And the trend continues. The White Sox can’t beat the Tigers. The Tigers can’t beat anyone not named the Sox.
After Sunday’s 9-2 throttling of the hapless Twins, the Palehose finished a sweep and had to wait to see what Detroit would do in their finale with the Indians. Jim Leyland’s team had kept pace by winning the first two, but Jose Valverde remembered he was Jose Valverde and decided he hadn’t been a gas can in a while.
The Closer gave up three hits and two walks including a walk off single as the Tribe avoided a sweep. With that loss, the Sox got a little breathing room in the form of a two game lead. Perfect timing as the Sox and Tigers will make up Thursday’s rain out on Monday afternoon.
If the Robin Ventura’s crew can come out on top, they will take a three game lead with 16 games to go. It may not sound like much, but with a three game lead if the Sox go .500 the rest of the way it will force the Tigers to go 11-5 just to force a one game playoff. That’s a 68% clip just if the Sox go .500.
The one game showdown is shall we say huge.
Doug Fister and Jose Quintana will square off in a game that might not decide the season, but could basically eliminate the Tigers barring a Sox collapse. Quintana was the lone winner versus Detroit last week. After a rocky start, the rookie lefty cruised into the 8th inning giving up one run and striking out seven in 7.2 innings.
Fister had a nasty breaking ball working when he beat the Sox last Tuesday. The former Mariner only allowed two hits -both solo homeruns- in his seven innings of work in a Tigers win.
It’s really amazing the Sox have gone 1-9 their last ten games against the Tigers and sit with a two game lead in the middle of September. The old adage that you have to beat your division does not apply to the 2012 AL Central race. The Sox are just 32-30 versus their divisional foes.
None of that matters heading into tomorrow. If the Sox win, I will pop the champagne. It may not be over, but it’s pretty much over even with those damn Royals looming up next. If the Tigers continue their dominance over the White Sox, all bets are off heading into the final 16 games.
This is how the Schedule breaks down for each team after tomorrow’s make up game.
Three @ Kansas City
Three @ Los Angeles of Anaheim
Three vs Cleveland
Four vs Tampa Bay
And the final three in Cleveland.
Three vs Oakland
Three vs Minnesota
Four vs Kansas City
With the finale of Three @ Kansas City
Win tomorrow and print those playoff tickets. Lose and get ready for a sweat.
Follow me down the stretch run @MidwayPat