted a two run homer in the second and added a solo shot in the sixth. His eighth inning single gave him three hits for the day. Magglio Ordonez continued his torrid hitting by going four for four with a double and a home run. He is now batting .441 during September/October.
So, it looks like the Tigers will be heading to the Metrodome for the last time ever. It will be Rick Porcello versus Scott Baker on Tuesday evening. I can't say I'm optimistic about the Tigers winning in the Metrodome against the red hot Twins. Wouldn't it be great though if the last memory of that Dump was the Tigers jumping all over the turf in celebration of a division clinching victory over the Twins?