Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Detroit Tigers and picking up the pieces after a rainy night in Boston

- The Tigers didn't play well overall again last night, and an argument can be made they got what they deserved in their rain-shortened 4-1 loss to the Red Sox. But a couple things about the weather issue:
1. If the game was going to be stopped, it should have been earlier. It wasn't raining that much harder, if at all, compared to some points when play was occurring. Once they put the tarp on the field, it was the point of no return given the weather forecast. It was going to keep raining, but lighter. But they never resume a game when there is any rain.
2. If they were going to call it in the middle of the sixth inning like that, at least do so at a clean breaking point, the half-inning. Sure, the game probably would have reverted back to the previous inning ,and it would have been a Red Sox victory anyway. But it wouldn't have ended with bases loaded, two outs and the potential go-ahead run at the plate. The Tigers should have at least been given a chance to make the third out without scoring or going ahead in the game, which would have been the probable outcome.

- It's not just the bottom half of the Tigers order not hitting on this road trip. It's pretty much everybody. What you're seeing here is the price the Tigers pay when Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder don't produce (Cabrera is hitting .215 on the trip, Fielder .200, and between them they have four extra base hits in 53 at bats). The good part for the Tigers is Cabrera and Fielder don't go into these funks often.

- On the surface, Aaron Cook, the Red Sox starting pitcher tonight, should present a good matchup for the Tigers. He has struck out only four hitters in 40 innings after coming back from injury issues. The slower bats in the Tigers lineup (Alex Avila, Quintin Berry, Brennan Boesch) should be able to catch up to his fastball. But here's fair warning. He is a sinkerball pitcher, and it has been working lately. His WHIP is surprising good. Also, Fielder has struggled against Cook, who has spent most of his career in the National League (.150 batting average, no home runs in 25 plate appearances).

- The Indians starting staff at Comerica Park should help the Tigers get out of this: Justin Masterton, Ubaldo Jimenez and Derek Lowe, the scheduled starters for the Indians this weekend, have been lit up like pinball machines in their most recent starts.

- Justin Verlander struggled in both his outings on this road trip. But in the bigger picture, he remains the least of the Tigers worries. His velocity was very good last night, and despite the difficult circumstances and flow to the game, he made some very good pitches at tough times.

My thoughts on some, ah, Olympic sports:


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