What have we learned so far?
As I mentioned in my last blog, the Tigers needed to look at this series against Cleveland with basically a playoff mindset. The Tigers weren’t going to win two out of three games, (especially without Verlander pitching at least one) by playing anything other than playoff caliber baseball. After the first two games of the series, the Tigers have now expanded their lead in the American League Central to 3.5 games, by beating the Indians two games in a row.
There’s a lot of things to mention, such as Scherzer and Fister both having quality starts, while being under a great deal of pressure. Brandon Inge made his return to Detroit, and made an impact rather quickly, hitting a home run to left field in his first at bat since being recalled. I know that there’s a lot of love and hate for Brandon Inge, but I think a lot of people fail to realize all of the positive things he does, that fail to get attention. He’s been very actively involved in the community, regularly making visits to children hospitals throughout the state. He’s been a great teammate, is still an above average defensive player, (he did have the highest fielding percentage of all American League third basemen last year, and arguably should have won his first gold glove) has a quality clubhouse presence (both in Detroit, as well as both of his stints in Toled0) and is actually the only Tiger who makes Michigan his home year round. Is he the greatest third baseman in baseball? No, but he’s definitely a positive contributor, even when he struggles on the field.
Overall, things have been going well the last two days for Detroit, and if they can continue to go that way, the Tigers have a chance to do a lot of damage not only through the end of the regular season, but into October. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if Porcello can keep it going, so we can sweep the Indians out of Detroit, and hopefully out of playoff contention.