Five reasons the Tigers have survived to stay in the pennant race
2. Alex Avila: I didn't think Avila could be a plus hitter in the major leagues and play respectable defense on an every day basis. I was wrong. He has played very well this season, and it's given the Tigers a major lift.
3. The 2007 Indians: That team won 96 games and beat the Yankees in a divisional series with Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta playing key roles. Both remain in their prime and have had a similar bearing on the success of the Tigers. Two of the better moves Dave Dombrowski has made during his tenure as Tigers' general manager.
4. Alberto Alburquerque: His career record in five minor league seasons was a paltry 8-15 with a 4.49 ERA. Both the Cubs and Rockies let him go. Now he is striking out hitters in the major leagues at a rate that would make Nolan Ryan proud while filling a desperately-needed role in the Tigers' bullpen. Amazing.
5. Miguel Cabrera: Remains an ominous cloud for opposing pitchers each time he steps into the batter's box. Starting to make clutch home runs his trademark.