Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/23/13
Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera is battling injuries, chasing history. For a minute there, it looked like, yeah, the Detroit Tigers are going to win the Central, and roll through to their second straight World Series appearance. And then, reality set back in. The charm of Miguel Cabrera hitting home runs while injured wore off and the magnitude of what could really happen to this team without him set in. Admittedly, they do have many players on the roster that are solid, and he is not the only good player. Take the 18-1 starter Max Scherzer into account. He’s stepped up while former MVP-Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is having quite the slump this season (12-9, 3.68 ERA). And how about Torii Hunter? A .305 batting average, 13 HR, 64 RBI. Pretty solid. They are most definitely not the only other good players wearing the Old English D this year. The point is, there is a lot of talent around Cabrera in Detroit this year. And there is also a lot of talent coming out of him. But after a recent hip flexor injury, a strained abdomen, and several foul balls off his leg (followed by a late-inning, game-tying home run off the legendary Mariano Rivera), Tigers fans remembered just how valuable he is. His batting average took a dip during his recent injuries – all the way down to (an overwhelming league-best) .354. But he’s still producing, which is good. The Tigers have a five-game lead over Cleveland, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t all that comfortable. On Aug. 8 Detroit stomped Cleveland 10-3 for its 12th consecutive win, and an eight-game lead on the rivals. Since then, they’re a flat 6-8, with a five-game lead. That’s not terrible, obviously, but it’s certainly not anything to get comfortable with. So, with 36 games remaining (18 home, 18 away), the Tigers will need to do several things to take home a third consecutive AL Central title. The most obvious thing? Win enough games to hold the lead. And the key to that is a healthy Cabrera. Sure, it is fun watching him chase a possible second consecutive Triple Crown. And with the season winding down with him so close to doing so (Leads BA with .354 and RBI with 123, trails in HR by six), it can be hard for Tigers fans, and most baseball fans as a whole, to say something very hard to say: “I think they need to sit Cabrera for a few days, so he can be healthy for October.” That’s very hard to say. Now take a deep breath, and say it. In the long run, what will matter more? A World Series title, or making such history that will probably never be done again? Okay, obviously, it will be painful to see “Miggytron” not at least try and complete the feat, but I think it will be a whole lot more painful for Tigers fans to see their team come up short of a ring again. But hey, that’s not to say that if he takes a few days off that he won’t come back even hotter. And maybe Baltimore’s Chris Davis (46) will finally hit that slump everyone has been thinking he would all year. The bottom line is, Tigers fans are getting sick of coming up short. They want their ring this year. But, they also want to see more history this year. If they really want history without harm to the team’s chances of a title, look at Scherzer. He can become just the second pitcher to start a season 20-1, and possibly the only pitcher to ever start 21-1. And with his current record he is tied for the best win percentage in history (.947). So there’s plenty of potential history there, if that’s really something Tigers fans need to look at as extra excitement as the season winds down. While things are in fact winding down, this is when things also heat up.  The Central will be tough to win down the stretch, as it is much improved from the last few seasons (minus the White Sox, who went in the complete opposite direction, to quite the delight of many Tigers fans). The Royals are still somewhat relevant, and the Indians are hanging around. Detroit has three games remaining against Cleveland, a home weekend series. They’ve got six against the pesky Royals (three home, three away). Of the other 27 games, 19 are against teams currently with losing records The last month and a half will certainly be a fun time, but the Tigers need to power through it to make sure that October is a lot of fun, too. Take Our Poll
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LISTEN: Kevin Harlan saves MNF again by doing play-by-play of two idiots on the field

Jets security guards make best tackles of the night on fan rushing field

NFL changes stance, Titans and Browns can participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign

Report: MLB smashed old revenue record in 2016

Percy Harvin out for season due to migraines

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ducks goalie had embarrassing reason for not playing in relief

Bruce Arians emphatically shoots down retirement rumor

Siemian out of walking boot; Broncos hoping he can play

Report: Harper seeking $400 million, likely to leave Nationals

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting to seek reinstatement

Rams players vent frustrations as losses pile up

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Joakim Noah’s contract is becoming worst deal in NBA

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker