Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tigers Don't Need To Thrive, Just Survive This Road Trip

The idea for the Tigers on this 9-game road trip to New York, Atlanta and Minnesota is to survive, not necessarily thrive.
Surviving would be 3-6 - or averaging a win per series. Going 4-5 would be good. If the Tigers were to have a winning record on the trip, it would be gravy.
The Tigers are just 13-19 on the road. They struggled on the road last season, too.
The Mets have been playing very well, having won eight in a row before losing the last two games of their series with the Yankees. The Braves are 12 games above .500, and the Twins are, well, the Twins. They beat the Tigers in three straight the first time the two teams met in Minnesota - and without Joe Mauer.

A couple keys:

- The Tigers need to win Justin Verlander's two starts on the trip. This is when it really counts for an ace, a trip like this against tough competition in late June. I do think Verlander will be up to the task

- When the Tigers survived an 11-game road trip to the West Coast earlier this season with a 5-6 mark, Miguel Cabrera came through with several clutch hits. That must happen again for the Tigers to procure a similar result.

- The starters must pitch deep into games, setting up the bullpen, which has been the Tigers' strength. A couple 3- or 4-inning starts would be a disaster. Max Scherzer will be particularly under the gun. He is 1-4 on the road with an ERA over six. At home, he is 3-2 and his ERA is more than a run less than it is away from Comerica Park.

- Most importantly, the Tigers can't roll over against the Twins. Time to stand up to them. That series could dictate how the pennant race will play out.

- Also, watch out from behind. The White Sox are moving into contention.



Blogger Fred Brill said...

I don't disagree with anything you said Book (surprise!) - but I think the key term here is "urgency".

I wil lbe content with this teams outcome only if I see some sense of urgency - some display they understand that this is an important road series - and they must over-achieve to remain in contention.

A sense of urgency will result in increased success - and if they really are serious about 2010 they will come home after these nine games better than they left.

And that is a lot to ask. But I'm not asking. It needs to be demanded.

6:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
If the Tigers have a winning record on this road trip, it would be a good sign, that's for sure. I don't know if it would shock me, but I do feel it is improbable.

10:36 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Agreed it would be shocking Pat - but IMHO - that's what needs to happen. Getting stomped 14-6 with your Ace on the mound does not inspire fans to believe in this version of the Detroiters.

7:17 AM 
Blogger Kingeagle said...

Verlander needs to pitch much better if the Tigers have a chance. His 8-5 record does not meet expectations of his contract. Tigers have spent way too much money on pitching with mediocre results. He was not ready to pitch last night.

12:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
That was a horrible performance by the Tigers last night. The good part is that it was so bad, at least Leyland was able to avoid using the best from his bullpen.

1:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Nobody has singed the praises of Verlander more than I have, but that was definitely a step back. Next outing will be key for him.

1:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tigers' recent winning trip was off the bottom-feeders although was impressive.

Now we got the big-boys.

Have to agree with you, Mr. Cuputo, we will be lucky to get out of this road trip without getting bruised and bloodied.

2:13 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Through Saturday, the Tigers, were indeed, getting bloodied and bruised.

8:49 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home