Thursday, July 30, 2009

Simply The Biggest Victory Of Year For Tigers

I thought the Tigers win Wednesday night at Texas was probably their most important of the year on a number of different levels.
1. They needed to win on the road in the worst possible way. They have not played well away from home the last two months, but were surviving because they would take least one game in a road series. After being swept in New York and the first two games in Texas, it looked like they were getting to the point even that was stopping to occur.
2. Minnesota would have pulled to within a game of the A.L. Central lead hadn’t the Tigers won. The Twin’s foot steps would have been a lot louder if the Tigers had lost.
3. While I think the Tigers could benefit a great deal by adding a hitter, they will fall out of the race quickly if their current veteran hitters don’t start doing more. That is why it is so important Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera had big games.
Granderson jumpstarts the Tigers offense many times with power. First-inning leadoff home runs on the road like that set a tone. It certainly did Wednesday.
Cabrera’s home run was key. The Tigers had a relatively big lead at the time, but Texas was starting to peck away at it. He ended all doubt and took pressure off the bullpen.
Maybe it will give Cabera the confidence to start hitting better in the clutch. He is capable of carrying the Tigers. Time for him to start doing it. Like I’ve written and said many times, he is THE KEY. The Tigers will only go as far as he takes them.

Random Thoughts

- Not sure if the Tigers need bullpen help. Ryan Perry and Casey Fien have come up from Toledo look like they are capable of providing the necessary element.

- Question I have never been able to figure out about Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola: Have they been victims of the Lions’ sour environment down through the years? Or have they been part of the problem? I do wonder how good Backus and Raiola would be if they had been drafted by other organizations. I know this isn’t the consensus in this town, but I think both are pretty good players put in near impossible situations at times in the past.

- Can’t the Red Wings do better than Jason Williams for offensive firepower? What about Alex Tanguay?



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great points about the Tigers. I really like the short blurb about the bullpen. Here is my question: Who are the odd men out if/when Bonderman and Robertson return? Ni has been solid; he has been the solid second LOOGY that Robertson could not be. Seay, Rodney, and Lyon are locks to stay. Perry gives them a power arm, and you're right about Fien. He has been sharp and has made the most of his opportunity. He came in on Sunday with the bases loaded on an ESPN game, got the big out, and proceeded to pitch 2 more scoreless innings. To me, Miner is the odd man out.

They say you can never have too much pitching. I just hope the decisions are made to win and not to just give guys with big contracts another shot. August and September are not the time for that.


11:41 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

My best, educated guess is that French will be soon out of the rotation and in the minors and Miner in the rotation. Depends on French.

12:10 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, I think we can agree that every game is more important than the last - regardles of the foe or venue.

Graderswon does jumpstart the offense with power - but lately that jumpstart only lasts the first or second inning then the engine sputters and dies - last night the engine kept rolling? What could the key to keep that spark alive be?

I've tried crossing fingers, wearing my hat inside out, and drinking more - but it's not helping them to hit in later innings.

It must be something the players have to do.

12:46 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Interesting point about Backus and Raiola. Its tough to tell if they're part of the problem or not when the guys around them have been so pitiful over the years.

Though I suspect the team is mainly handcuffed by Backus's contract and would like to replace him when its financially feasible. While he's servicable most really good teams don't have servicable LTs, they have franchise LTs.

As for the Tigers win I don't think its anywhere near as big as the Verlander game that Granderson saved. Despite recent problems I think we'd still be in a much better spot if we lost yesterday than if we lost to Cleveland on a walk off homerun back then. That may have sent us spiraling down the standings.

Verlander was still hot and cold at that time too and I was worried a loss after how well he pitched in that game may put him back into a slump. I think that catch really helped his confidence, as he's been a complete stud since then.

9:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Tigers were thinking the same way. They got a starter, Washburn, instead of a reliever.

3:27 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I like leadoff hitters who do that on the road. Really freaks out the crowd. Lou Whitaker used to do it all the time. Amazing how silent the crowd would be as he'd round the bases.

3:28 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
Great point about Backus' contract. While I wonder if he would be a better player elsewhere, they have paid him a boatload of money. He hasn't performed up to his contract, that's for sure.

3:30 PM 

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