Monday, August 10, 2009

Deck Stacked In Tigers' Favor This Week

The Tigers have played poorly on the road this season, and Fenway Park has not been, at least anytime I can remember, a friendly place for them.
But if the Tigers are ever going to turn it around on the road this season, or are setup to have a good series at Fenway Park, it’s this week.
The pitching matchups are clearly in their favor in three of the four games, with the lone exception being the Josh Beckett-Armando Galarraga match Wednesday.
The Red Sox weren’t just swept by the Yankees over the weekend, they were humiliated. Their pitching staff was depleted in the 15-inning game Friday. They don’t seem to reacting well to controversy surrounding David Ortiz.
While being in their home park is an advantage, the Red Sox won’t be rested. The Tigers were already in Boston and checked into their hotel by the time the Red Sox-Yankees game ended Sunday night.
And for all the moaning about the Tigers merely being a product of a weakened division, they are just three games behind the Red Sox in the overall standings - the same distance the Tigers have separated themselves from the White Sox in the American League Central.
Now the Red Sox do have something the Tigers don’t have - a championship pedigree.
These are, however, rare circumstances tilted toward the Tigers. They can’t afford to waste the opportunity.

Random Thoughts

- Calvin Johnson is a terrific receiver, but he needs help. The amount of practice time Bryant Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew have been missing in training camp is a concern. The first preseason game is Saturday. The season is only a month away. Those are the Lions other two primary receivers. Johnson can’t do it alone. On the defensive side of the ball, rookie Louis Delmas is missing a lot of practice time because of injury and Daniel Bullocks had to have his knee checked. That obvious upgrade at safety is not moving along as smoothly as had been anticipated, is it?

- Now it’s time for Miguel Cabrera to get it done on the road. Fenway Park against worn-out pitching should be the cure. Cabrera is hitting .380 with 15 home runs and 45 RBI in 192 at bats at Comerica Park this season.
On the road, he is hitting just .287 with eight home runs and 22 RBI in 223 at bats.
It’s not a coincidence the Tigers are 36-18 at home and 23-33 on the road. As Cabrera goes, the Tigers go.

My Column in Monday's Oakland Press about Michigan State football



Blogger Fred Brill said...


I agree about this is the opportune moment to play the Red Sox. On the road - it's all about hitting. The road doesn't affect our good pitching or our defense. But is stifles our hitting.

I think this Tiger team is more than than the sum of its parts - which I believe is why Toledo boys step right in and make a big difference - there is a chemistry that apopreciates these up-coming-role-players. This is why I am hoping that this road trip end with Avilia spark plugging this offense.

Also - am I the only one? Or do you guys see a new dynamic in this last week between Granderson and Polanco in the line up. If Granderson is on - no matter how - Polanco moves him over. I hope this carries into this Boston Series.

I am betting (not really betting just predicting) the Tigers take 2 of 4 - and I'll even bet the Becket - Galarraga game is one of them.

12:29 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

This is a huge series for the Tigers. If there was ever a time to prove you are a playoff team. Its on the road against Boston. If we go in and get swept , or score 4 runs (total) with the offense going to sleep or our pitching staff gets shelled. Then they may have to look into the mirror. It'll be interesting..

On to our beloved team the lions. It's nice to have optimism this time of year, but not lets get in over our heads over a few practices. My mind we won't get a true read on this team until week 2 against Minnesota. Our linebacking core looks great, but there is no question the secondary and defensive line is a major question mark. On the whole stafford and culpepper thing. Let them battle it out. Who ever performs the best during preseason etc.. Let the better man start week 1.. I just think some folks are getting way over there heads with the lions. I love the team, but lets be real fans we still have a long way to go.

4:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I think the Tigers have a good organization and the fringe players they have brought up being ready to play in the major leagues is a sign - although I think Avila is a very good prospect. Used to be, the guys the Tigers called up never seemed ready. No matter.

9:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree with you about the Lions. I like what they've done in the off season, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. They haven't even played a preseason game. And we all remember how little the preseason meant last year.

9:53 PM 
Anonymous Meso said...

Pat, you wonder why some fans are not crazy about the pennant race?

The Tigers have the 14th best record out of 30 teams. My math is not very good but me thinks that they are kinda in the middle of the pack.

Pitching? Good but not as great as everyone thinks. Hitting .. needs no comment ... record against the East? Terrible.

Nuff said.

1:25 PM 

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