Tigers are clicking on all cylinders
There's some kind of baseball magic going on in the Motor City this October. The Tigers, 22 years to the day of their last World Series triumph, clinched a trip to the Fall Classic with a dramatic victory over the A's on Saturday.
The Tigers won their seventh straight postseason game, and Magglio Ordonez secured his place in baseball history with the third-ever LCS-clinching walk-off home run to complete a dream-like four-game sweep for Detroit. The Tigers dominated the series in every aspect, shutting down Oakland's best hitter, Frank Thomas, and getting contributions from just about everyone on the offensive end. Placido Polanco copped MVP honors, hitting .529 in the LCS after batting .412 in the Division Series against the Yankees.
It's been a long time since the Tigers had a team like this, and it's been a long time since the Tigers had a manager like Jim Leyland. He became the third skipper in Tigers history to guide the club to the World Series in his first season with them. The other two -- Mickey Cochrane and Hughie Jennings -- are both Hall of Famers. Leyland may find himself there too, someday, especially if this magical run can continue for another couple of weeks.
|BA ahead in count||.545||.217|
|*Tigers sweep A's, 4-0|
|Magglio Ordonez||2006||Tigers vs. A's|
|Aaron Boone||2003||Yankees vs. Red Sox|
|Chris Chambliss||1976||Yankees vs. Royals|
|Magglio Ordonez||Goose Goslin|
|Series||ALCS Game 4||World Series Game 6|
|Placido Polanco||2006 Tigers|
|Adam Kennedy||2002 Angels|
|Craig Counsell||2001 Diamondbacks|
|Roberto Alomar||1992 Blue Jays|
|Marty Barrett||1986 Red Sox|
|Manny Trillo||1980 Phillies|
|Frank White||1980 Royals|
|*First series with team|
• Fox baseball broadcaster Steve Lyons was fired for making a racially insensitive comment directed at colleague Lou Piniella's Hispanic heritage on the air during Game 3 of the ALCS. The network confirmed Saturday that Lyons was dismissed after Friday's game. He was replaced by Los Angeles Angels announcer Jose Mota.
• Buck O'Neil, the former player-manager who became a beloved spokesman for the Negro Leagues, was remembered Saturday for his capacity "to love even in the face of hatred." "Buck O'Neil always had a smile for you," said the Rev. Spencer Francis Barrett, pastor of the Bethel A.M.E. church that O'Neil faithfully had attended since 1947. "It didn't matter what you said about him. It didn't matter how you treated him." More than 600 friends and family members, including several Hall of Famers and prominent business and civic leaders, gathered for the private funeral service near the Negro Leagues Museum that O'Neil helped found in 1990.
Tigers win the AL pennant.
|Magglio Ordonez hit two home runs, including a three-run walk-off shot with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, to lift the Tigers over the A's 6-3 for a sweep of the ALCS and a spot in the World Series. The wild-card Tigers now get a week to rest and wait for Game 1 at home next Saturday against either the Mets or Cardinals. It will be their first Series appearance since winning it all on the same date (Oct. 14) in 1984.|
|Where is the offense? The Mets managed only three hits in their 5-0 loss to the Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLCS and have gone 12 innings without scoring a run.|
|The A's scored just nine runs on 32 hits in four games against Detroit -- suffering the first ALCS sweep since Oakland chased Boston in 1990.|
|How did Jeff Suppan pick up his first win of this postseason? Check out Inside Edge's report card of his outing against the Mets.|
|0. That's how many hits Frank Thomas had in 13 at-bats in the ALCS, after hitting .500 (5-for-10) with two home runs in the ALDS vs. the Twins.|
|The 1976 Cincinnati Reds are the only team to go undefeated in the postseason (7-0).|
AP Photo/Dilip Vishwanat
Jeff Suppan delivered eight shutout innings against the Mets to give the Cardinals control of the NLCS.
"Nobody could have expected this. It's unreal."
-- Hall of Famer Al Kaline on the Tigers advancing to the World Series
• Milton Bradley was 9-for-18 in the ALCS. Only three other players batted .500 or higher playing on the losing end of a four-game postseason series sweep (minimum: 15 AB) -- Thurman Munson (.529 in the 1976 World Series for the Yankees), Vic Wertz (.500 in the 1954 World Series for the Indians) and Tony Gwynn (.500 for the Padres in the 1998 World Series).
• Darren Oliver pitched six shutout innings after Steve Trachsel was removed from the game. The last two pitchers to throw six or more scoreless innings in relief in a postseason game were Pedro Martinez for the Red Sox (in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS against Cleveland) and Pittsburgh's Bruce Kison (in Game 4 of the 1971 World Series against Baltimore).
|• Mets at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET: St. Louis is rolling again, but New York might be praying for rain. Oliver Perez makes his first appearance of the playoffs. He was winless on the road during the regular season, going 0-7 with a 9.45 ERA (0-2, 9.36 with the Mets). Anthony Reyes last pitched Oct. 1 and is winless since Sept. 3. He went 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA in eight starts at Busch Stadium this year.|
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