Pulse of the Postseason: Aug. 30, 2013

By John Schlegel /8/30/2013 1:26 A.M. ET

There are 31 days between now and the postseason, and with each day of the regular season's final stretch comes the promise of something extraordinary, something that transforms a race or two, often in the blink of an eye.
On Thursday, that something happened on a sun-splashed field in Detroit.
The rafters at Comerica Park might still be ringing Friday night when the Indians arrive in Motown for their American League Central showdown with the Tigers, thanks to Torii Hunter's walk-off heroics Thursday. The defending AL champs are off the schneid and have a 6 1/2-game lead over the second-place Indians after erasing a six-run deficit against the A's on Thursday, the final blow Hunter's three-run blast off closer Grant Balfour.
"Baseball is a crazy game. Anything can happen," Hunter said. "As long as you have outs left, anything can happen, and we had some outs left, and we were able to capitalize on them."
Hunter's heroic homer was just part of a day that kept things moving and shaking in the final days of August. This weekend, the NL Central lead will be in the balance at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and the two AL Wild Card leaders will square off in Oakland, among other series with postseason implications.
The Pulse of the Postseason is beating loudly as we turn the corner toward September, and Thursday was only the latest chapter. The day in review:
For the Tigers, Thursday began with their starter, Max Scherzer, seeking his 20th win. But Scherzer's day would be over early after he allowed six runs (five earned) in five innings, and it looked like the Tigers were headed for a four-game sweep at the hands of the visiting A's for the first time since 2001.