One of the best sites on the web is baseball-reference.com, for all the historic knowledge including leaders, streaks, records, and year-by-year results, etc… you get the point.
It’s funny, but after Smitty told me to keep chasing rainbows I decided to go looking for another one and I found it in the year 2006 when the Tigers had a 5 game lead on September 4 and ended up a game out in second place.
This is the reason why I remain hopefully optimistic that the Sox will and still can make some noise this season with three weeks left. It’s actually kind of funny on how bad the Tigers have been down the stretch under Jim Leyland, including the ultimate fold, the 2006 World Series, losing to a team with the fewest wins ever in the regular season to make a World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals. But I my rainbow chasing did not stop there thanks to baseball-reference.com.
I started looking up the Tigers historically throughout their existence in September and it’s not good. In 1983, they were up a game on the Orioles on August 13 and were trailing only by three on September 1, but by September 21 they had fallen to 8-1/2 games out.
The 1988 Tigers were up 2 games on August 31 and fell to six games back by September 21, trying to repeat after the 1987 team won the AL East. Even that team struggled in September leading by as many as three games in August before winning the division on the last day of the season with a 1-0 nothing winner over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Just for the sake of getting my point across the 1991 Tigers were tied for first on August 26 and finished six games out, so there’s a September history here.
And yes, I am aware the Tigers have won 5 games in a row over the two teams that trail them, the Indians and White Sox, but that seems to be the trend also. In 2009 they rattled off six-in-a-row at the beginning of the month before they imploded. In 1987 they won 4-in-a-row, and again in 1983 they won six-a-row at the beginning of the month before struggling.
It’s these historical facts aka “rainbows” that keep me hopeful, and why I will continue to chase rainbows in 2011 until the Sox are mathematically eliminated.