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Scott Sizemore reminds us he can still play, pinch hit 3 run HR beats White Sox, 6-3

Final - 9.18.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 6 12 0
Chicago White Sox 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
WP: Justin Verlander (17 - 8)
LP: Sergio Santos (2 - 1)

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On a day the Tigers were officially eliminated from the playoffs, it was fitting the future of the team was front and center today. Especially in one Scott Sizemore.

In many ways, 2010 has been a lost season for Sizemore.

After convincing the Tigers he was ready for the big leagues with a big 2009 split between Erie and Toledo, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League. Sizemore broke his ankle, ending his winter workouts before they even started.

It was all downhill from there for the young 2nd baseman.

Sizemore was handed the the 2nd base job out of spring training, only to look totally overwhelmed, and not fully recovered from the ankle injury. He hit .205, and had his fair share of "What was he thinking?" moments in the field. Ultimately, Sizemore was sent back to Toledo in mid-May to get his head on straight.

Since that time, first Carlos Guillen, and then Will Rhymes (who has become a fan favorite due to his being Smurf-sized, and Eckstein-like) have manned 2nd pretty damn capably, all but making Sizemore irrelevant in the eyes of many fans.

Today against the White Sox, Sizemore reminded us why the Tigers liked him so much, and why he remains in their 2011 plans.

In the top of the 8th, with two on and two out in a 3-3 game, Jim Leyland went by the platoon book. He brought in the right hand hitting Sizemore to pinch hit for Rhymes (who had a nice game himself, 2-3, with an RBI), to face lefty reliever Chris Sale. It was as if Sizemore decided to take out a season's worth of frustration on one pitch.

Sizemore turned on an 0-1 Sale fastball, and rocketed a 3 run shot halfway up the left field stands. Game over, especially with Justin Verlander in dominant mode.

With the announcement Guillen underwent microfracture surgery Friday, Sizemore realizes 2nd base is up for grabs next season. Guillen is in the last year of his contract, and the possibility he'll miss the entire season is looming, it was as if Sizemore was saying with his at bat, "Hey! I can still play a little too!"

I sure hope so, as the odds are damn good we'll see a Sizemore-Rhymes 2nd base platoon in 2011.

Verlander won his 17th game of the season today, going all nine innings for the third time this season. With the victory, this is Verlander's fourth 17 win campaign in his first five seasons. He's the first pitcher to do so since Dwight Gooden, from 1984-88.

Ryan Raburn continued his push to win a starting corner outfield job in 2011 with two more RBI's.

Brennan Boesch had one of his better games at the plate in recent memory, 2-2 with a double and a walk. He's still in the 2011 outfield mix as well/

Rhymes, Alex Avila, and Brandon Inge all had two hits apiece.

The White Sox lost their fifth game in a row, falling ten games behind the Twins. The Twinkies magic number is down to five.

The Tigers go for the White Sox sweep tomorrow night in a nationally televised game on ESPN.