About last week

(my apologies for the basic image, still learning that tool)

Friends – one of my favorite things about this site is the level of analysis that we get from billfer and the other members.  No doubt in my mind that it is the best place for analysis and synthesis of Tigers data.

In that vein, I’d like to post a few observations about last week.  I know that we recently went through pro-longed losing streak, but I would argue that last week’s 1-6 mark was worse because a) of the way that it happened, b) we were no-hit and c) it may have been the proverbial nail in the coffin.

I took a quick look at the box scores from last week and would like to post a few basic totals to encourage further discussion on what ails this team, and how we can fix it (if that’s even possible).  Sorry that there is not more detail here, though I’m working on an a way to crowdsource the data collection so that we can work together to gather better info in less time in the future.

As a team, we batted a collective .234 with .315 OBP.  The worst offenders were Boesch (2-27, .074/.107, the second # is OBP), Jackson (6-32, .188/.188) and Kelly (0-8, 0 BBs).  Avila (2-9, .222/.364) and Laird (3-14, .214/.214) managed to raise their season batting averages, and Avila’s ability to draw a walk probably mandates more playing time (Avila walks 10% of the time, Laird does so 6.5% of the time).  Cabrera was a monster (he hit .364/.517 with 7 of his 8 hits being of the extra base variety, not to mention four IBBs if I’m remembering correctly) and Peralta jumped off to a nice start at 5-11 (.455/.538).

Where we really were hurt was RISP.  Tigers were 9-53, for a .170 BA (there was the Frazier bases loaded walk too).  Conversely, opponents went 16-62 with RISP, for a .258 BA.  Boesch was a huge culprit here, getting outs on Tues, Wed and Thurs with the bases full to end the 7th each night.  Had the Tigers simply been as good as their opponents with RISP, that would have led to 4-5 more hits over the course of the week.  Not including the no hitter we lost 5 games by a combined total of 8 runs.  Those 4-5 hits and resulting RBIs could have turned the week.  Tigers left 47 on base over the games, which is not a ton for 7 games, but more a function of failing to get on base than anything else.  The Red Sox and Rays stranded a combined 52 runners.

Starting pitching was pretty good, the bullpen was pretty bad.  The starters, though posting an 0-4 record, had a combined ERA of 4.25, but if you remove Bonine from the equation, our starters had a 3.46 ERA over 6 starts.  Verlander gave up 3 runs in each start (8 IPs, 7 IPs), Scherzer looked good, and Porcello’s 4 ERs in his 7 1/3 could have been 2 without a few misplays from Cabrera.  Starting pitching is not the problem in Motown.

The bullpen went 1-2, and we all remember how Weinhardt’s W barely stook up after Valverde’s 60 pitch marathon on Fri night.  As a whole the pen had a 6.01 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.  Besides Valverde’s implosion Perry gave up 3 ER in 2 2/3, and Coke gave up 2 in 2 2/3.

So, with that in mind, what are your observations, and what can we do moving forward to try and get back in the race?


  1. Andre

    August 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    With so many games left against the W. Sox (13) and Twins (6), its way too soon to call it…at least technically. On the other hand, recent history vs. these teams means there’s not a whole lot to look forward to. If they buck the trend they’ll be in great shape. If not, the end will be (mercifully?) quicker this year.

  2. Steve

    August 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Well this upcoming series will determine if the next 7 weeks has a chance to be relevant. if we take an O’fer I agree we are done. We need a streak to start and guys to get hot with the bat and close out the games we can.

    Im not giving up but boy I dont feel great going into August


  3. stephen

    August 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I hate to be a downer here, but we can’t really do anything. This team was a borderline contender before the injuries. I can’t remember any recent team that has endured a loss of one-third of their lineup and still made the playoffs.

    • Mark in Chicago

      August 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      we’re up to nearly half the starting lineup if Damon hits the DL as rumored. This run of injuries is really quite remarkable (and not very fun).

  4. Vince in MN

    August 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Kelly, Raburn, Laird, Avila, Worth, Rhymes, Boesch, Frazier, and Santiago need to step it up until our other 3 big guns come back – the rest of the lineup is doing an OK job. In the bullpen Valverde needs to get his grip back. In the dugout they need to lock Leyland in the can. Cross your fingers, pray to your favorite deity and start imbibing whatever it is that Mr. X ingests.

  5. jason

    August 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t think we have a chance at the division, but I do still hope that we can put together the best lineup possible and be competitive.

    We were spoiled early in the year by our young rookies. I don’t think it is coincidence that they are struggling at the same time the team is. Having the leadoff guy on is huge, so that Miggy has RBI opportunities. Having the 5th spot hot means that the opposing manager can’t blindly intentionally walk Miggy. Some of the IBBs to Miggy lately are horrible. We need these guys to rebound and start producing again. They can’t be expected to put up the early-season numbers, but 5 for 59 (mentioned above) combined isn’t going to cut it either.

    As for putting together the best lineup and being competitive, I am at a loss on Leyland. It’s really getting time to make a change, but I don’t see Dombrowski pulling the trigger. I am wondering what it will take for DD to do so.

    Our pitching has been a bit of a rollercoaster this year, but right now, they seem to be competitive. They have kept us in a bunch of these losses lately.

  6. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Spot on Kevin. This past week, we’ve been losing tight games against two very good teams.

    I’m not sure if we got the man power to make a comeback, but I don’t have much confidence in the White Sox either. The tide could turn on them real quick.

    For the White Sox, 13 of their next 17 games are vs the Tigers and the Twins. If they go into a losing streak right now like we just did, they could be right where we are by August 19th. (By then, we could have both Inge and Guillen back, not sure if that helps us or not, but there is a chance that it could.)

    Minnesota, their only weakness seems to be AL East teams. Right now they start a 10 game road trip, where they’ll play Tampa Bay 4 games. Then it could be clear sailing for them until the end of the season. They might just run away with it. They’ll be a tough team to catch.

    • Mark in Chicago

      August 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      At this point, we are probably out of bullets to make a run at the division, I agree. Given that state, however, I would be more than satisfied to completely spoil any chance the White Sox have of winning the division by taking a bunch of games from them even though we’re undermanned. Stick right into Hawk’s self-indulgent, narcissitic face. (don’t get me wrong I hate the Twins too, just not as much as the Sox)

      • Steve

        August 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm

        Mark, Totally agree on the Who Sox. I live in Rochester NY so I see a lot of Twins stuff here and love to see the Tigers beat them.

        I hope we play the young guys and let them get some experience so we have something to work with next year.

        In the for what is worth dept. Miggy is looking good for us and all we gave up is not as good, esp with Dtrain gone. Love having a legit star on the roster


  7. Coach Jim

    August 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    What can we do to improve? Wait it out. During that winning streak (end of June?) nobody was asking why we were so good, so why now ask why we are so bad? Flip a coin 162 times and you’re bound to flip 8 tails in a row, and probably 8 heads in a row, somewhere along the line. When you flip those 8 tails, you don’t necessarily ask why you are such a bad coin-flipper. So ride the roller-coaster and by the end, everything will work out.

    But if you must know why…Injuries.

    And take it from a pitching coach, Joel Zumaya will never pitch an entire season again. It’s the inverted W. Go read about it at http://www.chrisoleary.com.

  8. scotsw

    August 6, 2010 at 7:16 am

    The Royals have designated Jose Guillen for assignment. He may well clear waivers, and could then be had for a pro-rated portion of the league minimum. If the team is looking for a credible major-league bat with a little pop to help drive in some runs while Maggs is out, there’s a low-risk route. Now, he’s certainly not the answer, but it lets you take out one of the rookie bats, and just might make a difference if the rest of the team decides to get their collective act together.

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