Found September 03, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT Justin Verlander and the Tigers swept the Chicago White Sox out of Comerica Park with an emphatic 4-2 victory Sunday night on national TV, giving them a tie for the Central Division lead.
But how much does it really mean at this point?
"We feel like we made this statement last time, and obviously we didnt continue to play great," Verlander said. "I think we just need to maintain the intensity we had this series. I think guys showed that our ability to play clutch is really good.
"We had guys that put up great at-bats, guys that pitched extremely well. I think we just need to realize we need to take that intensity into every game."
Verlander is referring to the last time the White Sox came to town. The Tigers swept them in a three-game home series July 20-22 to take a one-game lead in the Central Division. They then promptly went out and dropped six of their next eight games to fall back into second place, where they have been stuck until this weekend.
Since then, it's been two steps forward, one step back as it seemed that every time the White Sox lost, the Tigers did not take advantage. Then when the Tigers lost, the White Sox were able to pick up a game here and there.
However, it's always a good thing to beat the team you're chasing in head-to-head games. After the weekend sweep, the Tigers improved to 10-4 against the White Sox with four games left to play against them. Those four games are in Chicago starting a week from Monday.
"We're tied right now," said Delmon Young, who had the tie-breaking three-run home run off Chris Sale in the sixth inning. "We've got a four-game set with them, but we've got a series with Cleveland and Anaheim before we get there, so we've got to play good baseball before we show up to Chicago."
The Tigers and White Sox are both 72-61 with 29 games to play. Of those 29, the Tigers have 23 left in the Central Division. Seven of those are against the Kansas City Royals, the team that swept the Tigers before they returned him to sweep the White Sox. Overall, the Tigers are 29-20 within the division.
Before the series with the White Sox started when they were three games back, manager Jim Leyland stressed that it would not be "the end of the world" if they didn't win the series.
But he'll definitely take the sweep.
"I don't think it was the most important thing to get three. It would not have been good to lose three," Leyland said. "This wasn't the Super Bowl today, this was a game. We had a good weekend, you've got to enjoy it but in about 12 hours we've got the Cleveland Indians coming in here."
While other people expected the White Sox to falter at some point during the season, Leyland made sure his team wasn't adopting that attitude and even a sweep wasn't going to change his mind.
"We just beat a very good team, a team that's been in first place for most of the year," Leyland said. "It's gonna be hard to take that away from them. They're good and they've answered every bell so far. We just gotta play baseball and continue to enjoy it and have fun playing the game and be ready to play every day. If we do that, however it plays out, it plays out."
If the Tigers get the kind of starting pitching they got against the White Sox, it should play out in their favor. Combined, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Verlander allowed a total of three earned runs in the three-game series.
A.J. Pierzynski, who exchanged words with Verlander during Sunday night's game, was 0-for-3 against Verlander with two strikeouts and 0-for-3 against Scherzer.
"The way Scherzer and Verlander pitched the last couple nights makes it tough on anybody," Pierzynski said. "You could throw the 27 Yankees out there and theyre going to get them out."
Scherzer and Verlander might not be able to pitch that way every time out, but now that it's September, they're definitely going to try.
"You cant say youre going to take a playoff-type intensity into every game of the season," Verlander said. "Thats not possible. But coming down to this time of year, theres no reason to leave anything out there. Weve got to find a way."
BEST OF MAXIM
Justin Verlander shut down Chicago after the first inning and Delmon Young hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth Sunday night to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox and a share of first place in the AL Central.
Alejandro De Aza hit Verlander's second pitch of the night over the wall in right field, but the Detroit ace was outstanding after that...
DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander shut down Chicago after the first inning and Delmon Young hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth Sunday night to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox and a share of first place in the AL Central.
Alejandro De Aza hit Verlander's second pitch of the night over the wall in right field, but the Detroit ace was outstanding...
It isn't unusual to see a game plan go out the window, but three batters in? Justin Verlander and his catcher, Gerald Laird, wasted no time switching things up Sunday after Chicago White Sox leadoff man Alejandro De Aza stunned the Detroit Tigers ace with a second-pitch homer and one out later Dewayne Wise draped a double near the line in short left field. "My fastball...
Does Justin Verlander ever sweat? Seriously, does he? Not only does his velocity rise late in the game, but he also does it with an air of easiness that makes us mortals hate ourselves as we pile on another helping of chips and salsa.
I don’t doubt he’s one of the hardest workers in baseball. Like Chuck Norris, Justin Verlander’s off days are probably harder than any busy...
The Detroit Tigers (72-61) completed the sweep of the Chicago White Sox (72-61), 4-1. Detroit’s Justin Verlander (8 IP, 11 SO, 1ER) pitched eight innings of 1-run ball, proving why he is the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young award winner and why his name should be in the discussions again. The Tigers have now moved into a tie with the White Sox for the lead in the Central...
Mary Elizabeth 360 Page: Photo Gallery 360 Role: Girl Next Door Contestant Hometown: Troy, MI Birthday: November 5, 1991 HT: 5’7 Eye Color: Blue Favorite Athlete: Justin Verlander Favorite Team: Detroit Tigers If you could win a date with any famous athlete, who would it be and why? Hmmm… that’s a hard [...]
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The American League has seen more than its fair share of great pitching this year. Though mostly known as the better offensive league, it's probably more accurate to just say that it's the deeper half of baseball in general -- though the DH certainly doesn't hinder those offensive numbers. Nonetheless, a litany of pitchers are competing for the AL Cy Young award this...
It took a sweep by the Detroit Tigers to knock the Chicago White Sox out of first place; and that’s exactly what happened. Justin Verlander won the highly anticipated match-up with Chris Sale, and the three game sweep restarts the AL Central race back at zero. Earlier in the season the Sox gave up first place to Detroit, but it was only for a day or two, as Chicago took it right...
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The Baltimore Orioles aren't fading, either. They won a weekend...
71-61, 2nd place, 1 game behind CWS, 2 games behind WC.
One game at a time.
Max Scherzer continued his August assault on the American League with a masterful 4 hit, 1 walk, 0 ER and 9 strikeout performance over the White Sox last night. Don’t look now, but Scherzer has an outside chance at 20 wins. The Tigers got timely hits from Cabrera and Garcia, and Delmon Young hit two HRs...
Are you F***ING kidding us?
What was that series? No, really, what was it? Our offense shows up for one night, and not only do we lose by one run, it’s the one night that Verlander pitches like a middle schooler? The next two nights our team loses AGAIN by one run (!) after Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello give up 1 and 2 runs, respectively(!!!)???
Kansas City has definitely played...
via Grant Brisbee of SB Nation,
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