It started with a gut punch, turned into a brawl, devolved into a butt kicking, and ended with a statement. 3 losses and yet the Tigers still sit 2.5 games ahead in first place heading into a 6 game home stand.
It was a series with a bunch of what ifs. What if Zach Miner pitched like he did yesterday on Monday. What if Kevin Youkilis didn't charge the mound, or for that matter Brian O'Nora issues a warning on the pitch inside to Victor Martinez. What if the Tigers didn't leave men on base on Monday. What if Jim Leyland pinch hit for Adam Everett. What if Armando Galarraga took some Robitussin Tuesday night. 3 losses, but 2 of those showed moments where the Tigers played like a team that could contend in October.
We did learn something else, Justin Verlander must be an illegitimate son of Jack Morris sans moustache. 8 innings of "here it is, you are not hitting it" dominance. 8 strikeouts, one walk and four hits. 123 pitches total. The last 2 hit triple digits. Once again, when the Tigers needed a win, needed a starter to go deep, needed an emotional boost, Justin Verlander delivered. There's not a pitcher in the majors that I would rather have pitching for my team come playoff time.
1 of 4 in Boston. Not good, but luckily for the Tigers their division foes were more that happy to stay put, as they both lost their series as well. In comes Kansas City, and let's hope they behave like the Royals of May and June of 09, not the Royals of September of 06.