Just two weeks ago Placido Polanco was hitting .260 en route to one of his worst seasons in terms of BA since he was with the Cardinals (1999) when his hat size was a modest 7 3/8. Thanks to three hits on Sunday afternoon , including a huge RBI-single in the 8th inning, and a 10-game hitting streak, Tigers fans have to be thinking, "Along Came Polly."
More after the jump...
Now I know what you're thinking from the photo above. "But Jennifer Aniston is Polly in the movie. Why is Polanco's head photoshopped over Ben Stiller's?" The answer is simple. Polly may have been the woman then, but Polly is the MAN now. As I've already stated, Polanco is on a 10-game hitting streak and has raised his batting average 16 points since July 29 to .276 (still .27 points below his career average).
Over the past 10 games, Polanco is hitting a scorching .396 with six RBIs and nine runs scored. Most importantly, Detroit is 7-3 which leads me to believe that maybe it wasn't as important to get Cabrera going in the clutch so much as it was getting Polanco going in the 2-hole...er, probably not the greatest choice of wording there.
Today, in Detroit's 8-7 victory, Polanco picked up three hits in five at bats and had a huge RBI single to right in the bottom of the 8th inning with the game tied. Polly's single not only gave Detroit the lead, but it also allowed Granderson to go from first to third and then score on Clete Thomas' ground out to the right side, the 2nd out of the inning. Say Polanco gets out (without knocking in the run), Clete Thomas' ground out is the final out and Minnesota takes the lead on Michael Cuddyer's homer in the 9th. If Polanco hits a sacrifice fly, Clete's ground out is still the 3rd out and the Twins tie it in the 9th. I know you can't really fully predict what would happen if the circumstances were different, but I'm pointing out just how important Polanco's single was.
Hopefully, Polly can continue his hot hitting, continue to move his BA closer to his career average, and serve as a major catalyst to this Tigers offense. Detroit is averaging nearly six runs during his hot streak, which is huge support compared to how steady the pitching has been this season.
With Chicago's 8-4 loss to Cleveland today, Detroit regains a 3-game lead in the Central Division and have a 5.5 game lead over the Twins thanks to taking two out of three in this series. Did you know Polly eats twinkies in the movie? How fitting.