A 4-game winning streak, a 9-game road winning streak, 25-12, a 6 1/2 game division lead. There is a lot of baseball left to be played; it is still early in the season. If the season were a 9-inning baseball game, we’d just be starting the top of the 3rd. The winning won’t last forever, without a losing streak here and there. It’s baseball. One more tonight would be nice though.
I used to look up this stat reluctantly last season, coming as it did with sighs and grumbles. But the 2014 Tigers so far have excelled in one-run games, the latest being the 1-0 victory last night. So far this year, the Tigers are 8-4 in 1-run games, as opposed to a 20-26 record last season. Feel free to offer your thoughts on the difference between this year and last (small sample size is a fair caveat). On the other end of things, the Red Sox are at 5-10 in 1-run games (the 10 1-run losses leading the league), which is one reason they can be under .500 with team hitting and team pitching near the top of the league.
Perusing the League Leaders, one sees a bunch of Tigers right now:
- Max Scherzer leads the AL with a 1.83 ERA
- Victor Martinez leads the AL with a .333 BA (how’d that happen? That actually surprised me).
- Joe Nathan is tied for the AL lead with 11 saves (see parentheses above)
- Rajai Davis leads the AL with 14 stolen bases. The Tigers have 36 SB as a team. In 2013 they had 35.
Tonight’s Trivia: Who was the last Tiger to lead the AL in stolen bases?
And how about that Tiger bullpen? So far on the East Coast road trip: 4 games, 12 innings, 0 runs.
The bullpen should get another workout tonight, with Rick “Six Great Innings” Porcello on the mound vs. John Lackey.
Tonight’s game is on the MLB Network, unless you live in the wrong place, in which case you get Orioles-Royals.
Tonight’s One-Run Wonders Lineup:
- Kinsler, 2B
- Hunter, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Martinez, DH
- Jackson, CF
- Avila, C
- Castellanos, 3B
- Romine, SS
- Davis, LF
Well the Tigers keep rolling along. Last night was one of those rare games, even during this winning streak, where there were never really any moments when it seemed like the Tigers might lose.
Rick Porcello. Porcello is now 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA and an impressive 1.03 WHIP. He made one mistake pitch to Bogaerts, and got in one jam (that he calmly got out of with a ground ball), but otherwise it was smooth sailing. He even made it through 8 innings, which is what I get for being a wise guy and calling him 6-inning Rick.
Doubles. Kinsler, Hunter, Cabrera, Martinez, Jackson, Avila, and Davis. No manufacturing runs last night.
The bullpen. That makes 5 straight games without a run–and Phil Coke pitched.
Rajai Davis. Davis kept daring Mujica to pick him off at 2nd, refusing to shorten his lead after one pickoff attempt, then two, then three. The fourth went into center, Davis went to 3rd, and came home on a sac fly. That was fun to watch.
Andrew Romine, or Golden Sombreromine as we can now call him. Right-handed, left-handed, it didn’t matter, he didn’t look like he would have hit anything in 10 at bats. And he booted one in the field.