Well Tigers fans, after 31 games and the Tigers sitting at 14-17 and 8 games out of first, it’s time for a reality check…the Tigers just aren’t that good.
This isn’t to say that they are absolutely terrible either, but the inconsistencies will continue to haunt them all season long. During this 7 game losing streak, it seems when you get good hitting, then starting pitching is poor, or when you scrape enough runs to support good pitching then the pen blows it, and then there are just times when the team doesn’t hit.
There have been some positives with out a doubt so far an include:
- In his 3rd season, Nick Castellanos seems to be backing up the media’s thoughts on him being a breakout performer
- The Jordan Zimmermann signing is looking very good so far
- Victor looks like he’s at least mostly back
- Ian Kinsler has to be the teams best all around ball player from clutching hitting to very good defense
The rest of this team has just been mediocre at best with Miguel Cabrera showing signs of life finally, but Justin Upton has been abismal and J.D. Martinez hasn’t been much better. Forget Jose Iglesias and Anthony Gose, and although Jarrod Saltalamacchia had some big hits, his hitting has struggled and James McCann has just 3 hits in 30 at bats.
Then there’s the rotation, which just makes me want to puke. Jordan Zimmermann has been the saving grace so far with a 1.10 ERA through 6 starts. Take his numbers out however and in the other 25 starts, the rotations is 7-13 with an ERA of 5.93 and WHIP of 1.621. Justin Verlander is the teams next best starter with a 2-3 record, 5.40 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.
Oddly enough, the bullpen has been the area of strength, however with the recent struggles of Mark Lowe, which are shocking to some (me), the ERA has crept up to a combined 3.86.
The base running has been unfathomably horrible and although I don’t think a ton of blame can be put on Brad Ausmus, he sure as hell isn’t helping himself. A great example of this was last night, in the 8th after Miguel Cabrera got a late break to 3rd and was thrown out on a wild pitch, Ausmus decides to pinch hit Victor Martinez with a base open. What does Dusty Baker do? Walks VMart to pitch to a pinch hitting Salty, but he brings in a lefty to turn Salty around who is hitting .118 as a right handed hitter this season. Of course this didn’t end well.
At this point, I think although a 7-game losing streak is a bit extreme, I think we are seeing these Tigers true colors for what they are…just not that good