Saturday, September 19, 2009

On Tigers, Michigan And Big Ten...

The headlines say the Tigers lost a 2-1 lead and were defeated in the late innings by the Minnesota Twins Saturday.
In reality, the Tigers lost when they couldn’t put away Carl Pavano earlier in the game. The Twins’ comeback was inevitable. Justin Verlander certainly did his part.
Time after time, the Tigers couldn’t come up with a clutch hit. It’s been that way a lot this season, but is finally catching up to them.
The Tigers just aren’t that good offensively. Ultimately, it could cost them the American League Central title.
That, and playing with a lack of urgency against Kansas City in recent weeks. The Tigers needed a cushion coming into this series against the Twins. They never win at the Metrodome - at least not when it matters. It was like the Royals shot the Tigers between the eyes.
Could prove to be fatal. What a shame.

Random Thoughts

- Michigan did what it had to Saturday against Eastern Michigan. The Wolverines didn’t pass the ball all that well, but did they really have to? Excellent running attack. Impressive victory. That’s especially true considering how tough the Eagles played Northwestern last week - and how the Big Ten overall has struggled against the Mid-American Conference.

- All of a sudden, Lloyd Carr’s final recruiting classes aren’t such a hindrance to Rich Rodriguez, are they? Amazing. Carlos Brown was a big-time recruit. Alabama wanted him badly. He has great speed and displayed it Saturday.

- Speaking of the Big Ten, one of the great excuses the conference apologists often make about its poor Rose Bowl record is having to essentially play a road game in Pasadena. Well, USC did win at Ohio State last week, and Cal did win at Minnesota Saturday. Oh, and Northern Illinois won at Purdue - another Big Ten embarrassment against the MAC. Seems like the Big Ten doesn’t have too many excuses other than it isn’t that good. At least Iowa beat Arizona. Then again, how did USC do at Washington? Does say much for Ohio State, does it?

- Michigan State has taken an obvious step back. My column in Sunday’s Oakland Press will focus on the Spartans’ loss to Notre Dame.



Blogger Fred Brill said...

I think that is the first time I got physically angry at a loss Pat.

Yes, you're right - in hindsight - they should have hit those upteen other baserunners stranded in the earlier innings - but to lose the game by a fly ball lost in the color of that &%@#ing Dome From Hell (can I say &%@# here without getting dumped?) just drove me over the edge.

Mad at Kelly for losing sight of the ball - yes I am - right or wrong - yes I am.

Mad at every hitter who came to bat with RISP and did not get the job done? Damn skippy I am.

But Verlander pitched amazing - and did not deserve that loss. The Tigers deserve it - but not Verlander.


9:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I hear ya, Fred. Like you, as somebody who fancies myself as a baseball purist, it's difficult to stomach the way the Tigers are playing of late.

11:14 PM 

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