This is it: The last series of the 2007 season, on a weekend that unfortunately no longer has playoff consequences for the Detroit Tigers. Without that juice, these three games have the feel of playing out a string so everybody can go home, rather than building the anticipation for a post-season run.
But there are still a few things worth playing for. Magglio Ordonez can clinch the AL batting title in front of his former home crowd (though we likely won't know if he did until Ichiro Suzuki finishes his last game late Sunday afternoon). And Placido Polanco could reach 200 hits for the first time in his career. (His 196 hits are already a career-high season total.)
More importantly, however, might be the prospect of finishing .500 for the season against these pesky White Sox that always seem to beat the Tigers. A Detroit sweep would accomplish just that. Winning three more games would also give the Tigers 90 wins for the second straight season, something that hasn't happened since 1983-84.
With the exception of last Saturday's start against the Royals, Kenny Rogers has pitched well enough to earn a win or two since rejoining the team earlier this month. Unfortunately, he hasn't won any of those four starts, and is winless in his last seven, dating back to mid-July. But he pitched well against the White Sox upon coming back from the disabled list, allowing only one run and two hits in five innings. Could this be the last time he appears in a Detroit Tigers uniform?
Javier Vazquez might be pitching his best baseball as the season closes. He's on a three-game winning streak, allowing two runs or fewer in each of those games. Vazquez has also racked up double-digit strikeouts in his last two starts. He wasn't quite that outstanding the last time he faced the Tigers in early August, but still posted a quality start, giving up three runs in seven innings and earning the win.
Your SB Nation opposing view for this final series of 2007 is brought to you by South Side Sox.