Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tigers Sweep Away AL Central

The Tigers edged the Twins 2-1 today to complete their third consecutive three-game sweep of an AL Central rival.  They previously brushed aside the White Sox and Indians.  This one didn't come easy though.  After scoring two runs in the first inning, the Tigers were held scoreless by Twins starter Scott Diamond and reliever Jim Hoey for the rest of the game.  However, the Begals pulled it out thanks to another strong performance by Doug Fister. 

No stranger to lack of run support, Fister pitcher seven shutout innings allowing three hits and two walks.  In his last five starts, Fister has posted a 0.74 ERA and 36/4 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings.  He must think he is Cliff Lee or something.  To say that the acquisition of Fister has worked out well for the Tigers so far would be the understatement of the year.  He has turned a shaky rotation into one that should be able to match any American League opponent in post-season. 

Delmon Young, another late-season addition, also continued to make a contribution.  His RBI-double in the first inning produced one of only two Tigers runs today.  While he has his shortcomings, Young has filled in nicely for the injured Brennan Boesch with a .305 batting average and .476 slugging average in 25 games as a Tiger.

Jose Valverde didn't get one of those shut down saves today.  He allowed two base runners and a run in the ninth, but managerd to close it out for his 43rd save in 43 save opportunuities. He now holds the Tigers record for most saves in a season.  The previous record was set by Todd Jones with 42 in 2000.  The only other pitcher on any team to have that many saves in a single season without a blown save was Eric Gagne with 55 in 2003.  

The Tigers are on quite a roll. The nine game winning streak is their longest since May 14-24, 1984.  They haven't had a ten-game streak since 1968.  They will attempt to reach ten games versus the White Sox tomorrow night. 

Some of the statistics for this post were abstracted from Baseball-Reference

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