Friday, April 20, 2012

Why the Rangers look like a dose of reality for the Tigers

Isn't that the message that came out of the first game of the Tigers' four-game weekend series with the Rangers?
It was the first game not having Doug Fister really hurt the Tigers. A left-hander like Adam Wilk, who doesn't throw hard, was like placing meat in the lions cage at the zoo against that batting order. The Rangers lineup, top-to-bottom, has less holes than the Tigers. They also have much more speed, are superior defensively and have a considerably better bullpen.
The Tigers edge is at the top end of their ball club. Their best three players - Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder - are better than any on the Rangers. But it is not like the Rangers don't have star power, though.
If the Tigers are going to beat the Rangers now - or in October - their Big Three will have to come through for them. Verlander's start Saturday is the key to the series. Rick Porcello's matches up well against the Rangers, if his two-seam fastball is working, tonight. If lefty Drew Smyly does well Sunday against the Rangers with all that right-handed thunder, you know he's going to very good.
Can you imagine if the Rangers had signed Fielder? They should have gone all out to do so. They would be absolutely devastating, and the Rangers had the money land him because of their TV contract.
Honestly, I don't get the "Yu Darvish is baseball's next great pitcher" thing. He was solid, though, especially given a wide strike zone, Thursday.


Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, I'll grant you I didn't have the luxury to put eyes on the game, but from listening to Dan Dickerson I got the feeling that the early five runs (the only ones that count because they broke the Tigers' back) were "Texas Leaguer" dying quails and soft shots to the perfect places - It did not sound like they clobbered us with power - just speed and baseball luck.

But I agree wholeheartedly that the Tigers have now faced the hurdle to beat and they now know how high they gotta jump.

Pretty damn high.

It may be that the regular season is a race between these two squads for homefield advantage. We could really use Martinez back for August / September.

4:28 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, tonight match up should be a little better as the Rangers crush left handed this year and don't hit right handed as much but still good. Tigers also hit left hand pitchers a little better than right hand pitching. Tigers need Fister because he is a legit #2 guy. I happy with a split with the Rangers.

4:40 PM 
Anonymous woody said...

Rangers beat Tigers' 6th starter and a bullpen guy who should have limited role at best in postseason. today a much better gauge with 2 of top 4 starters going.

Rangers have some weaknesses. Nathan isn't what he was. Hamilton and Cruz are injury prone. their starting pitching as a group is above average, but they have no ace/stopper.

10:35 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rangers are clearly better than the Tigers. Solid team all over, all facets of pitchers good, good hitting with lefties also, strong defensively and speed. This team will be hard to beat in the end.

But let's not get that excited, only 8% of season done.

But there is a reason that statisticians compute that Texas's chances of making the playoffs is 95% this early.

5:34 PM 

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