Tuesday night in the Metrodome will feature a winner-take-all matchup for the American League Central Division Championship. Two teams that have seemingly gone in opposite directions over the past few weeks will have a chance to advance to the postseason and face the New York Yankees…as if that should be a reward.
On Sunday, Justin Verlander (19-9, 3.45 ERA) and former-Indian (go figure) Carl Pavano (14-12, 5.10 ERA) pitched their respective teams to wins, setting up a one-game playoff in Minneapolis. This will be Minnesota’s second one-game playoff in as many years. Last year, the Chicago White Sox trumped the Twins 1-0, before falling to Tampa Bay in the divisional series.
The Twins rolled down the stretch to a 16-4 record in their final twenty games, including a split in a four game series against the Tigers. However, the Twins swept Minnesota over the final weekend, while Detroit struggled to push aside the pesky White Sox.
Since sweeping the Indians from September 22-24, the Tigers have struggled to a 4-6 record, including 2-4 against the White Sox.
Detroit’s 20-year old rookie, Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.04 ERA) will take the hill against Scott Baker (15-9, 4.36 ERA). Expect the ‘homer hankies’ to be out in full force in a loud Metrodome, with the division championship on the line.