Friday, August 21, 2009

Pick Six Questions About The Tigers

In honor of Al Kaline, 6 questions that must be answered by the Tigers:

1. Will Jarrod Washburn pitch better to close the season?
Wasburn has had one really good start and three mediocre ones so far as a Tiger. Starting pitching is their calling card. He has to make it The Big Three with Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson for the Tigers to outlast the White Sox in the American League Central.

2. Will Miguel Cabrera start producing on the road?
Cabrera has come untracked at home with a lot of clutch hits lately. He must do so on the road, where he has just 22 RBI in 230 at bats this season.

3. How good, really, is Aubrey Huff?
He has been a solid major league hitter for a long time, but has never done it in a pennant race. Also, it's seems kind of uncertain how good he is defensively, especially if he is called on to play third base.

4. Will the bullpen hold up?
It has been really good this season. Closer Fernando Rodney has done it for nearly four months now. How about the last six weeks when so much will be on the line.

5. Can the Tigers continue to beat the White Sox head-to-head?
After years of being punked by the White Sox, the Tigers have won the last two series between the teams. It must continue in September.

6. Can the Tigers play roughly .500 ball on the road?
This holds the key.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press about the Tigers:



Anonymous Michael C said...

How about: Will Granderson please start producing like the 2nd best bat on the team like he's suppose to be now with Magglio's decline? And can he at least stay over the Medoza line against lefties?

And certainly Ordonez's play and contract status is one of the biggest storylines of the rest of the season.

5:24 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...


While the Tigers will unveil the true answers as this season plays out - I just wanted to give my answer on your six questions:

1. I see no sign of Washburn rising to the challenge. But the Tigers Top 3 instead wll be Verlander, Jackson and Porcello!

2. As with Q1, I see no signs of of Cabrera getting better on the road - it's in his head. Luckilly we have more home games than away games to close this season (I think we do?).

3. Aubrey. I had an aunt named Audrey. Enough said. - kidding - there has been no challenge to Huff - but of all the Tigers - he is the one who is most thankful for playing on a contending team (ok Washburn - but he ain't showing it). The potential for October play should raise Huff's ambitions.

4. I can't believe I am saying this given my pre-season mantra "It's the bullpen baby - fix the bullpen" - But they have not lost us any games I can think of over the last month or so - and I actually feel confident when Rodney comes in to close out the 9th.

5. Yes, the Tigers will continue to dominate the White Sox - and Minnesota has given up (can't believe I'm saying that either).

6. No - the Tigers will not play .500 ball on the road. In fact I don't think we come home from this trip in first place.

Since I got my tickets for great seats to see the last game of the season against the ChiSox - I think this season comes down to the last game of the season.

Nah - but I do think we barely get in to the playoffs. And then all the rules change and anything can happen!

Good questions Pat, but my street cred states I have to say "Pat, I completely disagree with you!" and maybe call you a name. How about a "smelly"? though I've never smelled you. You can call me "ugly" back.

That works.

Oakland is a tell tale series.

8:21 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, Washburn WHIP believe or not is only 1.20, I guess he is giving up too many homers to justify the high ERA so far with the Tigers. Could be worst, French’s Whip with Seattle is 1.80 so far. So it is still an upgrade. He can't do any worst right? I still cool with Cabrera with his OBP of 400 and maybe he is a patient hitter like Jeff Larish is (OBP minor career of 380). If I was a pitcher I would not pitch to him either.

1:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
The thing with Granderson and the left-handers is a tough one. Obviously, it's his Achilles Heel as a player.

1:32 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I think Washburn will give the Tigers some good starts, but that he won't be nearly as consistent as he was in Seattle. He doesn't walk a lot of guys. That's the good part.

1:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Great point. At least there haven't been a lot of runners on base when Washburn has allowed big flies.

1:34 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home