Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Why (despite that horrible loss Monday) the Detroit Tigers will likely win the AL Central

Ultimately, starting pitching is still baseball's most important factor. A rotation that pitches deeper into ball games is a bullpen's best friend. The Tigers' staring pitching is much better than the White Sox, especially now that Max Scherzer has maintained consistently strong performances. Justin Verlander, Scherzer and Doug Fister at the top of the rotation is the best thing the Tigers have in comparison to the White Sox..
White Sox ace Chris Sale is venturing into the land of  the unknown as a young pitcher and a converted reliever. The velocity on his fastball was down during his start Sunday night against the Tigers compared to when he pitched previously at Comerica Park in July. He was relying on his breaking ball to an alarming degree.
Jake Peavy has already thrown more innings this season than since 2007 - by far compared to most years. The White Sox could be living on borrowed time from their No.1 and No. 2  starters. Anybody impressed by what they saw from Francisco Liriano Saturday? He looked like he was laboring to me.
As for the bullpen, rookie Addison Reed's numbers as a closer are suspect (4.18 ERA, 1.33 WHIP), and the performance of the White Sox other relievers has been spotty. The White Sox have some power, but the Tigers' lineup is stronger. The White Sox are better defensively, and that weakness, at times, has been glaring for the Tigers, but it hasn't been a factor in head-to-head games.
The Tigers' Achilles Heel has been the road, but the White Sox are also a sub .500 road team to this point of the season (thanks primarily to their 1-8 record in Detroit). The Tigers do have four more road games remaining than the White Sox, although the White Sox have the more difficult schedule down the stretch in regard to strength of opposition. My live video chat Monday. We got into Michigan loss to Alabama and Denard Robinson/Al Borges issue, MSU win over Boise State, Tigers issues and Lions as their season approaches. Sports editor Jeff Kuehn joined me per usual. We do this every Monday at 1 p.m.

Video streaming by Ustream


Blogger Fred Brill said...

Pat, the friendshiop between bullpen and starting rotation has to be mutual and so far it has not been. You cannot demand your starters always go seven - but we have grown so used to not trusting our bullopen - and guys like JV and Scherzer and Fister giving us 7 or 8 - that we now let this bullpen off the hook. The opposition knows that if they can get the starter out of there - it's likely batting practice.

The Tiger's bullpen is the archilles heel of note.

As for those calling for Avila's head - please wait - like Jackson last year - this year is Avila's sophmore slump. It's a lot more notricable when your catcher - especially a guy who was aas hot as Avila was last year =- goes cold. Avila got the crap beat out of him andthe wear showed on him at the end of last year - on the big stage of the playoffs - and this year is a fluke of a known statistical anamaly - next year he flys back into form like Jackson did this year.

I was at the game yesterday - nobody talks about the one runner Avila did throw out and the other that should have been called out later in the game.

12:31 PM 

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