Game 49: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s sports heaven in Detroit today with the Pistons in the Conference Finals and the Wings in the Stanley Cup finals, and the Tigers trying to not be eliminated from future finals consideration.

It will be Boof Bonser and Nate Robertson tonight.

The Tigers scored 6 off of Bonser in their last game against him. Yet the Tigers are scoreless against him in the last 5 innings.

Nate is Nate and will somehow give up 4 runs in 5 to 7 innings of work. At least the offense knows exactly how many they need to score.

MIN @ DET, Saturday, May 24, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: The Tigers did their part on sports day in Detroit. They plated 19 runs for the second time this season (the highest total by teams not from Detroit is 16 this year). We’ll get to the game in a second, but things are starting to look a little more normal. The Tigers are down to only 1 starter with an ERA above 6 and Gary Sheffield finally moved ahead of Ramon Santiago in RBI (who had Memorial Day weekend in the pool?).

Nate got himself a quality start. I was pretty sure that one of the inherited runners he left for Aquilino Lopez in the 7th would score, but Lopez finished the game with 2.2 scoreless innings.

And then there was the offense. Magglio Ordonez was the clear headliner with 2 RBI in each of his first 3 at-bats. Polanco had 4 hits. Sheffield had a couple hits. Heck, everyone had fun.

94 Comments

  1. Eric Cioe

    May 24, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Hey, maybe Nate will only give up 3 runs. He’s done that once this year.

  2. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Does it seem like to anyone else that Nate seems to be pitching like EVERY DAY? Like, didn’t he just pitch?

  3. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I’m calling it right now. A Nate Shutout.

    A Nate No-Hitter.

    A Nate P G. You heard it here first.

  4. Chris

    May 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    All Nate has to do is avoid the big bad 4-run inning which always seems to ruin what normally has been dominant performances otherwise. Tigers have yet to shut-out anybody this season, so they are due in a big way.

  5. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Adam, I like the optimism. I’d settle for just a win.

    This is a big game, IMO. They played better against a bad Mariners team, and just can’t afford to step backwards again. Bonser is beatable, they are playing at home, and Verlander goes tomorrow (I think), which would give us a chance to take 2 of 3 if we can win tonight. It’s time to start winning some games against teams from the Central and show that they are starting to turn the corner.

  6. Tbone

    May 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    The Tigers record against the Central is almost unbelievable at 4-16, 0-7 at Home. This has to change now.

    I agree with Adam – it seems like every time I look, Nate Robertson is pitching. And every start seems exactly the same…

  7. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    All Nate has to do is avoid the big bad 4-run inning which always seems to ruin what normally has been dominant performances otherwise. Tigers have yet to shut-out anybody this season, so they are due in a big way.

    Yes, “dominant” is definitely the appropriate word to describe a guy with league-average stats this year and a history of below-average stats. Sometimes, watching him, I almost feel sorry for the hitter….

    ….and then the hitter drills a double to the left-center gap to clear three men from the bases and the Tigers are down 5-2.

    (Also, shutouts are distributed randomly, not on schedules. So there isn’t really such a thing as being “due” for one.)

  8. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Tbone, are you sure about the 0-7 at home against the Central? I seem to remember us taking a short 2-game series from Twins in April.

    Either way, we suck in our own division.

  9. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    And what’s especially strange about the Tigers’ record against the Central is that the Central appears to be the worst division in the AL, hands down. The Central’s record against the East is 30-39 and against the West they’re 29-33.

    So the Tigers’ are doing their worst against the very worst teams!

    It really is bizarre that any professional baseball team at all could be so bad against such bad teams. Winless against KC? You’d expect wins to come from them like porn from the Internet: whether you’re trying to get it or not, a lot of it’s going to find its way to your screen.

  10. Brian P

    May 24, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Standings wise, a win today would be productive (not that they ever aren’t). We can tie the Royals for last (Woo!) and gain a game on the White Sox, who appear to be headed towards a loss and potential sweep by the Angels.

  11. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I’d like to see how Nate pitches if we get him some early runs and a decent cushion. Maybe that takes the pressure off, or something.

    I dunno, I’d try anything at this point.

  12. Brian P

    May 24, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Not only is Granderson having trouble with outside pitches, he’s not swinging at strikes out there either.

  13. Brian P

    May 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    When did we trade Bonderman to the Twins?

  14. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Darn, no more no-no. And he was so close. Only had 24 more outs to record.

  15. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Ok, now let’s score about 10 more runs.

  16. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Um, 4 pitch inning? Hello?

    jeeeeeeeeez

  17. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Yeah! Don’t make him work. KEEP BONSER IN.

    Then, in the eighth inning when he’s getting tired we can load the bases with nobody out!

    FUN STUFF!!!

  18. Brian P

    May 24, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Nate missed his location on the home run pitch. Pudge was setup outside. Ouch.

  19. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    GREAT PITCHING. WOW. CAN’T REMEMBER WHEN I’VE SEEN SUCH GREAT PITCHING.

  20. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    long inning for nate.

    maybe we can let him rest for a few and, I dunno, take more than one pitch combined in our next ABs?

  21. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Couple of big two-out hits, nice!!

    The big bats FINALLY doing some damage (except for Sheff).

  22. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    DavidBrennan, I think you mean “and the Tigers are UP 5-2.”

  23. Brian P

    May 24, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Magglio: simply amazing. Sheffield almost spoiled another rally. The runs keep coming as I type!

  24. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Dude, we just got paid back for that Thames play last night.

    Karma.

  25. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Pudgo!

  26. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Man, he totally Boofed that throw. Good for us.

  27. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    The karma continues, Adam. Not a good bunt and pudge is out by a mile if they execute that.

    I will totally take it.

  28. Dave BW

    May 24, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Where do all the histrionic whiners go during these blowout games? Are they collectively washing their hair?

    Also: Maggs HR #2, daaaamn

  29. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    OH MY FREAKING MAGGLIO.

    2 RIBBIES EVERY TIME HE COMES UP.

  30. Brian P

    May 24, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Mercy!

  31. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Magglio is such a selfish jerk, he’s not giving Cabrera any RBI opportunities.

    This is fun, by the way.

  32. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Man…sucks going down 1-2-3 after scoring 6 runs.

  33. Kathy

    May 24, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Didn’t someone just question Magglio’s manliness the other day with his long hair? The Big Tilde…let there be no doubts.

  34. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Maggs might have the best BA in the AL by the end of the game. It’s gone up 11 points.

    With a 6 for 6, 12 RBI day, he’ll be right back up there.

  35. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Boston off to a 9-0 lead against Detroit.

  36. T Smith

    May 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Okay Chris – per our exchange yesterday:

    This constitutes a blowout.

    Maggs appears to be back to 07 form. Would be nice to see him go on about an 8 week roll now.

    This team is like an aircraft carrier. Hard to get going, but once it’s in motion, extremely hard to stop.

  37. Chris

    May 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Wow! What a good offensive turnaround this week has been from the shutout last Sunday. hopefully this can be sustained.

    I hate the Twins too much and can’t enjoy a blowout like this any more. Come on Tigers, let’s pile it on.

  38. T Smith

    May 24, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Talk about karma:

    Even a check-swing strike out by Inge results in a RBI

  39. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I can almost hear Verlander thinking, “WTF?? Ok guys, save some for tomorrow”

  40. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Pudge walks. This is the Twilight Zone or something.

  41. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Hahahaha. I could die.

  42. Dave BW

    May 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Mario says we’re two runs away from the franchise record

  43. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Pistons leading 17 to 15 after starting 0-11.

  44. Chris

    May 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    OK, let’s see if they can get eight runs in the 6th.

  45. ron

    May 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Tigers outscoring Pistons. Go Redwings.

  46. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Down by 8 again. Jeez I hate the Celtics.

  47. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    holy moley this is ridiculous. i stepped away to go watch the wings, and i every time i check in for updates we have more runs.

    i think the message here, is: no lead is safe with Nate on the mound.

  48. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    the tigers and pistons still have the same number of points

  49. Chris

    May 24, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    53 runs in a week that began with a shutout

  50. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Did anyone see Maxiell block Garnett? Beautiful.

  51. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Then Garnett jumps over Lindsay Hunter for the slam. We don’t have any of those kind of players.

  52. Tbone

    May 24, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Holy mother of all that is good in the baseball world, look at this score. Makes you wonder (again) how this team could get shut out so many times. The joy and pain of being a Tiger fan, I guess.

    And yes Mark in Chi, they did indeed win twice aginst the Twins at home. I’m wrong as usual. It sure felt like 0-7 though.

    A series win tomorrow would sure instill a bit of hope. Pretty please?

  53. ron

    May 24, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Samuelson!

  54. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    This game is yet another exhibit in my call for the creation of a stat tentatively called run-prevention support (or perhaps relevant quality starts or some-such). When the Tigers only score a few runs, Robertson will usually give up,say, 4 ER in 6 IP, essentially ensuring a loss.

    But on a day like today, when the Tigers have no need at all for a good start, Robertson finally delivers one: 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER.

    So we all pretend to play the benefactors for pitchers who get “poor run support” (I hate both that concept and that term), and yet there’s no parallel statistic for the hitters.

    Instead of whining about how the Tiger’s never pick-up bad pitching, why don’t we whine about how the Tigers’ terrible pitching never picks up their poor hitting? Instead of whining about the Tiger’s hitters’ 7 shutouts….why don’t we whine about the Tiger’s pitchers’ zero shutouts?

    (The real reason, of course, is because racist fans love denegrating the superior Latin position players and making excuses for their horrible caucasian pitchers.)

  55. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Man, the Pistons are like the Yankees in the Playoffs.

  56. ron

    May 24, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Pistons, BOOOOOO…

  57. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Uh, David. How is 3 runs over 6 1/3 any different really than 4 runs over 5 – 7 for all of his other starts?

    I mean, he could easily have had 5 earnies because he left with two guys on base.

    So this shouldn’t really count as an “exhibit.” I mean, I can remember at least two games where Nate left with runners on base and a quality start in hand and the bullpen let those runs in while he was sitting on the bench.

    Nate is consistently mediocre. He would have done the same thing had we only scored 5 runs today.

  58. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Man, too bad the pee-stones are really stinking up the joint.

  59. ron

    May 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Brennan, watch the hockey game, for crying out loud. And critique those white guys on the Pistons… they’re really blowing it tonite.

  60. Adam

    May 24, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    WE WON! Pistons are gonna have to pull a Kobe though.

  61. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    OH – MY – GOD. I joined the game in the bottom of the 8th (damn Sheffield – coulda had 20+). Do I still get credit for a win? A save? A hold, at least?

    For once, I envy those of you who watched. What a show. Don’t break our hearts again tomorrow, Tigers. Don’t build us up, buttercups, just to knock us down and mess us around.

  62. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    17 hits tonight, 13 singles.

    It seems like we hardly ever get any extra-base hits, but somehow we’re 8th in the league in slugging. I guess it just feels like we should be higher, given the guys in this lineup.

  63. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 24, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I think the Tigers hit a lot of doubles, Mark. Just off the top of my head. Way below HR expectations, though, I’m sure.

  64. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Adam,

    In my ad hoc exhibit, Nate Robertson’s actual stats were used rather than fictitious stats because I think that using phony data would damage my credibility.

    You said that Nate could’ve had 5 ER on his line tonight. That’s true. (He could have had 50, I suppose, too.) But we use consistent measurements when assessing ballplayers for the same reason builders use consistent measurements when constructing a building: it’s the only way that you can construct something meaningfully. (If one builder is calling out sizes in millimeters, and another is calling them out in inches….you might not want to do any jumping jacks in that particular building.)

    When looking at “run support” (again, hate the stat, hate the term), we could look at the number of men a team had on base and the runs that they might have scored in some alternate universe. But we have to use the same measurements across the board.

    Anyway, my point wasn’t just to fixate on Nate Robertson’s line stats for May 24, 2008, it was to illustrate a large statistical hole in the baseball community.

  65. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Ron wrote: “Brennan, watch the hockey game, for crying out loud. And critique those white guys on the Pistons… they’re really blowing it tonite.”

    Ron, I would watch the Red Wings but I hate them all because they’re from evil, socialist countries: Canada, Sweden, Finland, etc. I watch Fox News and I know that these countries are horrible (with national health care for everybody – even those terrible poor people!) and I don’t want to contribute to anything associated with them. (The only thing that should be socialized are the things America socializes: things that oppress poor people!)

  66. billfer

    May 24, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    What the hell are you talking about? Better yet, don’t answer.

  67. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Just saying that over 93% of NHL players (including virtually all the relevant Wings) are from socialist countries. I know that good Americans hate socialists, and I know that I want to be a good American, and therefore I must hate the Red Wings.

  68. Mith

    May 24, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Is this guy for real?

  69. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Hey, Mith, I’m as real as your name!

    But seriously….they’re socialists!!! They have national health care in their home countries! We must bomb them then occupy their land!

  70. Dave BW

    May 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Fun fact: Ramon Santiago has one RBI less than Gary Sheffield this year.

  71. billfer

    May 24, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Take the political commentary someplace else.

  72. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Watching ‘Baseball Tonight’, they showed Brandon Inge striking out….but Tim Kurkijan starts carrying on about how good he is! “He brings a lot of energy!” (By fanning Lake Huron’s wind-farms with all his Ks, maybe?)

    (Inge’s greatness explains why the Tigers have teams around baseball beating their door down trying to get his .229 average in their lineup. At least he guarantees high draft picks!)

  73. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 24, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    (Guess I’m gonna have to pull in here and ask for directions, Damn.)

    Um… Hey, how ya doin’? Listen, I think I missed an exit a while back, and now I’m lost. I’m looking for the Detroit Tiger Weblog. Yeah – Tiger. Yes, with a T. Well, it’s like this… uh… baseball kind of place. You know, RBI, ERA, that sort of – what? Never heard of it? OK, thanks. Pardon me? Oh yeah, right on man. Fight the power.

  74. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Sean C.,

    I know! Here I was talking about Nate Robertson and the possible introduction of a very significant new statistic into the baseball lexicon….but then everybody orders me to turn on the Red Wings and Pistons!

    Seriously, guys, enough of the Pistons and the RED Wings. Let’s get back to baseball!

  75. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 24, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Fun fact: Ramon Santiago has one RBI less than Gary Sheffield this year.

    I’ve been saying all along that Santiago should be on the DL.

  76. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    David,

    I would point out that a number of the Tigers are from Venezuela, also a socialist country. As such, perhaps you should stop watching Tigers games also.

  77. Dave BW

    May 24, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Santiago’s obviously not healthy — he’s only played in seventeen games this year.

  78. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Mark in Chicago,

    I know, I know, I know. It’s a conundrum.

    But the Tigers organization is deeply ashamed of this necessary evil, and to make amends they decided that they don’t sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” anymore but “God Bless America” – along with tasteful, subtle images of Our Troops on the jumbo-tron (just in case you mistakenly inferred something besides idolatry for the military from the song). So that balances out the fact that they employ a socialist here or there.

  79. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Sean,

    I looked it up, and you’re right, we hit our fair share of doubles (6th in the league) and are a little short on the HR (11th). I still feel like we hit A TON of singles, though.

    None of this means anything, of course, except that I have too much free time.

  80. Dave BW

    May 24, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    According to Billfer’s chart, the Tigers are scoring 8 or more runs in 23% of their games, compared to 14.7% for the rest of the AL. They are also scoring one run or less in about 24% of their games — what a bizarre team this is.

  81. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Dave BW,

    Please select from one of the following:

    a) Inconsistent
    b) Volatile
    c) Mercurial
    d) Hot and cold
    e) Frustrating to watch on a daily basis

    Personally, I have to go with e), but basically, this team is all over the map and pretty impossible to figure out.

  82. Dave BW

    May 24, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    So far I’d pick volatile, as their offensive explosions seem to be an aberration in the context of the listless status quo. That being the case, e) is probably a given as well.

  83. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    I think that these hitting trends are interesting and worth noting, but I think that we can agree that most of these are bound to average out in time.

    In my opinion, some of the much more pertinent stats concern the Tigers’ pitching:

    1) Tigers’ pitching ERA is second-worst in MLB (worst in all AL)
    2) Tigers’ starting pitching ERA is the second-worst in MLB (5.40, worst in AL)
    3) The have the worst K-rate in MLB
    4) They have the second-highest BB-allowed rate in MLB (behind Texas)

    These stats don’t tend to fluctuate too much, and, unlike hitters, pitchers stats can’t at all be relied on to return to their historical mean: some of these guys we were counting on might have truly lost something.

    It’s an oft-cited axiom that “good pitching beats good hitting”. Well, we better hope to go up against some pretty lousy hitting in the future if we’re to do anything.

    I actually do believe that pitching leads teams more than hitting – it has some sort of emotional effect and therefore is proportionally more significant (this is just my hazy belief). So my concern has never been Ordonez and Guillen and Sheffield: it’s been Verlander, Robertson, Bonderman, Willis, and Rogers. These guys have been, on their best days, merely decent. And not one of them is pitching better than they have historically.

    (So, I’m sure you can guess, I’m definitely a singer in the “Fire Chuck Hernandez” choir.)

  84. Mark in Chicago

    May 24, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    David,

    You’re right the rankings for our pitching staff are pretty awful, and the numbers tend to be “less volatile” over time than most batting statistics.

    Given the substantial time we’ve put in at the bottom of the league in pitching stats, we will probably recover only modestly at best, and perhaps get to the middle of the pack. That said, if the pitching just IMPROVES to the point where they put up the perforrmances they are capable of (especially Bonderman and Verlander) then who cares what the overall ranking is, the question becomes “how are they pitching now?

    Right now, it’s better than earlier in the year, with plenty of room for improvement.

  85. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Mark and DaveBW:

    You express frustration at an erratic offense. Take heart, though, the pitching hasn’t been erratic: they’ve just sucked altogether.

    And what about the Tigers’ last three good pitching performances? The hitters didn’t even need ‘em! They scored 12, 9, and 19 runs, respectively!

    My point, of course, is not that the Tigers’ pitchers should pitch poorly when their offense is kicking butt, but merely to illustrate that the sword cuts both ways: the pitching has totally failed to pick up their hitting when it struggles, too.

    (Again, I’m going to create a statistic for this!)

  86. DavidBrennan

    May 24, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Mark in Chicago,

    Well, first off, we’re looking backwards when assessing the hitters, so that’s where I looked when assessing the pitchers. If the pitchers’ weren’t so terrible (yes, that’s a totally appropriate word), then the Tigers would almost certainly be above .500.

    But my bigger point is that the Tigers’ hitters are statistically more likely to turn the corner and be a top offensive team. But with pitchers? Well, they, on the other hand, might truly just suck. That’s just the nature of offensive and defensive statistical flow.

    And if your pitching staff sucks, your team ain’t goin’ nowhere.

  87. DavidBrennan

    May 25, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Thanks for the chat, fellas, but I gotta head out. To sum up:

    New Stat Forthcoming (tentatively titled “Run-Prevention Support”)
    Tigers’ Hitting > Tigers’ Pitching
    Red Wings = Evil Socialists Who Must Be Nuked

  88. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 25, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Santiago’s obviously not healthy

    Sweet.

    I sacrifice bunted the runner to second so you could hit a home run.

  89. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 25, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Hitting vs. pitching in the who’s more to blame department: 1-25 when scoring less than 5 says it all.

    Less cited axiom: Consistent good hitting picks up mediocre pitching more than 50% of the time.

  90. DavidBrennan

    May 25, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Sean C wrote: “Hitting vs. pitching in the who’s more to blame department: 1-25 when scoring less than 5 says it all.”

    Yeah, that stat pretty much verifies my point: if the Tigers don’t score a ton of runs, they lose. Their pitching picks up lackluster hitting precisely 4% of the time. Pathetic.

  91. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 25, 2008 at 5:52 am

    I got it completely wrong. The Tigers are 1-25 when they score 4 runs or less. That can be interpreted in various ways.

    Subjectively:

    a) They didn’t bring in Cabrera, Renteria, and Jones, sit Inge, and count heavily on Sheffield, all in order to come up with 4 runs or less in 53% of their games and get shut out 7 times.

    b) I don’t think there was an expectation that Tigers pitching would hold opponents to 4 runs or less much more than they already have, which is 47% of the time. Aside from Verlander and Robertson, coming into the season it was all question marks.

    Objectively:

    a) Compiling that 1-25 record, the Tigers have averaged 1.73 runs per game.

    Scores like 0-4, 1-4, 2-3, 3-4, 1-4, 2-3, 0-2, 0-4 say something when they’re all losses with virtually no corresponding wins. If quality starts are in short supply, they can’t be wasted like this. If those scores were 7-11, 8-11, 9-10, 8-11, 9-10, 7-9, 7-11, the you could say pitching was bleeding the Tigers dry. But those aren’t the scores from losses.

    No one’s debating whether Tigers pitching is bad. But good pitching has very often gone wasted, while good hitting has rarely gone down the drain due to a pitching breakdown. Subjectively, the failure with the bats is more surprising and more of a disappointment. And much more of a bad return on investment so far.

  92. DavidBrennan

    May 25, 2008 at 6:37 am

    I just generally disagree with any assessment that transfers blame to an average offense from pitching that is abyssmal….literally:

    E.R.A.: 14th out of 14
    K/9: 14th out of 14
    BB/9: 14th out of 14

    What the hell is to debate? They absolutely suck.

    And then we look at these games where the hitters have struggled and found that once – one frickin’ time – the pitchers have out-dueled their opposition. Way to pick your teammates up, fellas!

    It’s as if a patient has a punctured lung but the doctors are all worried about a bad ankle: let’s get our priorities straight. The priority is pitching:

    I recall reading that there have been virtually no teams in MLB history with pitching staffs in the bottom 25 percentile who’ve made the playoffs, but there have been countless teams with hitting in the bottom 25 percentile who have.

    Lastly, as I’ve noted before, hitters are much more likely to return to career averages than pitchers. Cabrera, Granderson, Polanco, et al are almost certain to start performing. Pitchers, on the other hand, have flame-out all the time. We cannot assume that Bonderman, Robertson, Rogers, Willis, or even Verlander are going to return to career means (which is especially worrisome because most of their career means aren’t too good to begin with!)

  93. ron

    May 25, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I love the discourse that is obvious to even the most casual of fans. We do not need more stats.

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