Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Some Facts, Figures And Thoughts About Tigers Pennant Race

A couple things as to why the Tigers are in first place in the American League Central, and perhaps postseason bound, despite a perception they just aren’t that good.

- Curtis Granderson is getting dogged for having an off season, but there is a fact that strongly suggests otherwise.
With more than a third of the Tigers’ games remaining, Granderson has 22 home runs and 19 stolen bases. He is on pace to become only the 33rd player in major league history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season. It has been done just 52 times.

- The Tigers have lost 59 percent of their road games this season, but it isn’t that far out of whack from the rest of the American League. In the American League, home teams have won 56 percent of the games. Only the Angels have a really good road record. The Red Sox and Yankees are the only other two A.L. teams above .500 on the road, but it is only by a combined five games.

- Getting blown out Sunday in Cleveland was a rarity. Their pitching is like having a great defense in football. It has kept them in most games.

- In their last 10 games, the Tigers have actually made up a game against both the White Sox and Twins, so their lead isn’t "slipping away."

- Some facts about past Tiger pennant races:
The Tigers were a half game in the A.L. Central lead in 2007 after 104 games, and led the division as late as Aug. 16.
They were 8.5 games ahead in 2006 after 104 games.
The Tigers were tied for first place with Toronto in the American League East as late as Aug. 26 in 1991.
In 1988, they held a one game lead in the A.L. East after 104 games.
In 1987, they were three games behind Toronto after 104 games.

My column in Tuesday's Oakland Press about how the Tigers matchup with the White Sox and Twins: http://tinyurl.com/mgzjdl



Blogger maddog52 said...

Tigers need to do more of what they did yesterday.. Clutch and timely hitting. Cabrera needs to step up more like he did in the first inning. Personally why a lot of folks are shooting down McCleandon I couldn't disagree more. HE isn't the one that swings at bad pitches. I agree Granderson is having a good season SB and HR wise.. but his extra base hits are down almost half. I think Him and Inge need to cut down there SO's down a bit and I think this team will be fine. A hitter would of been nice to be added , but what would it matter if our other guys don't hit.. Either way I think we are in good shape if we can start making better decisions at the plate. Cause this team has to win this division. Unlike 2006 I think we are way out of the WC race.

I tell you what a lot of focus is being put on Stafford, Delmas, and Pettigrout. Let me say this one guy to watch out for and I think could have even a bigger impact. That is 1 mr. Sam Hill. I think this guy could be a beast. Coming from unknown. PErsonally I'd like to see him be the number 2 Defensive Tackle along side Grady Jackson...

11:56 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog today and yesterday. I would also add that the White Sox and Twins aren't that good either. Minnesota just lost a starter to injury and the White Sox hitting is very inconsistent. Peavy vs Washburn is a tie, maybe advantage Tigers because Peavy is hurt and a career NL guy. I like the Tigers chances.


11:57 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...


This is an exciting year. And I think its going to get more exciting than we ever imagined. I spent this vacation Tueday morning - much to the chastise of my family sick of me typing on this computer - and I came to the conclusion that there's a big storm brewing.

Sorry for the link in your comments - but there's just too much for me to say about what's ahead. I'd be honored if you guys would read it and tell me if you agree.

1:16 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, really like your column at the Press in comparing the Tigers to the White Soxes and Twins. I think the White Soxes did a great move by acquiring Peavy. This gives them two good starters and they are going for the division. I like the way the White Sox brass think. They are going for it now because you can also use next year draft and free agency to retool. White Sox also believe in shortening the game and they place value in bullpens. White Soxes will always be competitive because of their management and have a few dollars to spend. Twins know how to win games by they have an uphill climb with their pitching in such a mess. Tigers can win the division if they play a little better.

1:24 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Tonight is exactly what I am talking about with the Tigers. Ok lets say you had Adam Dunn in there.. well what about the rest of the crew? Look the Tigers are in first place. I am excited. I am a die hard always will be.. Hell I still go to my home and away games (Cleveland/Chicago). But bottom line is Leyland hasn't hit the right buttons yet for this offense. Really I feel bad for the guy. I mean Cabrera, Granderson, Polanco, Thames, Ordonez, Inge, and Guillen are all not doing what they are suppose to be doing... Consistantly... Every team has a couple of gravy guys.. meaning either defense guy and what ever you get offensively, because they have the horses to carry the cart.. well are horses haven't carried the cart for this team. My mind Tigers need to take the next 2.. My confidence is shrinking as this offense goes on. I mean you have to be realistic as well.

9:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Hill looked good in minicamp. Big guy with lots of agility. But he is very raw. Wasn't a good sign he didn't report for training camp in top shape. Needs a work ethic.

8:30 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I see starting pitching as the biggest factor in baseball. The Tigers have starting pitching over the White Sox and Twins.

8:31 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Hopefully, there is a tight pennant race coming down to the wire. It wouuld be, to say the least, fun.

8:32 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

If Peavy is a reasonable facsimilie of himself down the stretch, it should really benefit the White Sox. I just wonder how he will adjust to the smaller ball park and the extra hitter in the lineup.

8:34 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They weren't going to get Adam Dunn. That was a pipedream - a big name, but not somebody that was actually on the market. They needed to get another bat, though.

8:35 AM 
Anonymous JEFF said...

This years pennant race reminds me of the 1967 race. For those too young to remember three teams were vitually tied in September. Detroit, Boston and Minnesota. Nobody wanted it. One team would get a few games ahead and you would figure it was all over, then they would lose a few and it was a dead heat again. It all came down to the last day of the season when the Tigers had to win a double header against the Los Angelos Angels to win the pennent. These were pre playoff days. You win the pennant, you went directly to the world series. I went to the games with my parents, diehard fans from the 1930s. My mother played on a championship soft ball team that played at the 1934 Worlds Fair.
This was a long departed twi-night double header where you saw both games for the price of one addmission. They started about 4:00and played both games.
The tigers won the first game pretty easily 6-2 or so. In the second game the Tigers were behind by one run in the 9th inning. They loaded the bases with one out and 2nd baseman Dick McAuliffe hit into his only double play of the season. Game over, end of season. Al Kaline was the force out at 2nd base. He just stood there for a full minute, head down, hands on hips contemplating what might have been. I had my long lens camera and took several pictures of him. I alwaya wanted to give him one and have him autograph one, but the picture has long since disappeared. Kaline had to vacate the field pretty quickly after the fans swarmed down and tore up the sod and stole the bases. A good old fashioned Detroit baseball riot. Great memories of Tiger Stadium and great baseball games.

2:33 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree '67 was a great pennant race. There were four teams involved until the end. That made it special. Dobut we'll see one quite like it again.

6:06 PM 

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