Tigers have nocturnal bats

With this afternoon’s loss to the Blue Jays the Tigers record in day games now stands at a remarkable 0-10. A quick check of the splits reveals that the Tigers have been outscored 57 to 18 in day games. Yes, the offense has mustered less than 2 runs a game before the sun sets.

After dusk the Tigers are 6-3 and have scored 59 runs while allowing 60. So the pitching has been pretty inadequate no matter what time it is. The differences in offense however are dramatic to say the least. The following numbers aren’t inclusive of the Sunday tilt:
Tigers can\'t hit during the day

And if you look at the individuals, it is the biggest of the boppers (Ordonez/Cabrera) that have the biggest trouble during the day and the most success at night. Guillen has just been good regardless. But for the other two, and you can throw Renteria in there as well, this isn’t reflective of career trends. They’re typically just as good no matter what time it is.

And what makes this even weirder is to think back to the Tigers big rallies:

  • April 9th @Boston: 4 runs in the 4th, 2 runs in the 8th, 1 in the 9th
  • April 10th @Boston: 2 runs in the 4th, 1 run in the 7th, 3 runs in the 8th
  • April 14th Minnesota: 11 runs in the 6th through 8th innings
  • April 15th Minnesota: 5 runs in 6th through 8th innings
  • April 16th @Cleveland: 11 runs 5th through 9th innings
  • April 18th @Toronto: 7 runs in 6th through 9th innings

So by my rough count, 49 of the 59 runs they’ve plated in night games have come after the 3rd inning. That’s about an hour into the game which coincides with sunset. Coincidence?

Try as I might, I don’t have an explanation for this at all. Still, as the days continue to get longer this doesn’t bode well for the next several months. Of course if it has something to do with biorythms maybe it can be solved with a trip to the West Coast.

Some possible theories:

  1. This is simply a coincidence. The Tigers have faced better pitchers during the day. It will work itself out.
  2. The Tigers batting practice schedule gets thrown off for a day game and they don’t get as much early work in.
  3. There is too much glare during the day this time of year and they don’t see the ball well with natural light. The Tigers played 3 day games under overcast conditions and scored 4 runs in one and 5 in another (they were shut out in the 3rd). So in the other 7 sunnny games the team scored 9 runs. Three of the four shut outs came on sunny afternoons.
  4. They need an earlier curfew because they are just too sleepy during the day games.
  5. Now this last one is a tad far fetched but stick with me: Clete Thomas is a carrier for vampire traits.
    • The players, both those on the Tigers and new comers like Renteria and Cabrera, have never had these types of splits before.
    • Clete is the only position player injected into the clubhouse without a track record we can check
    • Carlos Guillen always wears a cross and he hasn’t been effected
    • He could have infected Curtis Granderson first, dulling his reactions leading to the HBP. The ensuing DL stint is how Thomas made the roster in the first place.
    • Has anyone ever seen Clete eating garlic? I didn’t think so.
    • This would support items 3 and 4 as well.


  1. tiff

    April 21, 2008 at 7:56 am

    5. It’s definitely 5.

  2. Scott

    April 21, 2008 at 8:49 am

    One man’s opinion:

    Release Jaques Jones – Looks like he is done to me.
    Sit Shef down – He’s obviously hurt. He’s not productive right now and has little value. The same with Polly. Hopefully Granderson is back this week.

    For God sakes, move Miggy to LF. He has played there before and we have a hole out there. He is hurting us defensively at 3B. I would let him play out next to Granderson for the next 10 years. He may not be a great defensive outfielder, either, but I think he would hurt us less. He also does have a good arm, which would be helpful in the outfield.

    Lineup ideas:

    Granderson CF
    Renteria SS
    Miggy LF
    Maggs RF
    Guillen 1B
    Thames DH
    Inge 3B
    Pudge C
    Santiago/Raburn 2B

  3. Blake

    April 21, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Boy I hate this stuff. I wonder if this sort of thing ever gets in the players heads? 0-10 during the day? That is unreal and doesn’t make a lot of sense. I sense a win this afternoon.

  4. Ryan

    April 21, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I was actually thinking about this very thing earlier this year. I didn’t know where to find historic day/night splits, but I managed to find the splits for 2006. I forget where I found them, and what exactly they were, but it was something like a .660 winning percentage at night and under .500 during the day. Could it be something with the spring training stadium? Maybe they spend all spring learning one way to hit during the day, and it is somehow diametrically opposed to the light patterns in major league stadiums? Failing that, maybe Granderson is a reverse vampire?

  5. Tbone

    April 21, 2008 at 11:50 am

    So – what you’re trying to say here Billfer is that the Tigers are headed for a 70 or 71 win season unless Clete Thomas gets sent back to Transylvania.