The Tigers turned in another disappointing performance against a team they should beat. Last night’s ugly game against a last place team just signifies that the Tigers aren’t a good team and can’t compete. Afterall, teams that are serious about being contenders beat up on the lesser teams – and anything less than a sweep is unacceptable.
[In case anybody missed it, that last paragraph was sarcasm. Well, except for the part about the ugly game, because it was in fact ugly. Oh yeah, and there maybe more sarcasm coming up so be on the lookout - I'm feeling feisty.]
Detroit’s record against the 3 AL last place teams is a lowly 13-8 for a .619 winning percentage. Good teams would have gone at least .650. Just look at AL East leader Boston who is…oh wait, they’re only 11-7.
Well, what about AL West leader the Angels of various cities? Uh, nevermind because they are 11-7 also.
Ummm, let’s look at the streaking Oakland A’s – the current wild card leader. Surely they are a contender and they have posted…a 13-8 record? That’s the same as the Tigers?!
Okay, just one more. What about the vaunted and hated Yankees. They’re only a half game behind Oakland, still in the thick of the wild card hunt. I’ll be darned – they actually have a losing record at 7-11.
Annoyed yet? Yeah, me to. But the fact remains that out of the top 5 teams in the American League, only the White Sox at 16-5 have a better record against the 3 last place teams than the Tigers. Does this mean the Tigers are as good as those other teams? Of course not. In fact, it might mean that the Tigers current record has been built up by beating on weaklings. The point I’m trying to make is that even good teams lose to bad teams. Don’t read too much into this series loss.
Sure, I would have much preferred to see the Tigers take another series, and winning in Oakland will prove to be a daunting task. Oakland is probably looking at this series as one they should win – much in the same way that Tiger fans were banking on winning in
September Seattle (EDIT: Well that was a Freudian slip-or the baseball equivalent-if I ever saw one). Maybe the Tigers can in turn surprise Oakland.
Craig Monroe’s error was awful last night. There is no getting around it. However, these things happen. In fact, Gold Glove centerfielder Torii Hunter did the exact same thing in a game against Detroit earlier this year. Monroe’s error was costly, but it was costly because Mike Maroth struggled to throw strikes. Craig has done a very good job playing all 3 outfield positions this season and I’m not too worried about him making an error.
What is a little more disturbing is that this is Monroe’s second lapse in the last week. Against Minnesota he forgot how many outs there were and ran into a double play on a fly ball. These may be random events that just happened to occur within a week. Or Monroe may be mentally fatigued. I have a hard time speculating about the soft tough like mental toughness, but the two plays are troublesome nonetheless.