Minnesota Twins fans breathed a big, collective sigh of relief today as the Chicago White Sox lost to the Detroit Tigers 6-3 today, falling to six games back in the AL Central Race.
That sigh might be a little premature, though.
Remember what happened last season? At the end of play on September 9, 2009 the Twins were 5.5 games behind the White Sox with 23 games to play. Then, over the course of the next two weeks, they strung together a six-game win streak, a five-game win streak and a four-game win streak. They finished 16-7 to finish the season, including a three-game sweep of the Sox in the south side of Chicago.
The White Sox, on the other hand, sputtered down the stretch, going 9-12 in their final 21 to finish third in the division.
This year is an eerily similar situation, with one minor difference. The Tigers are 12.5 games back right now with virtually no shot to come back, barring an absolute collapse by both the Twins and the White Sox.
In a division that has become well known for its extremely tight pennant races, with both the 2008 and 2009 AL Central Champion being crowned in a game 163, Twins fans aren't getting too excited just yet.
Even with the reservations about the possibility of the Twins hitting a cold streak worse than a Minnesota winter, fans here seem optimistic about their playoff chances. It is actually rather odd right now. They are worried about not making the playoffs, yet positive that if they do, they'll make it to the World Series.
Scoreboard watching in the AL Central has officially begun, again.