To put it mildly, the second ten games did not go nearly as well as the first ten did for the Tigers. Poor pitching, idiotic fielding, and woeful offense turned a 7-3 start into the current 10-10 situation. Obviously, only 20 games into a 162 game season is only just the beginning. There’s a long way to go.
Here’s a review of what we’ve seen so far.
AFTER TWENTY GAMES
Division: Tied for second place (1 game back)
Scored: 85 runs
Allowed: 93 runs
1. Justin Verlander: 2-1, 2.41 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 35 K
2. Duane Below: 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, 9 K
3. Octavio Dotel: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 8 K
4. Miguel Cabrera: .289/.368/.539, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 142 OPS+
5. Austin Jackson: .297/.388/.527, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 146 OPS+
Verlander’s had some bad luck with run support so far, but he’s still been the most impressive player on the young season. Below and Dotel have been lights-out out of the pen and Duane has finally been rewarded with a spot in the rotation this Monday while Doug Fister is still out. Cabrera came out of his slump hitting like we all know he can. And Jackson slowed done from his hot start, but a 4 hit game against the Yankees may have ignited him again. He leads the team in OPS+ so far. Special props to Drew Smyly, too, for the job he’s done. Call him “5A”.
1. Ryan Raburn: .157 Avg, 0 HR, 1 RBI
2. Brennan Boesch: .214 Avg, 3 HR, 10 RBI
3. Jhonny Peralta: .235 Avg, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 17 K
4. Alex Avila, .218 Avg, 3 HR, 8 RBI
5. Max Scherzer: 1-2, 8.24 ERA
Obviously, guys like Schlereth, Inge, Wilk, and especially walking embarrassment Delmon Young belong on any “Bottom” list. But I’m going to keep this to guys on the active Major League roster. So Ryno gets the top/bottom spot, despite back-to-back multi-hit games. Boesch gets the second nod from me due to throwing away so many at bats and being terrible in the field, both in throwing and his sluggish way he goes after balls. Jhonny started hot and is in a huge funk, tied with Jackson with the team lead in K’s. Avila has had a couple nice moments, but the brain farts on both offense and defense are casting doubts on him once again. And we’ve seen Bad Max more than Max Max thus far this year.
Best Game: 4.8/12: Tigers 13, Red Sox, 12 (11 innings) (Avila walk-off)
Worst Game: 4/27/12: Yankees 7, Tigers 6
Yeah, I could have chose one of the Texas or Seattle games, but that Yankees game should have been won. Don Kelly and Brayan Villarreal are awful.
Top Complaints About Jim Leyland (Not necessarily by me…)
1. Why is he using (insert pitcher) in (insert situation)?
2. Why isn’t (insert batter) batting (insert place in order)?
3. Don Kelly fifth? /starts hospital on fire
Overall Impression of Team
Chaos. Both on the field and off. But there are bright spots.
Verlander is still the man and will only get better as the weather warms up. The main guys in the pen have been solid. Fister will be back soon. Cabrera is back to normal and Fielder, while not hitting homers, is getting on base.
But the supporting cast needs to step up. If Delmon is not part of the future, a move will have to be made. (MagglioMagglioMagglio) And I admit, another arm in the pen would be nice if these kids aren’t ready.
But it’s still April, kids. As we have just seen, things can drastically change in 10 games. With May’s schedule, 10 games from now we might all be laughing about all of this.