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Christmas in July: Tigers Sweep Doubleheader

Maybe the Tigers were a day late with their "Christmas in July" promotion? Yesterday's 2-1 loss to the Mariners was like getting socks for a present. Old, dirty socks. But today, the Tigers brought out the big boxes with the shiny gift wrap, and showed that they're not giving up the AL Central without a fight.

  • Placido Polanco hit a combined 4-for-6 with three RBIs in the two ballgames. In Game 1, he put the Tigers on the board first with a third-inning sacrifice fly. (Where were those over the last five games?)
  • Not only did Justin Verlander shut down the White Sox in the first game, holding them to one run and six hits (though he did issue four walks). But he also made sure the pitching staff didn't get tapped out by throwing a complete game (finishing off the game with authority, dialing up a couple of 100 m.p.h. pitches). And the bullpen was needed in the nightcap.
  • In Game 2, with the score tied at 3-3 in the seventh after a good enough start from Eddie Bonine, Bobby Seay, Brandon Lyon, and Fernando Rodney each pitched a scoreless inning and struck out five of the 11 batters they faced. (Only Seay allowed a hit and walk.)
  • I admit I was skeptical about what kind of contribution Carlos Guillen could make this season. But Guillen showed the Tigers may not have been that desperate to rush him back so fast, after all, batting a combined 3-for-7 in the doubleheader, with a home run in that second game.

Those few highlights don't seem to do enough justice to what was a big day for the Tigers. Maybe it was an overreaction to feel so low and panicked after losing two of three to the Mariners, scoring only one run in each of those losses, and there are still two games to be played this weekend. But the Tigers had to show a pulse in this series, some fight, and sweeping a doubleheader from their closest division rival makes quite an opening statement.

Comment of the Day:

The Tigers have four runs...?

I thought they were only playing two games today?

by Mushy

Comment of the Night:

After the game, yes. But still in the thread.

by kendra.michelle

And just in case you need a reminder how big today was:

AL Central Standings

Detroit 51 44 .536 0 Won 2
Chicago 50 47 .515 2 Lost 2
Minnesota 48 48 .500 3.5 Lost 2
Cleveland 38 58 .395 13.5 Won 1
Kansas City 37 58 .389 14 Lost 10

(updated 7.24.2009 at 11:21 PM EDT)