A few thoughts following the Tigers disappointing 3-2 extra innings loss to the Rangers:
The offense is a little stagnant.
The defense is… better than mediocre, but still scary.
The team, following its first 16 games of rather quality opponents, is 10-6.
For starters, that offense. In today’s game, most notably, the back end of the game was unable to help out a very effective Drew Smyly, who has been rather dazzling but hasn’t had the support to garner that first career victory. Prince Fielder, for all of his power and might, has only 2 home runs up to this point, the last one coming in the opening series vs the Boston Red Sox. Austin Jackson started red hot, but has cooled off considerably and has even resorted to hitting a lot more fly balls. Brennan Boesch homered today, but his overall production from the number 2 slot in the batting order has been rather disappointing. (For sanity reasons, I’ll abstain from discussing Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge‘s starts.)
How about the big man at third base? Miguel Cabrera, for what it’s worth, has been very good at the position. Just 2 errors so far, and for his size he’s been very … satisfactory. Inge at second base, most notably on Saturday, has been a bit more of an adventure, but for the most part he is also making his plays. But for a team who was supposed to be a nightmare defensively, the Tigers sit in a 3rd place tie with 6 team errors, while the worst team in the league (in the early going) on defense is the Baltimore Orioles (19).
Perhaps my (attempt at a) deepest random thought is the Tigers current record, which is 10-6.
Still good for a slim lead atop the American League Central, and considering the opponents the Tigers have faced so far, it’s a rather respectable start. Take out the underachieving Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals, the Tigers have faced the Rays, White Sox, and a red hot Texas Rangers team – that’s right, a team that is now 13-3, but losing 3 of 4 to the defending American League Champs… IN APRIL, has sent the fan base reeling despite the fact that a mere 146 games are left on the schedule.
Calls for Jim Leyland’s job, booing players from your own team, and the inevitable Twitter fodder that sends people scrambling for answers. But considering the opposition, the Tigers WILL BE FINE, despite what some of our fans think. This team will still win the Central, will be a playoff team because of that, and all will be fine. What will happen between now and then? Who knows. In the early going, we hope Doug Fister returns healthy, Drew Smyly gets his first win, Prince Fielder gets a few more balls over the wall, Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn both get much better, and fans don’t freak out until the Tigers are down to their final out of the season.
You can follow me on Twitter @DisplacedTgrFan, and let me know what I’m missing thought-wise, or if I’m just missing my marbles.
- Drew Smyly Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE