How would you describe it? Huge or REALLY HUGE?
Tonight the first-place Tigers meet the
second third-place Twins for a weekend series as the teams head into the All-Star Break. This has got to be big, right?
Every series against the Twins is a big from from a fan's perspective. The teams have been too intertwined over the past four seasons, and seldom have the Tigers been the dominant power of the duo. We want to beat them. We want to see their pitchers hang their heads in shame and their batters look perplexed as they head back to the dugout after being rung up.
So yeah, this weekend has the potential to be pretty fun. Or a disaster. Either way, it's going to be pretty emotional. Every win against them now will make September and October baseball all the more easier. ... Or will it?
Put it like this. Come September, we probably won't be talking a whole lot about what happens in Detroit this weekend.
Look at the series from a perspective of winning the division title, and it's not so big, a measly 1.85 percent of 162 games will be played this weekend. Heading into tonight's game, three teams are separated by a grand total of two games. Worst case, the results of a series can be undone during a three-game set at any time during the next two and a half months. And that's if there's a sweep. If either team takes two of three games, we're talking about one night necessary to reverse that outcome. Detroit beats Kansas City. Minnesota loses to the White Sox. Weekend series erased.
Add to that our experience as Tigers fans -- watching our team blow a seven-game lead in September -- and I think it's easy to understand why I don't stress too much over what goes on in July.
As for the feeling the Tigers have to prove to themselves and the fans they can beat the Twins in a big game? After the All-Star Break last season the teams went 5-5 against each other until Game 163. Which was in the Twins' ballpark and very nearly fell in the Tigers' favor.
I'm not going to deny the Twins have the upper hand, and the Tigers need to reverse the trend because tiebreaker sites aren't decided by a coin flip any more.
But with six games left in Detroit and three in the Twin Cities, and 70 games the teams do not even face each other, I'm not about to put too much weight on this weekend's outcome.
For the fans, this is a wonderful weekend. Enjoy it. Root for the Tigers to kick the Twins when they're down and to head into the break in first.
Just don't expect it to mean too much after Labor Day.