Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why the Detroit Tigers situation is desperate but not Mission Impossible

The last two games, at Cleveland and Chicago, were disasters for the Tigers. The Tigers have become the classic example why fielding is too often overlooked when evaluating a ball club. Count me among the guilty in that regard.
But the race isn't over just yet.
Down three games to the White Sox with 16 to go, it will be a tough task, but not necessarily a monumental one, for the Tigers to comeback to win the AL Central. Teams have rallied from similar deficits before to reach the playoffs. Here are a couple recent examples:
 - Last season, Tampa Bay was 3.5 games out of the AL wild card spot with 16 games to go and got in. Also, in 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals were 4.5 games out in the NL wild card race with 16 games remaining, and not only reached the postseason, but eventually won the World Series.
- In 2009, the Tigers had a four-game lead with 16 games remaining in the AL Central standings. We all know what happened in Game 163 at Minnesota.
Also, the schedule does play into the Tigers' favor. This week's three-game series against the A's couldn't be bigger because Oakland is the last contender the Tigers will face.
The White Sox play at Kansas City this week, where they were swept recently by the Royals, and then have to face the contending Angels in LA over the weekend. They also have a four-game series at home vs. the Rays to end September. The Tigers get nothing but the Twins and Royals after they are done with the A's. Livestream video chat this week. Got heavily into Lions, Tigers and MSU issues:

Video streaming by Ustream


Anonymous Karl Ziomek said...

Pat / You are right about this, but after watching these Tigers all year, it's tough to believe that they are going to change their MO overnight. Since you are an old baseball guy yourself, I wonder whether you thought of the same thing yesterday that I was thinking of prior to the Infante error. Bases loaded, one out, dead pull hitter at the plate. Decent speed at first. Why aren't we holding the runner on? I know that you could argue that playing off the bag gives Fielder at better shot at a grounder, etc. But you're playing for a DP, and by not holding him on, you couldn't turn a routine grounder.Didn't make much sense to me ...

1:52 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I was right a month ago when said that the Tigers had too many "holes" to sustain a 0.600 winning record the rest of the way. Defense is very important in a playoff run, look at the games that the Tigers have lost by one run. And how many errors do we have compared to the Chisox?

5:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Prince Fielder's effort at first base. But why does he wave his glove forward on a double play throw in the dirt. He has missed a few now. What are the coaches doing, sleeping? I was taught in little league to not do that but to let the ball come into the glove with a back motion. I just don't understand the Tiger's coaches on defense. My gosh, this is the major leagues.

6:23 PM 

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