Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Tigers clinch division title

by Bob St. John

October 04, 2012

The Detroit Tigers clinched its second straight American League Central Division championship Monday night, beating Kansas City 6-3.Rick Porcello won his 10th game and Jose Valverde closed it out in the ninth inning to lift the Tigers to the title. The Chicago White Sox beat Cleveland 11-0 earlier in the evening to stay in the hunt, but with the Tigers’ win, they remained three games ahead with only two contests left in the regular season.It was only two weeks ago the Tigers trailed the White Sox by three games and a division title seemed like a dream after the lowly Minnesota Twins swept a doubleheader from Detroit.Many writers picked Detroit to easily win the Central Division, but Cleveland got off to a hot start and were only three games back at the All-Star Break. They stunk up the joint in the second half of the season, but not Chicago.The White Sox led the division for a majority of the season, thanks to bounce-back seasons from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski.I told Tigers fans to relax and enjoy the ride in a column about a month ago. It was as I said, Chicago didn’t have the pitching to stand toe-to-toe with Detroit. It was the Tigers’ starting pitching that led the way to the division title.The Tigers’ offense, other than Most Valuable Player and Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, sputtered through the past month or so, leaving many fans doubting they could catch the White Sox.Now that Detroit joined the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers in the 2012 Major League Baseball playoffs, they can breathe a sigh of relief and get ready to try to make it back to the World Series since the first time since 2006.Detroit’s pitching makes it a definitive threat to make it to not only make the World Series, but win the title. It would be the Tigers’ first since the magical 1984 squad that went wire-to-wire.Enjoy making the playoffs for a second straight year and let’s cheer on our Tigers as they attempt to make it to the World Series.Go Tigers.