Games like that, at this time of year, are enough to make any Tigers fan groan “not again!!!”.
First, on Friday, the Tigers lose an ugly game every fan in that sellout crowd thought should be an automatic win. Then, yesterday afternoon, they were shut out by Edwin Jackson despite 11 baserunners. They lost with Verlander on the mound and with Scherzer on the mound, now (thanks largely to a lack of offense) Brad Penny gets the role of ‘stopper’ today to try to avoid a sweep, at home, by a division rival to start the season’s second leg.
Oh, there were other stories too:
-Carlos Guillen made his return on Saturday, playing second in Raburn’s stead and went 1 for 4. Danny Worth was shuttled back down to make room in what seems a regular ritual.
-Al Alburquerque bumped Ryan Perry back to Toledo as well, making an entrance in the ninth on Saturday to finish up a non-save-situation that Jose Valverde couldn’t seem to get out of. He got one out, and walked one guy – the inherited runner didn’t score. A very Al Al outing.
-Austin Jackson’s sore wrist continued to keep him out of the batter’s box, he hasn’t started in around ten days so the Tigers unwillingness to put him on the DL before the break is starting to look a little foolish. Andy Dirks was pencilled in to lead off and got on base in 3 of his 8 plate appearances. I’m not overly concerned about missing Jackson… are you?
Of course, none of that seems very relevant to me right now – nor do rumors about Derek Lowe, etc… The Tigers aren’t a great team in 2011 – but without swinging any deals or making any major moves, they are good enough to win this unexpectedly soft division. They are unlikely to acquire corner outfielders better than Magglio Ordonez or second basemen better than Guillen/Raburn no matter the price. They are stuck with Inge’s salary even if he can’t outhit Don (!@#$) Kelly and the only talented guys they might be able to get to replace him are available because they have underachieved every bit as much as the mighty Inge. We fans shouldn’t be putting our hopes on the July 31st cavalry, nor should the team itself. The Tigers simply need to win (some of) these games right now, at home, or they’ll see a truly golden opportunity start to slip away before August has begun.
UPDATE: As I put the finishing touches on this blog, I happened to look up from the computer screen and notice that the Tigers were already behind 3-0 in the third inning. “Not Again!!!” is all I can say, and maybe mumble a prayer than Andy Dirks can get hits with men on base when Brandon Inge can only swing and miss (or pop it up) and that every once in a while Victor Martinez might to something with Cabrera on besides get doubled up.