Winning big, losing small

So if you had told me that the Tigers would be leading the league in scoring one week into the season, I’d be happy. If you also told me that Tiger pitchers would have 3 times as many strikeouts as walks, and be second in their division in runs allowed I’d be really happy. And if you told me the Tigers record was 3-3, well not so happy.

One week into the season, and the Tigers possess the best run differential in the American League, and a .500 record. In the Tigers’ 3 wins they outscored their opponents by 23 runs. In the 3 losses, they were outscored by 8 runs. Now a 3-3 record isn’t bad, but it isn’t as good as it should be – especially considering that the team played pretty good.

Most disappointing was the 4-3 Friday night loss to the Indians. First their was the bullpen collapse, and then failure of the offense to take advantage of miscues. I know that Urbina wants to be a closer, and that he feels more comfortable in high pressure save situations. But as Brian pointed out, outs the 8th of a tie game are as important as outs in the 9th with a 3 run lead.

More disappointing than Urbina giving up the home run, was the Tigers failure to capitalize on Indian miscues. I know that even the best bullpen arms will make mistakes, and fortunately the Tigers offense still had a chance to come back. That chance became even greater when two Indian errors helped to load the bases with one out in the 8th. The Tigers only managed to score one run when Infante was walked with the bases loaded. It is hard to criticize a team for not being able to get timely hits when they lead the league in scoring, but that game was there for the taking.

A 3-3 start in the division isn’t bad, but 4-2 was there for the taking.

Other Thoughts & News From the Weekend

Of course the big news was the Marcus Thames call up. Unfortunately, my site was down yesterday morning so I couldn’t post about it. The Tigers now have 6 outfielders on the big league roster. It will be interesting to see how Trammell divides up the playing time. I’d imagine that once Ordonez gets healthy, Rondell might get a turn or two at DH with the red-hot young spelling Carlos Pena at first base. What I don’t want to happen is Trammell trying to find starts for Higginson.

While you can’t make conclusions from six games, you can make observations. Tram has followed the same pattern with his starters, in keeping in the pitch counts down. While I know he receives some flack for this, I whole heartedly support it. It’s the first week of the season, and the Tigers have invested a lot of money in their bullpen. Why wouldn’t you protect the young arms.

Also, Trammell is moving away from small ball – at least so far. In six games there were only two stolen base attempts and one sacrifice bunt.

Site Update
I’m working on cleaning up the links over in the sidebar. I also put links to the Ernie Harwell interview and took down the salary information. The salary stuff was several months out of date. If and when I get it updated, it will be back up.

I also have to apologize for the site downtime yesterday. Sorry about the inconvenience. It was a problem with my hosting company. Also, if you sent me an email between 7am and 2:30pm yesterday it was lost to cyberspace.

Thanks to all of you who have been stopping by. Hits have grown exponentially over the last few months, and opening day was my highest total ever. I’ll do my best to keep getting content up. As always I’m welcome to any feedback, good or bad (but especially good) so keep the comments and emails coming.

10 Comments

  1. darren

    April 11, 2005 at 5:03 am

    I’m definitely not happy with the Tigs ending the weekend with a .500 record. Especially realizing that they lead the league in runs. Geez. Two 1-run losses to the Tribe? Humiliating. Need to win those games. I hope this isn’t a repeat of last year’s pythagorean-buster season.

    But on a positive note, I love the blog. I’m a West Coast Tigers fan starved for some decent info and you provide the most interesting analysis I’ve found on the web. Keep up the great work!

  2. Joe

    April 11, 2005 at 6:59 am

    I think the hits are up because i check the site every five min for a post

  3. billfer

    April 11, 2005 at 7:12 am

    Darren – Glad you like it and thanks for the kind words. Don’t be alarmed about the losses. It’s too soon to draw any conclusions. But it is okay to be disappointed. In Sunday’s game the offense did a good job battling back to make it a one run game. Friday was the game that got away.

    Joe – So my irregular posting schedule is working I see:-) But seriously, check out RSS and the Firefox browser. You can check on the site, without having to check the site. (of course you’re still welcome to visit as often as you like)

  4. Boston Fan in Michigan

    April 11, 2005 at 10:15 am

    It really says something about Tram that he kept Bondy in for so long after that awful first inning on Sunday. I’m not exactly sure *what* it says (he trusts Bondy? he cares a lot about not overworking the bullpen? he figured it couldn’t get much worse?), but it definitely says something.

    And hey, .500 is our target for the season, so we’re right on track! Seriously, I’m not worried about the losses so much as the fact that we’re losing close games again. Close game losses are what kept us down last year, we really need to start winning some of those. Although I’m not sure you could call Sunday a close game loss… more of a crazy comeback that just didn’t go all the way.

  5. Jason R.

    April 11, 2005 at 12:00 pm

    Good call by Tram to leave Bonderman in there. He wasn’t fatigued, he was just ineffective in the first. He did a pretty fair job after that, allowing just two hits and one walk over the last five innings.

  6. KS

    April 11, 2005 at 5:42 pm

    I’m all for the death of Tram’s experiments with small ball. Now if he could just elminate his nasty habit of batting his worst hitter first. Do we really want to see Omar Infante with 600 plate appearances this year?

    KS

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    August 9, 2007 at 12:14 am

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