20-9. That sure looks nice in print, doesn’t it? A lot better than, say, 21-10. Either way, the Tigers remain the last team in baseball with single-digit losses, and try to keep that going when they finish off their 4-game Houston series this afternoon in Detroit. (There are also no teams with 10 losses. Or 11. Or 12). Sweeping any team in a 4-game series is no easy task, whether that team is the 2014 Houston Astros or 2003 Tigers or whomever. Enjoy it now, though, it’s only a matter of time before everyone starts proclaiming the Tigers as the Best Team in Baseball, to be followed by a losing streak, because That’s Baseball.
Detroit also leads the American League in hitting, with a .285 team batting average, and a .772 team OPS. It’s still early to proclaim them a great offense, but it’s worth pointing out that they have put up those numbers without much help from Miguel Cabrera, who has a lower OPS than Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, and Rajai Davis (yep). Anyone miss Prince Fielder yet? The Tigers don’t seem to.
I was being tongue-in-cheek of course with the Don Kelly player of the game prediction last night, but he did go 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, and raised his average to .333 in the process. Today I’m all about Rajai Davis. He is moved up to the leadoff spot, where he tends to cause havoc. He stole his 12th base last night, which is the most for any Tiger since Quintin Berry stole 21 in 2012. Why not Cabrera, you ask? Miguel Cabrera is beginning to be Miguel Cabrera. He hit another home run last night, and is facing a lefty today. Sadly, he is at DH today, where he has been a ho-hum .245 (.719 OPS) hitter for his career.
Looking for another reason to be encouraged today? Today’s pitcher, Drew Smyly, so far has thrown 42% breaking pitches. Since last season, the Astros have hit .185 against left-handed breaking balls, .129 this season (stats courtesy of ESPN).
Today’s Mountain Drew Lineup: