After splitting their games yesterday, the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are still embroiled in a tight pennant race, with the Tigers still up two games going into tonight's game. With Boston having locked up the wild card, whichever team loses the AL Central will find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in. So, yes: the stakes don't really get much higher than this. SBN's Twinkie Town sets the scene:
It's a big night for the Minnesota Twins organization. First, the team is on the ropes after dropping game two of Tuesday's double-header. Now two games back once again, the Twins are in a position where their only legitimate shot at October will come if they win tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Losing both games means elimination. Losing just one game reduces Minnesota's playoff chances to one of these two scenarios.
- The Twins sweep the Royals, the White Sox take at least two of three from the Tigers.
- The Twins take two of three from the Royals, the White sox sweep the Tigers (force game 163).
The easiest thing to do would be, clearly, to just win tonight. And then just win tomorrow.
While our Tigers' blog, Bless You Boys, takes a look at Detroit's starter for tonight:
Perhaps Leyland wanted to go with a superhero.
This isn't the most obvious choice, as Figaro hasn't started a game since June, when he went on the DL with a sprained wrist. The longest outing on his rehab assignment was four innings. And since being activated by the Tigers, he hasn't pitched more than three innings.
Of course, this would be a relatively stress-free situation if the Tigers were to clinch the AL Central before Saturday. I'm just sayin'...
Regular season baseball doesn't get much bigger than this, folks, so it's definitely worth checking out. And if you can't watch on TV, check back here throughout the night, as we'll be updating you on the action throughout the game.