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Tigers beat Athletics, clinch American League Central crown

Sep 17, 2011, 8:53 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

The Phillies may have been the first team to punch their ticket to the postseason earlier this week, but the Tigers became the first team to wrap up their division late last night.

Behind yet another strong performance by Doug Fister, the Tigers defeated the Athletics 3-1 to clinch the American League Central. Detroit is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, when they won the American League Wild Card and lost to the Cardinals in the World Series. This is their first division title since 1987, when they played in the American League East.

Fister allowed three hits over eight innings of one-run ball in the victory, striking out five and walking none. Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 45th save in 45 chances.

Fister is now 6-1 with a 2.12 ERA and 46/5 K/BB in 59 1/3 innings over nine starts since being acquired from the Mariners before the trade deadline. We all know Justin Verlander has been out of his mind this season, but the Tigers suddenly have themselves a pretty formidable one-two punch for the playoffs.

  1. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Sep 17, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    I have to say I’m happy the Tigers took control and won the division as much (if not more) as the Tribe fell off and lost it. If the Tigers were still underperforming as much as they did starting off the season this would really hurt. But Detroit made it clear they are the better team this year.

  2. phillyphever - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Welcome to the party Detroit. Arizona should be the next team to clinch a playoff spot (of all goes well).

    • detiger69 - Sep 17, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Detroit and Arizona meet up in the World Series. They are linked by a trade that brought Jackson and Scherzer to Detroit, while Arizona got Kennedy. All three have been vital to their team’s success. Plus, Arizona has the former Tiger Greats and Sparky Anderson protégés of Trammell and Gibson. I think it would make for some excellent baseball and intriguing storylines.

  3. monkeyjuice313 - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    After the 2 grand slams in 7 batters against the NY Mets and the pitching meltdown against the Giants at home I was still hopeful BUT they clearly just didn’t have enough. At that time I was right. You have to look at Dombrowski for stepping up and making the right deals. There may be a little luck involved in those, but a huge success nontheless.

    Also, Leyland gets some credit for brushing off the naysayers.

    It’s nice to avoid the meltdown this year. Perhaps we’re in for something special.

    • phillyphever - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      Agree, Leyland deserves to be the frontrunner for MOY (Madden gets it if the Rays take the wild card. If not, it’s Leyland’s to lose).

  4. cur68 - Sep 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Just so long as the coaching staff changes their skivvies I could give a @#%%. The important thing here is that we don’t hear about anybody’s ginch for the remainder.

    Oh, WTF: way to go Detroit!

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 17, 2011 at 9:45 PM

      The important thing here is that we don’t hear about anybody’s ginch for the remainder.

      So would now be bad time to say I’ve been waiting since Thursday for the Phillies to clinch so I could change too?

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