Detroit Tigers, 67-58, 2nd place, 2.5 back, 1 back for WC spot.
Well, all good things must come to an end, and the Tiger win streak ended with a couple of misplays in the field, one bad pitch, and an incredible disappearing offense (or Greinke suddenly found himself again, pick your explanation).
Cabrera and his taped ankle provided the lone run of the game, and the grumbling commenced. Just how bad has the Tiger offense been? Well…not bad at all, which is the mysterious part. The Tiger team OPS (.779) is 3rd best in the AL since the break, behind only the Angels and Yankees. If you just look at August, they are 3rd best (.820) behind only the Angels and Rangers.
What makes them frustrating is that they tend to be starving or binging: they already have 8 5 run+ innings this season, but when they need just one run, like last night, they seem unable to create one, instead crossing their fingers and waiting for Cabrera and Fielder to come up.
The win Thursday over Toronto was an anomaly: a single, stolen base (!), single to win the game. Sloppy play in the field, bad base running (and an inability to stop running teams), a tendency to hit into DPs, an inability to move runners up or score them from 3rd with less than 2 out (except for the wild pitch runs; they’ve got that down), mean that they are going to lose more often than win in games like last night.
So the Tigers are NOT a bad offense; they are one of the league’s best. Just incredibly inconsistent. No three solid meals here, it’s feast or famine. Hopefully The Tiger is hungry tonight.
Smyling Drew Smyly makes his way back into the starting rotation tonight. As expected, Putty Time has come to an end for now: Luke Putkonen has been returned to Toledo to make room for Smyly.
Stat of the Day: The Tigers have the 2nd-half lead in intentional walks with 12. Wonder why.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Delmon Young. He has seen all of 24 pitches in his last 9 at bats. So he is more rested than some of the other guys. That’s the best I can do at why he is batting 5th again.
Todays Half-Baked Lineup: