Buzzkill

Now is the time. With the Pistons playoff run finished, and several weeks until NFL training camp the Tigers have the attention of Detroit sports fans all to themselves. Going into last night the team was poised at .500 with back to back high profile series against the White Sox and Yankees. They also had their best hitter back in the lineup, and Ordonez rehabbing to join the team next week. Things were looking good…until the Tigers suffered their second 2-1 loss in the last 4 games.

Now granted, Mark Buerhle is one of the top pitchers in the American League. And to the Tigers credit, they did make him throw 113 pitches in 6 2/3 innings. But how many times are going to have to tip our hats to the other pitcher this season?

I think most disappointing was the inability to score Rodriguez after his lead-off triple in the ninth. The easy thing to do is blame a lack of clutch hitting, and in this case Young, Monroe, and Shelton failed to deliver a clutch hit. However, the bigger issue is a lack of hitting in the first place.

David Pinto recently ran a table of team left on base. The Tigers were next to last in the majors in the number of runners left on base. Meanwhile, they have a .287 average with RISP (against a league average of .276). The problem with the Tigers isn’t getting the big hits, the problem is getting the runners on base in the first place.

But in case you were wondering about Dmitri’s performance with RISP, his .214 batting average is the lowest among regulars on the team. I’m not knocking Dmitri, and that measure is what he has done, not what he will do. But it just hasn’t been good.

Now all is not lost. As was discussed on It Is What It Is on WDFN (hosted by friend of DTW, Sean Baligian), if the Tigers can go 6-4 over the next 3 series they will be in good shape. Because, the next 8 games will be against Tampa and Kansas City. With one loss, the 6-4 goal is still attainable.

TV Time
Of course everything I just wrote about I wasn’t able to watch because the Tigers weren’t on TV again. In looking at the schedule next week, Fox Sports wasn’t covering 5 consecutive games (four in Cleveland and one in Tampa Bay). Now the problem isn’t Fox which is carrying 110 games, the issue is a lack of over-the-air coverage.

Fortunately for Tiger fans, ESPN will air 3 of those 5 games in the Detroit market. According to Brian Britten of the Tigers, the front end of Monday’s doubleheader, Wednesday night’s game, and Thursday night’s game will all be on ESPN.

Miscellaneous Stuff

  • After starting 0-5 in one-run contests, the Tigers then won 10 of their next 17. They have now lost two in a row to lower their record to 10-14. However, because of their record in 2 run games, they are 20-20 overall in games decided by two runs or less.
  • Brandon Inge has failed to reach base in his last two games. Fortunately, that’s the first time this season he’s gone back-to-back games without a hit or walk.
  • For the second time in a 2-1 loss, Nook Logan was picked off in the late innings. With Ordonez set to return, playing time will be harder to come by for Logan, and he’s not helping his cause.
  • The Tigers have been successful on 17 of their last 19 stolen base attempts (plus two pickoffs)

3 Comments

  1. Jeff

    June 29, 2005 at 6:15 pm

    One other incident that also involved Pudge was disturbing. With a man on first, nobody out, in the 7th, Tigers down 2-1, Pudge had a 3-0 count.

    He proceeded to swing at three straight pitches that apparently were out of the strike zone. If he takes any of those pitches, the Tigers have men on first and second, nobody out. Big ball, small ball, in either case the Tigers are in good shape to tie up the game.

    Pudge has only walked 5 times this year, and in that particular instance taking a walk was very important, yet he started swinging at bad pitches. What is going on?

  2. Joey

    June 29, 2005 at 9:36 pm

    Wow. Bases loaded. No out. 8th inning. Pudge Ks on three straight pitches. Monroe hits into a double-play. Good, good stuff.

    I was also annoyed when Pudge was directed to run home on contact with one out and the infield drawn in. I know I’m always harping on Tram, but what the hell was he thinking here? What benefit is to be gained by having him run on contact? Either the ball gets through or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, there’s a good chance Pudge gets gunned-down–which is exactly what happend. What a waste.

  3. Joey

    June 29, 2005 at 11:14 pm

    Freaking unbelievable. I don’t know how we didn’t win tonight’s game. Well I guess that’s the difference between a team that knows how to win and another one that can’t stay over .500 for more than a day.