Friday, May 25, 2007

Different Style, Same Results

The beauty of baseball is the way each season takes on a life of its own. And that life is always much different than what had been anticipated.
The Tigers are winning at a torrid clip again this season, but for different reasons. Where last season, pitching was the main reason why, this season they are outslugging teams. Even with injuries to Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman, their starting pitching has been OK. Justin Verlander has been dominating and Nate Robertson pretty good. Mike Maroth hasn’t been as effective, but the Tigers have won with him starting. They have gotten a lot of Chad Durbin - a lot more than I expected, that’s for sure. But their bullpen has been awful. I can’t believe how many high-scoring games they win by one or two runs. Part of that is Joel Zumaya’s injury, but a lot of it is just inconsistency. Yet, they win because they can slug the ball. The budding story is Magglio Ordonez. He has been the best overall hitter in the American League this season. People say he has returned to the form he had in Chicago, but he is much better. He’s right on so many pitches. He is rapidly developing into an MVP candidate. The Tigers have a really good middle of the batting order this year because Ordonez is much improved, Gary Sheffield is there and so remains Carlos Guillen. Added with the strength, still, from No.1 through No. 9 in the order, and the Tigers have emerged offensively.
They can match Cleveland’s firepower now, they have at least as good starting pitching (although Cleveland’s is pretty good). Both bullpens are weak, though. That could make for a lot of fireworks this weekend at Comerica Park, and next weekend in Cleveland. No lead is safe with these two teams. Or bullpens.

Random Thoughts

- Call it The Caputo Jinx. I praised Tayshaun Prince in my blog and he immediately goes 0-for-8 shooting in the next game. Oh well...

- Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine have started to legitimize ultimate fighting. Both have had the sport on covers recently. I don’t know if that is a good thing. Seems like many of the best ultimate fighters are too old to be legitimate if the pool of athletes in the sport is really elite.. The way it is staged, however, makes it the ideal made for TV event.

- Jason Maxiell was an outstanding draft pick. He plays bigger than he is, and he is extraordinarily aggressive. If he can consistently hit a short jumper and improve his free throw shooting, it would not surprise me to see Maxiell become a15-point, 10-rebound per game producer in the future.

- A couple of the football magazines are already out. Lindy’s College has Michigan ranked third in the country and winning the Big Ten. Michigan State is picked to finish eighth in the conference and is ranked 59th in the nation. Pro Football Weekly’s season preview has the Lions going 6-10.


Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

Yes, baseball is a beautiful game. This weekend's series with Cleveland should be fun, fun, fun. Anticipating these games takes the sting from the Wings demise. No time to dwell on what could have been for our hockey heroes when there is a holiday weekend and first place to be enjoyed.

Maggs is hitting so torridly that even the national media can't ignore his dominance. Even Mike and Mike were talking about Maggs this morning and giving him his props. Glad that Samson didn't lose his strength when he cut his hair.

How about that Bondo? Comes off the DL and pitches eight innings of shut out ball. I hear that yesterday's 12-0 win was the Tigers first shut out of the season. With the state of the bullpen one has to believe that it might be another summer holiday before the Tigers next shut out. But who's goin' to keep the Tabbies off the scoreboard?

Fred Brill may surpass Don Cherry as my favorite Canadian. Posted at 3 a.m.? You are the night owl!

7:28 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
It was a long night with the Pistons game and all. Great Canadians - Lester B. Pearson, Burton Cummings, Leslie Nielsen, Paul Schafer and Fred C. Brill...
Bonderman was great Thursday, but the run support definitely helped. He was averaging, I believe 10 pitches through six innings - or something ridiculous like that. The Tigers are very good in every except for one - the bullpen. I wonder if they trade for help in that area or Leyland suggests they stay the course.

9:49 AM 
Blogger Fred C. Brill said...

Thanks for the love?

I do have the Don Cherry bobble-head on my desk - he makes all my decisions - he and the geological forces of our region I guess.

I got in my car to go home yesterday and heard Tigers won 12 to nothing? And I missed it. I think Bondy is back just fine.

But what a weekend. I wish I could have been so smart to predict this weekends Cleveland battle when Tickets went on sale last March. Instead I went to see the Cards.

Both the Tigs and The Pistons.

Sorry about the Tayshaun Prince jinx, I kind of feel responsible for that. Not that I have a voo-doo doll of Tayshaun, but I was singing his praises quite highly the other day. I still will, just not out loud.

My bad.

But did you see Rasheed wake up? Who was that guy in the red head band, and can he come out and play more often?

3:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred C. Brill,
Don Cherry is one of the my favorites. I try never to miss him. I love Coaches Corner. If that ain't hockey, what is? Rasheed Wallace is a strange player. So talented. So inconsistent. So clutch. It's weird.

4:06 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, this is a game where we need you on the radio after the game.

Holy Cow: Rogers, Zoom, Rodney, Polonco (hopefully not too long). So the pen is Grilli if he gets better, Seay, Ledezma, Byrdak, and ??. Nate is getting bombed after 3 when the ball starts getting up in the zone. So out of the 45 innings in the 5 man rotation, we are set for 14 max good innings from Justin and Jeremy. Who pitches the other 31 innings? Just when you thought the pen was weak, but ok. 8th inning today was key.

Well, hope they keep hitting!

Hope we can continue to beat up on the weak teams. Cleveland looks pretty good.

Makes for a fun summer.


8:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Honestly, their bullpen is like gasoline right now. It is awful. That was good game Saturday. A 3-3 tie late. Two good teams. Then the Tigers went to the bullpen. Injuries are killing them right now in the bullpen, which wasn't all that hot to begin with. They need to make moves.

1:15 AM 

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