Last year Sam Hoff started breaking down the season into 18 games segments, each representing 1/9th of the season, or an “inning.” Here is the 4th inning report.
The 4th Inning is over.
Each. 18 games represent 1 inning of a baseball season. The Tigers record for the first 4 innings in 2008:
W-L RS –RA HR-SB-AVG/OBA/SLG W-L-IP- ERA W-L-S-ERA
1: 6-12 74 -112 15-10-262/345/404 3-9- 96.2-5.96 3-3-3-5.28
2: 9-9 98 -87 21- 6-261/350/426 5-8-105.2-5.11 4-1-2-3.61
3: 8-10 89 -75 19- 2-275/326/442 8-5-109.2-4.19 0-5-4-3.83
4: 11-7 85 -74 19- 8-268/350/416 8-4-113.0-3.27 3-3-5-5.17
In the 4th inning started out with a 1-5 record including a sweep at Oakland. The fortunes of the team changed on June 7th when a 5 run bottom of the 8th against Cleveland broke a 3-3 tie. Marcus Thames led off that inning with a solo homerun and Edgar Renteria later added big insurance with a Grand Slam. Including that night, the Tigers have won 10 out of 12 games and have moved to 3rd place in the division (6.5 games behind the White Sox). If the Tigers average 11 wins for the remaining 5 innings they will be at 89 wins, which may very well be enough to win the central.
The starting pitching has been terrific. Armando Galarraga withstood a strange demotion to the bullpen to come back and win 3 straight starts with a 2.08era in those starts. He is now being discussed as a possible ROTY candidate. Kenny Rogers is tapping the fountain of youth with a 1.24era in 4 starts (but only 1 win as he had no run support). Justin Verlander had a 1-2 record, but pitched to a 3.10era and only allowed 30 base runners in 29 innings. Nate Robertson was 2-1 with a 3.86era in 3 starts. Three other starters were used as the demoted Dontrelle Willis (2 starts), injured Jeremy Bonderman (1 start), and promoted Eddie Bonine (1 start) combined for a 1-1 record with an 8.66era allowing 36 base runners in 17.2 innings.
The Bullpen numbers are skewed by Casey Fossum’s horrible 5 appearances as well as Fernando Rodney and Francisco Cruceta each getting bombed in their only appearance. Those 3 pitchers combined for 0-1-24.55 in 3.2 innings. The rest of the bullpen combined for a 3.53 era. Todd Jones continues to be perfect in save opportunities (4/4 in this inning) despite giving up all kinds of base runners (12 in 7.1 innings). Bobby Seay lost a game and gave up 4 runs in 5 innings. Dolsi, Miner, Bautista, Lopez and Rapada were all solid with a combined 2-1-2.25 in 28 innings.
The Hitters continue to perform at a substandard pace based on their lifetime numbers. Marcus Thames is red hot (8-12-234/333/766). Guillen (1-11-328/416/478) and Polanco (0-10-380/413/451) have also been swinging a good bat. The new catching platoon of Inge and Pudge seems to be working as they combined for (2-5-292/387/446). Cabrera is showing signs of coming around to his usual self (2-12-294/355/471). Granderson (2-7-222/279/381), Magglio (1-8-227/320/303), and Renteria (1-7-228/328/281) all struggled in the 4th frame.
I stated that the panic button needed to be pushed after the 3rd inning, and after losing 5 of 6 to drop to 24-36, the panic button was fully engaged. Don’t let the 10 out of 12 fool you, the Tigers have very little margin of error for the rest of the season. They must win more than 60% of their contests for the rest of the year to have a shot of making post season.