I was the one that figured the Detroit Tigers would come in and easily sweep the Houston Astros. Well, they did and didn’t do that. The first two games of the series were very close and the Astros actually had the Tigers all but beaten in game two on Friday. If it weren’t for a ninth inning homer they could have avoided the sweep. The last two games of the series were more what I was thinking would happen as the Tigers outscored the Astros 26 – 2 over the two games Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday was almost extra special as Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He left the game after that because of pitch-count but the damage was done. The Tigers did everything right all game on Sunday. From great hitting to dominant pitching, the entire package was there. Even proper managing was at work as Jim Leyland planned to take Verlander out after no more than 130 pitches even if he still had a no-hitter going. That would have been tough but the right call and Leyland was prepared to make it.
One thing that stood out is slugger Miguel Cabrera diving for a grounder and throwing out a runner from his back as he rolled on the ground. It was an amazing play that just put an exclamation point on how well the Tigers are playing right now. The scary thing about that fact and the team they are battling for first in the American League Central is that even after such a dominant weekend, they only lead the Kansas City Royals by a half game and that includes a rainout for the Royals over the weekend that accounts for that half game lead.
It kind of makes me smile to know this is going to be at least a two team fight all season long between the Tigers and the Royals. Also, don’t count out the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers might win it all this year but they will certainly have a fight on their hand from now until then.