Tigers clinch fourth straight postseason berth

The Tigers had long since left Comerica Park by the time they became the latest team to clinch a spot in the postseason. They probably wouldn’t have celebrated much if they were around anyway.

They have a Wild Card spot assured as a fallback option, but a fourth consecutive American League Central title on their minds. They still have work to do.

“The goal,” Ausmus said Wednesday afternoon, “is to win the division.”

Detroit’s win over the White Sox Wednesday afternoon put the Tigers on the doorstep of October baseball. Once the Mariners lost at Toronto Wednesday night, their foot was in the door, the Tigers assured of finishing no worse than the second AL Wild Card spot.

“We’re in,” Ian Kinsler said. “We have an opportunity to win a World Series regardless of what happens here on out. But the goal is to win the Central. To have that assurance, to know that you’re going to be in the playoffs, yeah, that’s big. But that’s not the goal right now.

“We still have four games left to try to win the Central, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

They’re a little closer on the division part as well. A Royals loss in Cleveland stretched Detroit’s lead to two games with four to play, and reduced the magic number to three. A Tigers split at home against the Twins would require the Royals to sweep four games against the White Sox in Chicago to force a one-game playoff.

Consider it a milepost on the Tigers’ quest to take care of unfinished business from last year, when they fell to the Red Sox in a dramatic six-game AL Championship Series that still stings for most Tigers fans.

It’s also a record-setter for the Tigers, whose fourth straight playoff berth sets a new franchise mark. Detroit went to three consecutive World Series from 1907 to 1909, losing all three times.

“Everybody wants to make it to the playoffs, obviously,” Verlander said, “but you never want to settle for a wild card, or just squeaking in. You want to win your division. That’s the goal here. I don’t think anybody’s going to be overly excited just squeaking in and securing a wild card spot.

“There’s still four games to play and we’re in first place in our division, and that’s the most important part.”

Asked if they might still celebrate, Verlander smiled.

“I don’t think you’re going to see us go out and celebrate and get hammered,” he said, “and come in tomorrow not ready to play.”

Barring a Royals collapse, whichever team doesn’t win the Central will take one of the two Wild Card berths and play a winner-take-all game next Tuesday on TBS. Oakland currently holds the other AL Wild Card spot.

The A’s loss Wednesday afternoon, meanwhile, put the Tigers two games ahead of Oakland to go with the head-to-head tiebreaker. Barring a dramatic swing, then, the Tigers would have the consolation of at least hosting a Wild Card game if they finished second in the division.

Detroit won five out of seven from Oakland this year.

The AL Central champion will advance to the AL Division Series as the third seed, opening on the road. Most likely, the opponent would be Baltimore, currently owner of the AL’s second-best record. The Tigers went 5-1 against the Orioles this year, including a three-game sweep at Camden Yards in May.

15 Comments

JV: no walks
Casty: HUGE SacFly
Romine: clutch squeeze
Doc: Energy and great sac bunt
Kinsler: Becoming a leader?
Rajai: A pesky major contributor
JD: Protecting Victor by hitting hitting hitting
Soria: A clean 9th inning? There’s a novelty

Wasn’t there another incident just prior to the ASG that involved Sale and plunking a Tiger or something contentious?

A series that needed to be won . Gotta clean up on the Twins and head to the post season . Key hits and better pitching today . Tribe comes thru and beats the Royals .

About as good a day of baseball as we’ve had in awhile. And that Tigers game was just plain fun to watch, start to finish.

The rookie manager clinched.
Now, the serious questions? Lobstein or Coke.He could replace JJ too
Will McCann be the extra position player added to the postseason roster

I have my worries about either. Lobber is perhaps too green and gives up homers….but Coke has a slightly higher WHIP and BA against (in the past 30 days at least) than Lobber.

Tigers 88-70
Tigers , 2012. 88-74
That makes at least as good as the last Tigers team to make the WS. A stronger rival is pursuing them this time

This is fun isn’t it? Nice job by Verlander yesterday – he has shored up his pitching lately. I still have reading up to do on the game yesterday but it is great to know we are in, now I want to watch them celebrate in front of the home crowd a win of the division – an outright win too – don’t want to share this with the Royals. Thanks Tribe for helping us out yesterday.

This is the lineup I hope to see on Sunday (Saturday would be even better). N.B. this is not necessarily a “winning” lineup!
Carerra CF
Perez 2B
Collins LF
Moya RF
Kelly 1B
McCann C
Avila DH
Suarez 3B
Romine SS

Victor at DH if he needs to hit for the batting title!!!!

i’d like to see that lineup as well

While I get your point , do you forget what happened the last time they had that many rest before the WS?

That’s a good point. Maybe start the regulars and replace them all by the 5th or so.

So are we going to be using Sanchez, Coke, Reed or Johnson in the playoffs? If so, Ausbot 3000 had better get them an inning or two in this series.

Have not forgotten ’06 nor 2012. Too much rest hurt those teams though I think 2012 was less about rest than Panda ambushing Verlander in the very 1st inning.

The Tigers offense is horrible,especially Nick C. who was batting like 0.84 or less in his last 9 games.Also,he has no range at 3rd base at all. If this continues,I would put someone else in there,maybe Kelly,not much upgrade,but better D and range. If Raja cant play,we are going to miss a run scoring threat every time hes on base. Everybody needs to pick it up,maybe another hit by pitch,something. Its supposed to really cool down,temperature wise,and I hope it does. The colder it is,the more advantage to our great starting pitching.

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