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The Books Will Close Tonight On The Indians' 2011 Season

I will give a brief capsule here about what is at stake tonight in Detroit for each team as the Indians get set to do battle for the last time in 2011 against the Tigers.

First, for the Tribe, at game time there will either be one or two goals. One goal that will be a certainty will be trying to get a win and to thus finish the season at .500. The second goal could be taken care of before the Indians take the field. If the Toronto Blue Jays can beat the Chicago White Sox this afternoon, Cleveland will be guaranteed to finish in second place in the American League Central. But should Toronto lose, the Tribe will have to win tonight to secure the runner-up spot behind the Tigers all for themselves.

Detroit’s incentive tonight will be just a wee bit higher. Here their incentive is in a nutshell: win and watch the Rangers lose and the Tigers and Texas would finish tied with the second-best record in the league, the Tigers would win the tiebreaker (based on a better head-to-head record vs. Texas) and Detroit would open the playoffs at home against the Wild Card winner, either the Red Sox or the Rays; or lose, or have the Rangers win later this evening, and have to face the Yankees in the first round with New York having the home field advantage.

Powerful incentive for the Tigers indeed.

Zach McAllister (0-1) gets the start for The Good Guys tonight, and will be opposed by Detroit’s Rick Porcello (14-9).

And then — and then it will be over…but for the sighing of Tribe fans as they ponder yet another year come and gone with no title.

Go Tribe — and good luck in the playoffs, Tigers, whoever it is that you happen to end up playing.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.