|Detroit Tigers celebrate winning Game 4 against the New York Yankees in their MLB ALCS baseball playoff series in Detroit. REUTERS|
The win gave Detroit a sweep in the series and sent them to baseball's final playoff round, where they will face the winner of the St. Louis Cardinals-San Francisco Giants series.
"If someone would have told me we would sweep the Yankees in this series, I would have told them they were crazy," an emotional Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters. "A little luck, some pretty good pitching obviously and a couple of hits at the right time and sometimes you get on a roll that's pretty good."
Leyland, who has drawn the ire of some Tigers fans over the course of what was an up-and-down regular season, gave most of the credit to the players during his post-game speech. Owner Mike Illitch, head of the Little Caesars pizza company, and GM Dave Dombrowski also addressed the crowd.
The win capped off an incredible late season run in American League play for Detroit, which faced a late season deficit in the AL Central Division that was overcome through big wins down the stretch and struggles by their competitors, the Chicago White Sox.
The Tigers were bolstered all season by Triple Crown winner and third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander and new addition Prince Fielder among others.
Detroit outfielder Delmon Young was named MVP of the ALCS after delivering several clutch hits in the series. The Tigers will play the NL winner on the road in the World Series beginning on Wednesday, October 24, and the game will be televised by Fox, which is channel 2 in most Detroit-area cities.
As of Thursday night, the Cardinals were up three games to one on the Giants in their series and appeared on their way to a rematch of the 2006 World Series with the Tigers, which the Cardinals won in a stunning upset to deprive Detroit of their first world title since 1984.