With the Tigers’ recent inability to score runs, it’s beginnning to feel a lot like 2003. Not even counting tonight’s game in which they are being shutout in the 7th inning, the Tigers have failed to score more than 4 runs in 10 of their last 12 games. In those other two games, the Tigers managed 6 runs in each of them. Keep in mind though, that one of the 6 run “outbursts” was fueled by 3 errors and only two of the runs were earned. The other “offensive explosion” was against Texas and featured two runs being scored on a wild pitch. So even those two respectable games are a little deceiving.
Courtesy of the Day by Day Database here are some more numbers:
- The Tigers have scored 37 runs over those 12 games and have been shut out twice
- Tiger hitters have struck out 87 times over that stretch against only 41 walks
- The batting average of .260 and OBA of .325 aren’t horrible. However, the Tigers have been burned by a lack of power. With only 6 homers the team has amassed a slugging percentage of .377.
- Speaking of a lack of homers, up until Marcus Thames’ 8th inning homer tonight the Tigers had gone 51 innings without a homer. The last jack was by Dmitri Young on May 18th.
- The Tigers two first basemen – Young and Carlos Pena – have combined to go 186/288/257. Is it any wonder that fans are clamoring for Chris Shelton?
- Speedster Nook Logan has 10 strikeouts and one walk which has pretty much nullified his speed.
So what is a Tiger fan to do? Trammell has tried juggling the lineup, but it hasn’t had any effect. The good news is that there are many reasons to believe that the team is slumping as opposed to there being a fundamental problem. While Pena’s chances of becoming an All Star are pretty slim, he’s performing poorly even by his standards. Dmitri Young is also a better hitter than he has shown as of late. The biggest question marks are probably Omar Infante and Nook Logan. Infante’s history includes a horrific half season, and nearly a full season of decent play. Omar has struggled to find any sort of consistency this year, and it’s hard to say whether or not he is underperforming this year, or he overperformed last year. As for Logan, his speed makes him easily the most exciting player on the team. Unfortunately he strikes out too much and walks too infrequently to put that speed on display.
As for everyone who is frustrated that the Tigers offense has “wasted” a number of fine pitching performances, take solace in the fact that the pitchers came through when the offense needed them most. Despite averaging 3 runs a game, the pitching managed to keep the Tigers 6-6 through that 12 game stretch. It could have been much worse.