Tails From the Dugout
The Minnesota Twins…the worst record in baseball right??? You couldn’t tell by watching the Tigers play them. The Twins bullpen shut down the big hitters, and a rookie pitcher dominated allowing just 4 hits in the afternoon game. What is going on?? I suppose if there was an easy answer they’d already been doing it. This week manager Jim Leyland admitted he was getting worried about the club.
The only time you would expect to see the names “Brandon Inge” and “Lou Gehrig” in the same sentence would be something to the effect that both men played Major League Baseball. And both were in the American League. But Inge now has the unlikely distinction of being the first player to have at least four rbi’s in four games during a five-game stretch since Gehrig did it way back in 1931.
In spring training just about everybody thought it was just a matter of starting the season and ordering playoff tickets. Something happened between Lakeland and Detroit…reality.
The Tigers starting pitching has been nothing less than sensational, but you can’t say that about the offense. Hitter after hitter are swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, so why should pitchers even try to throw it across the plate. The normal fan reaction is that there has to be a scapegoat to blame….Jim Leyland or hitting coach Lloyd McClellan. But the plain truth is no coach can go to the plate…it’s up to the players themselves.
The Tigers closed out a brief homestand taking 2 out of 3 from the Chicago White Sox. The good news was the good starting pitching, and bad news was the continuation of a frozen solid offense. Imagine taking a series while scoring only 10 runs over the 3 game span. That’s what the Tigers “accomplished” while bats like Brennan Boesch remain cold and is now hitting 8th in the line up. Having said that there isn’t a whole lot that Jim Leland or Lloyd McClellan can do to turn things around, that’s still up to each individual.
That’s what we Fantasy Baseball addicts call it. Studs Or Duds. Meaning you have drafted a couple of superstar players and only have money left to fill the rest of your roster with players who cost a buck. Or a quarter in some cases. And not to say silly fantasy baseball is anything like the real deal. But this year’s Tiger team does bear some resemblance to that strategy.
The lack of Tiger offense has me asking…”where’s the beef?” I was one of those who was excited after the first series at home this season and saw what kind of power and run scoring ability the team had. But that seems to have taken a back seat to an on-again-off-again type of offense for the Bengals. Everyone says once the warm weather is here to stay the bats will likewise warm up. They better be right, or it could be a long, disappointing season.
You knew it was bound to happen eventually. The question was when. The news that the Tigers have finally released Brandon Inge comes as bittersweet to those of us who have followed his career in Detroit over the past 12 years. He has had good seasons, bad seasons, and in-between seasons for the Tigers, the only team he has played for in his Major League Career.
Ten to Three. Ten to Four. Three to Two. And Three to Two again. Those were the numbers for the Tigers and Texas Rangers this past weekend at Comerica Park. And considering the Tigers scored only 11 runs compared to the Rangers 25, they were lucky to win even one of those games.
I’m convinced…I saw the best team in baseball this past week end and it’s not the Tigers. The Texas Rangers have an awesome offense and their pitching is top notch.