The Minnesota Twins have caught the Detroit Tigers in the standings on the next to last day of the major league season. With a Twins win over the Royals and the Tigers helpless against journeyman, Freddie Garcia, the Tigers will be forced to start Verlander on short rest to try to salvage the season. Verlander will face Danks, one of the White Sox' best arms. Meanwhile, the Twins' season will hang in the balance with a young Duensing squaring off against erstwhile first round choice, Hochever. If you are a betting man, that's a lot of lumps in the throat before that wager goes down.
The Tigers have been playing tighter than a fresh guitar string and have struggled in every part of their game the past three weeks. Consider that the Tigers have lost 15 of their last 25 games and in that time have seen their division lead shrink from six and a half games to none. The Tigers have now given up more runs this year than they have scored, which seems to indicate that Leyland has done really well to even get the Tigers in this position. They are currently five games over their Pythagorean won-loss total.
So it all boils down to one last game and if both teams win or both teams lose, we'll have a playoff to determine the division winner. Who would have thought two weeks ago that there would be a good reason to watch baseball on the last day of the season?