For the first time since 1907 the Detroit Tigers have clinched three consecutive postseason berths after tonight’s 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. With the win the Tigers guaranteed themselves at least a trip to the AL Wild Card game as their magic number for the division has been reduced to one game. And it’s because of that one game (as well as Jason Giambi hitting a walk-off homer in his depends to give the Indians a 5-4 win over the White Sox… thanks Hawk) that the Tigers’ goggles and champagne was kept on ice at least for one more night as the Detroit eyes are truly set on that AL Central Division title.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second the Tigers scored 4 unanswered by way of home runs from Austin Jackson (2-run), Victor Martinez and Omar Infante to give Detroit the lead which unlike last night they didn’t relinquish.
Starter Doug Fister had a solid outing through 6 and 1/3rd innings allowing just 2 runs on 8 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7. From there Drew Smyly, Al Alburquerque, Bruce Rondon and Joaquin Benoit were able to hold onto the lead.
In fact when Benoit struck out the Minnesota Twins in order in the 9th the Tigers set the AL all-time strikeout mark at 1384. The previous mark of 1383 was set just last season by the Tampa Bay Rays. But in addition to the AL record the Tigers could very well break the all-time MLB mark of 1404 set by the 2003 Chicago Cubs. That means within the next four games the Tigers need to get at least 20 strikeouts which is a very attainable number especially with this staff and who they have left to play (Minnesota and Miami). What’s even more impressive though about the Tigers more than likely breaking that record is the fact they play in the American League with the designated hitter.