Monday, June 06, 2011

Five reasons the Tigers have survived to stay in the pennant race

1. Justin Verlander has been a true ace: Verlander has often been spectacular this season (a no hitter, two brilliant performances in a row vs. the Red Sox and White Sox), but has maintained his consistency. He's had only one truly stinker start this season (vs. Tampa Bay at home) - and the Tigers won that game.

2. Alex Avila: I didn't think Avila could be a plus hitter in the major leagues and play respectable defense on an every day basis. I was wrong. He has played very well this season, and it's given the Tigers a major lift.

3. The 2007 Indians: That team won 96 games and beat the Yankees in a divisional series with Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta playing key roles. Both remain in their prime and have had a similar bearing on the success of the Tigers. Two of the better moves Dave Dombrowski has made during his tenure as Tigers' general manager.

4. Alberto Alburquerque: His career record in five minor league seasons was a paltry 8-15 with a 4.49 ERA. Both the Cubs and Rockies let him go. Now he is striking out hitters in the major leagues at a rate that would make Nolan Ryan proud while filling a desperately-needed role in the Tigers' bullpen. Amazing.

5. Miguel Cabrera: Remains an ominous cloud for opposing pitchers each time he steps into the batter's box. Starting to make clutch home runs his trademark.



Blogger Fred Brill said...

Yup, Pat, you're right (again).

The Tigers are finding ways to win despite some moves that leave us all scratching our heads.

I'm excited for what could possibly be - but right now - some decisions seem more like an old familiar Vaudeville skit.

12:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I would add Jose Valverde who is 15/15 in save situations. He makes us uneasy sometimes, but so far, is doing a fine job as the closer., Dave

2:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they play almost a billion games in the next 30-40 days - let's see where they are at the All Star break before we talk about survival. The next three games in Texas will be telling ...

3:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, in the pennant chase.

But I'm not convinced this team can finish as it is.

The good pitching could do it.

But it won't be the hitting.

Need a trade or acquisition hitter.

6:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I criticize a lot, but I can also praise.
What I like;
1. It looks like Andy Dirks can be solid, not spectacular but a solid player.
2. A lot of youth on the roster, let'em play, let's see what they can do.
3. Resiliency on the road. That shows mental toughness.
4. Guys like Valverde, Verlander and Cabrera showing swagger on the field, it lets the other team know that the Tigers are not intimated by anyone.
5. The Tigers are not boring, even though they do not run, the team is fun to watch because of the personalities and youth.

P.S I still miss C.G. but oh well

10:16 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Thing is, Leyland pushes the right button - when it works. Wrong ones when it doesn't work. Doesn't matter logic behind it. Just bottom line.

9:50 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Valverde has been a very good closer for the Tigers. His problems second half of last season were because of injury.

9:51 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The three games were telling in Texas - and could bode well for the Tigers.

9:52 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think their pitching is a strength. The bullpen has actually been pretty good lately.

9:52 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think you're right about the swagger of the Tigers top players. A plus.

9:53 AM 

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