Monday, August 22, 2011

It was redemption weekend for the Detroit Tigers, but in truth they have won nothing

It's too early to give Tigers manager Jim Leyland nor the front office too much of a pat on the back, but they did have a good weekend. Their moves turned out to be right.
Brandon Inge, to chagrin of many, returned to the major leagues Saturday and immediately clubbed a home run and a long, ground-rule double.
Me? I'd have played Wilson Betemit that night and kept Inge in the minor leagues until Sept. 1 when rosters are allowed to expand.
Leyland had been roundly toasted for giving Justin Verlander an extra day's rest instead of pitching him Sunday against Cleveland. The Tigers won the game, sweeping the series, and now it looks good for the Tigers tonight with Verlander on the mound to begin a tough road series at Tampa Bay.
I didn't think it was the issue many fans did, but I would have started Verlander Sunday.
It was redemption weekend in a sense, not only for Inge and Leyland, but center fielder Austin Jackson. OK, so he is not Curtis Granderson. That ship sailed a long time ago. I screamed at the top my lungs about that trade when it was made, but Jackson is a developing player who does many things well. That was a great throw to end Sunday's game.
A word of caution, though, the season is long from over. The Rays have a better record than the Tigers. They have won five in a row. Last week, their pitching staff threw three straight 3-hitters at the Red Sox powerful lineup at Fenway Park.
And don't forget, the Tigers had a 7-game lead with 26 games left after unexpectedly sweeping the Rays on the road in 2009. That was in September - and the Tigers still didn't win the A.L. Central.
Yogi Berra's saying couldn't be more correct than it is about the Tigers. "It ain't over until it's over."
That was a thrilling weekend, but there are many land mines remaining to navigate. Especially the one this week at Tampa Bay.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're stating the obvious. Trust me, we've all lived through the past few seasons and no one is popping the champagne just yet.

11:52 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...


As for pitching Verlander - I thought it was a no brainer to save him for Tampa - on the road - better team - get one out of three and get out.

And as for Jackson, he had a really good rookie season last year and made Detroit forget about Granderson. The Granderson you see this season wasn't the same Granderson who left us after 2009. And Jackson will recover from sophmore slump.

12:46 PM 

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