Monday, August 03, 2009

Honestly, Aren't The Tigers In Pretty Good Shape?

Look, there is no defending the indefensible. The Tigers were awful in Cleveland over the weekend. That's a bad baseball team they lost two of three games against. Sunday was downright embarrassing.
But here is the simple truth: In the last 10 games, the Tigers have actually picked up a game over the White Sox and Twins. They are 5-5 over that period, the Twins and White Sox 4-6. Also, the Tigers are coming home for a four-game series against Baltimore. The Tigers are 15 games above .500 at home, the Orioles are 18 games below .500 on the road. The pitching matchups this week are overwhelmingly in the Tigers favor. Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz are good prospects, but between them have one major league appearance. That's who will be going against Justin Verlander and Jarrod Washburn the next two nights.
The Twins will be at Comerica Park on the weekend. They haven't played well on the road, either. By this time next week, I'd be surprised if the Tigers haven't expanded their lead in the American League Central. Everything is pointing in their direction to make a move.

Random Thoughts

-Very early impressions from training camp: Matthew Stafford is already a better quarterback than Daunte Culpepper.

- It was profoundly disappointing the Tigers didn't make a move for a hitter at the trade deadline, but their lineup isn't as bad as it has appeared lately. Look for Miguel Cabrera and Curtis Granderson to break out of it this week against the Orioles. Those two killed them in Cleveland. They are better than that. Much better.

- Calvin Johnson made a catch in training camp the other day that was one of the best I have ever seen. He was running near the right hash marks. The pass was badly overthrown and started to drift toward the sideline. It looked like it was, honestly, going to fall 10 yards from him. All of a sudden he had the ball and plopped to the ground. Instead of cheering, the crowd (season ticket holders were allowed in) kind of gasped. I couldn't believe it, either. Seems like Johnson is the most talented player the Lions have ever had not named Barry Sanders.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press about Tiger Woods and the Buick Open:



Anonymous Michael C said...

Cabrera had 5 hits in the first 2 games of the Cleveland series. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say he had a bad last game? I don't get how it seems like half of Tigers fans want to run this guy out of town with a .950 OPS. His batting average, on base percentage, AND slugging percentage are even higher this year than his career averages. RBIs will come in bunches once players around him start contributing more. (or should I say if they do?)

I agree Granderson was horrendous though, as he seemed to have 4 or 5 at bats in the 8th inning or later with the score tied and a runner in scoring position and he seemed to strike out every time.

While we have more need for a LHB corner outfielder I also wish we had a decent RHB that could start in CF on days a lefty started (and then Grandy could be subbed in once a right handed reliever came in). The only other possible centerfielders we've had this year (Thomas / Anderson) were LHBers as well. Maybe its best to take our lumps now for the future to let Granderson learn to hit lefties, but is he really making any progress?

4:59 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
Nobody wants to see Cabrera run out of town. He is a great hitter. He is likely headed to the Hall of Fame. He just has to produce more in the clutch if the Tigers are going to win. That game you're talking about was a classic example.

8:24 PM 

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