Tonight, the Detroit Tigers clinched their first AL Central title with a 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics in Oakland. The Tigers have been playing on all eight cylinders of late having won 13 of their last 14 games.
This is the second time the Tigers have reached the post-season under the tutelage of Jim Leyland. In 2006, the Tigers won the AL Wild Card and would go on to win reach the World Series. However, the Tigers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games.
The last time the Tigers won a divisional title was in 1987 when the Tigers won the AL East on the last day of the regular season against the Toronto Blue Jays. Frank Tanana pitched a complete game, six-hit shutout en route to a 1-0 victory. The Tigers only run that game was a solo homerun by Larry Herndon in the second inning. I remember the final out of the game. Garth Iorg hit a ball back to Tanana. The late George Kell exclaimed, “This could be it…and it is!!!”
Back to the present, I picked the Tigers to not only win the AL Central, but the AL pennant. Of course, if the Tigers do go to the World Series this year, it won’t be against the Chicago Cubs.