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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Verlander now aligned for possible Game 163 showdown with Sale

If the Tigers and White Sox should be tied at the end of the regular season, the two teams would have to play a tiebreaker, a Game 163 like the Tigers and Twins played in 2009, to determine the AL Central champion.

Since the Tigers won the season series, 12-6, they’d host the one-game playoff on Thursday, Oct. 4, the day after the end of the regular season.

The Tigers have for a week or so had their rotation aligned for that eventuality. Justin Verlander, whose last regular-season start is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29, at Minnesota, would be in line to start either Game 163 on Thursday, or potentially a Wild Card matchup on Friday, Oct. 5, or Game 1 of the American League Division Series on either Saturday or Sunday, Oct. 6 or 7.

On Tuesday, according to’s Scott Merkin, White Sox manager Robin Ventura shuffled his rotation around to align Chris Sale — his starter from Monday — for the same possible scenarios. Like the Tigers had to do with Drew Smyly for Sunday’s doubleheader, Ventura inserted a sixth starter in the rotation to get it aligned properly, giving Wednesday’s start to Hector Santiago.

If the showdown comes about, that should favor the Tigers. Sale is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.556 WHIP against Detroit this season.

And it almost guarantees that Brennan Boesch would be in the lineup that day, considering he's homered in two of those starts this season, owning two of the three home runs the lefty Sale has ever allowed to left-handed hitters.


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