Is The Tigers Resurgence Real Or A Mirage?
But has the Tigers’ resurgence been because they are playing that much better, or because the Rangers are just a bad team?
I think there are elements of both there. First of all, the Tigers did split in Toronto. The win Monday was particularly meaningful. Secondly, they beat Minnesota two straight home games before that road trip. They have actually played reasonably well overall since their dismal start, especially at Comerica Park
The bullpen has been beyond a pleasant surprise. Clay Rapada, Aquilino Lopez and Denny Bautista are no names that have come though. The thunder everybody expected from the Tigers’ zillion dollar lineup has been displayed. Having Curtis Granderson back speaks volumes for his value.
The fly in the ointment, though, is starting pitching. Other than rookie Armando Galarraga, it has been poor. If that doesn’t change, the Tigers are going to have trouble remaining in contention.
Problem is, they are locked in with these starters. There aren’t other options. There is a lot of money invested in the starting five, so much so that you’re not going to see anything like one of them moving to the bullpen, where they all would be an ill fit anyway. If anybody goes to the bullpen, it will be Galarraga.
The key is Dontrelle Willis. When healthy, he will likely be given some time on rehab assignment in the minors to test his knee and - more importantly - work out his control issues.
A good litmus test for the Tigers comes this weekend against the Angels. If they win this series, it would be more significant proof of the Tigers improvement than beating up on the Rangers.
- I thought the atmosphere at Joe Louis Arena Thursday night for Game 1 of the Red Wings series with Colorado was the most electrifying I have seen there since prior to the lockout. Seems like fans are trusting the Red Wings again.
- If there is a danger in this series, it is Colorado goalie Peter Budaj. He was tested severely by the Wings, stopping all 20 shots he faced in relief of Jose Theodore, who was awful before being pulled for ineffectiveness and illness. The last thing the Wings need to see is some average goalie getting hot against them in a playoff series, although he does seem to be their modus operandi, doesn’t it.
- The Lions goal in the draft should be to just be solid. Make good, sound fundamental choices. None of this thinking outside the box stuff. They have four picks in the first three rounds and need to find good football players with all of them. No wide receivers. No quarterbacks. A linebacker - definitely. An offensive lineman - definitely. A running back - definitely. More defensive help - obviously.