23-26, 3rd place, 5 games behind Cle.
The Boston Red Sox, who started the season 0-3 after being swept by the Tigers, crept above .500 for the first time all year after yesterday’s 6-3 victory. JV had his worst outing since May 2011, allowing 5 ER in 6 IPs. He’s now 0-2 following a Tigers loss after a remarkable 12-0 run in his previous 13 games following a loss. I know that things look bleak, and it’s fashionable to write the Tigers off, but here are a few reasons why I’m not going to do so just yet:
1) Fielder and Cabrera are not hitting up to their standards, but they will. Both have below career average walk and slugging rates. Superstars do not forget how to hit. They alone are going to win several ball games individually, and jointly.
2) Scherzer will get better. His stuff is too good, and his K rate suggests that he should be significantly better. Moreover, his BABIP is .394, which is ridiculous, even with our infield. That number will come down.
3) We can’t get any worse at DH or 2B. I haven’t looked at WARP, but I’m pretty sure that we are deep into the negatives for both of those positions. The OPS+ for DH is 50, and for 2B is 46. It may take a few weeks to find better players, but DD knows that Delmon Young and Santiago / Worth are not viable solutions for DH and 2B. The key is that we just need better players. Laird, Berry, etc. Even if they can get to an OPS+ of 75, we’ll be fine.
4) The bullpen is coming around. Villareal, Dotel, Coke, Benoit and Valverde should get it done most nights.
Drew Smyly on the hill tonight, he’s come down to earth a bit after his incredible start. Smyly hasn’t pitched past the 5th in any of his last 3 starts.
A few notes:
– Raburn down, Santos up. Kind of anti-climatic. Look for Laird/Avila to get more ABs at DH. Santos was hitting .310 with 9 RBIs in 27 games at Toledo.
– Fister to the 15 day DL again with that same oblique strain.
– Ordonez will announce his retirement during a pregame ceremony on Sunday.
– Leyland is back to .500 for his career, 1,611 up, 1,611 down.
1. Quintin Berry, CF
2. Danny Worth, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Brennan Boesch, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Gerald Laird, DH