Thursday, August 08, 2013

Thoughts on Detroit Tigers after first three games at Cleveland

- I am convinced the radar gun in Cleveland is not accurate. It has clearly been reading several miles per hour higher than the one at Comerica Park, and in other major league ball parks. Not that Justin Verlander didn't pitch well Tuesday. He did, but it was his command of the baseball, not his velocity that was the difference. He has been throwing that hard much of the season, and has had similar solid outings, which were not praised nearly as much because the radar gun readings did not have him throwing 100 mph again like the one in Cleveland did. Also, I don't believe Bruce Rondon threw the ball consistently harder than any pitcher in Major League history, which the radar gun readings in Cleveland suggested Wednesday. Rondon throws extraordinarily hard, but not that hard. Come on.
Prince Fielder: Among  the least of Jim Leyland's worries
I was curious one day when Jim Leyland mentioned in passing about how the radar gun readings at Comerica Park are "slow" and they "were going to do something about it." Now I understand why. Perception of the club's pitchers, perhaps even among the pitcher's themselves, is often based on these readings, which are far from consistent park-to-park. It's kind of silly when you think about it, but just the way it is.
- Prince Fielder is going to hit. His career is on a Hall of Fame track. He is 29. It's just not going to go away mysteriously without injury. He is having his worst season since early in this career, but could be good news from the standpoint there will be statistical correction, which could come late in the year or postseason.
Also, Fielder was the Tigers' only reasonably consistent left-handed hitter the first half of the season and he hits behind Miguel Cabrera, who has, not coincidentally, has became an even better hitter the last two seasons with Fielder hitting behind him. As such, Fielder's contribution to the Tigers offensively this season has still been significant. His dramatic game-winning hit Wednesday wasn't exactly a fluke or an aberration. He is a premier hitter.
- Jeremy Bonderman as a reliever may work. He struggled to find a third pitch as a starter, but he can get by with his slider, which is still an outstanding pitch based on his outing Wednesday, and fastball as a reliever.
- This will not go on forever for Don Kelly, but Leyland is wise to ride him while he is hot.
- Austin Jackson is, oddly, the most underrated player on the Tigers. He has hit two very clutch home runs during the Tigers' 11-game winning streak.
- The Tigers are clearly in the collective minds of the Indians. They have just destroyed them. But it's not just the mind game the Tigers are winning. If you compare the two teams player-by-player throughout the lineup, bench and pitching staff, it isn't even close.


Anonymous Michael C said...

"He is having his worst season since early in this career, but could be good news from the standpoint there will be statistical correction, which could come late in the year or postseason."

Hahaha. I wish that were true, but that's not how probability works, Pat.

There should be regression to the mean because Fielder is better than this. But because he hit worse earlier doesn't make it more likely he'll hit better later.

That's called "the gambler's fallacy". Thinking that because you rolled a 1 3 times in a row you're less likely to roll a 1 again on the 4th time. Truth is it's still a 1 in 6 chance. The past doesn't affect the future like that.

5:52 PM 

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