Ferkovich: Final weeks of 1987 season saw exciting Tigers-Blue Jays finish

From SABR member Scott Ferkovich at Detroit Athletic Co. on June 13, 2014:

Detroit Tiger fans have great memories of 1984, and rightfully so. There is simply nothing to compare to a World Series victory. But after their historic 35-5 start, the Tigers went into cruise control the rest of the season, playing at a solid, though unspectacular, 69-53 clip. Having left their competition in the dust early on, there was really no race in the American League East that summer, as the Tigers finished a whopping 15 games in front.

The 1987 Tigers, however, were different. Initially, they stunk; on May 11, they were 11-19, in sixth place (out of seven), 9 1/2 games off the pace. From that date, however, they went 87-45, a .659 clip, by far the best in baseball. They had a budding rivalry with their neighbors to the north, the Toronto Blue Jays. The season entered its final month with the two clubs in a fierce fight for the division.

Tiger manager Sparky Anderson reminded people that “We’re a lot better than we were when we won it all in ’84. For one thing, we have better starting pitchers. In 1984, my #3 guy was Milt Wilcox, and he didn’t have a single complete game all year.” This was an era before the complete game went the way of the fax machine.

Read the full article here: http://blog.detroitathletic.com/2014/06/13/final-weeks-87-season-saw-tigers-blue-jays-battle-exciting-finish/

Originally published: June 17, 2014. Last Updated: June 17, 2014.