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Wednesday August 12, 2009 11:00 pm

Can the Detroit Tigers Actually Hold On?

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: MLB,

Justin Verlander

To say the Detroit Tigers have been up and down in recent years is a massive understatement. Playing in the American League Central, they have had to compete in one of the most fluctuating divisions in baseball. The random seasons of events began for the Tigers in 2006. At 95-67, the best Detroit could do was win the Wild Card, one game behind the Minnesota Twins. They ended up going to the World Series, taking down the Yankees and Athletics in four games each, but they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in five. 2007 was a downgrade for the club, as they only managed 88 wins and finished a distant second to Cleveland.

In 2008, the Tigers tried to improve their already impressive roster by adding first baseman Miguel Cabrera, pitcher Dontrelle Willis, and shortstop Edgar Renteria to the team, all of whom were at least two-time All-Stars. Because of this, everyone around the baseball world picked Detroit to dominate not just the Central, but the entire American League. Things did not go as planned though, because while Cabrera had a fantastic year, crushing 37 home runs, Renteria struggled all season long and Willis was repeatedly put on the disabled list for anxiety issues. The Tigers swapped numbers from their 2007 record, going 74-88 and finishing last in their division.

This year is another complete turnaround for the Motor City Kitties. Through two-thirds of the season, they’re all the way back up the standings and in first place, clinging to a slim lead over the Chicago White Sox. The Tigers already have three players with 22 or more home runs, while Justin Verlander is among league leaders with 12 wins and Edwin Jackson’s 2.79 ERA is third in the AL, just barely behind Toronto’s Roy Halladay and Kansas’ Zack Greinke.

The Tigers are certainly living up to their expectations this year. A return to the World Series is certainly in the realm of possibility for these guys, but they’re definitely going to need to find a way to start winning more games on the road, especially if they want to keep their lead over Chicago, since nobody in their right mind would expect the Wild Card team to slip into the playoffs from the Central Division at this point in the season. Don’t be surprised if Detroit plays the Boston Red Sox again in the ALDS, and it’s no secret how hard it is to win at Fenway. Just ask the 2007 Cleveland Indians.



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