We were at Ciccarelli’s Sports Theater in Shelby Township cheering every base hit and every Justin Verlander out as the Tigers advance to the American League Championship Series beginning Saturday night in Boston against the Red Sox. As the place shook and people hugged one another I could not help but think about what would happen if the second guessers got their way.
The Tigers might have been eliminated in four games.
Item One: Many fans called for Verlander to come out of the bullpen because he was so shaky during much of the regular season. That would have been a bad move. Verlander did not give up a run in 15 innings pitched. He was dominate, pitched within himself and duplicated his Game 5 performance from a year ago against Oakland.
Do you want more fuzzy numbers? JV set a Major League Baseball record by tossing 30 consecutive post season innings against the A’s over two seasons.
Item Two: Some folks were angry that Jhonny Peralta was allowed to play after returning from his 50-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal that rocked baseball. What does Peralta do? He simply knocked in five key runs during the series, batted .417 and played a solid short stop in the final game of the series. If it were not for Peralta the Tigers do not advance.
This is no time for a moral high ground. The Tigers want to win a World Series. It is all or nothing and Peralta served his time.
Now it is time to enjoy the Tigers in their third straight ALDS. I wonder what changes fans want now.