At the Third Quarter Pole: the AL Central
By Chris Hannum
The Tigers have not played sterling ball these past 41 games, and yet they have vaulted into the division lead and held it. Good thing this is a division full of misfits.
Follow through the jump to see the numbers:
You read that right: Every single team in the AL Central has had a negative run differential since the first pitch of their 81st game this year. In fact, only the Cleveland Indians have scored more runs than they have allowed on the year as a whole. That’s bad, folks. Two of those AL Central teams, including our very own Detroit Tigers, have managed a winning record despite all that – the Chicago White Sox have been the ‘class’ of the division over the third quarter, riding the division’s best pitching staff to a 22-18 record (while only allowing 4 more runs than they scored, something of a feat for a Central team). While the Sox had the best arms and the worst bats (still looking at you, Adam Dunn, whenever I’m not looking at Rios) the Tigers had the worst arms and the best bats. Unfortunately, the Tigers ability to score wasn’t impressive enough compared with their truly terrible performance in the other half of the game – leading to the worst run differential of the whole miserable lot. I’m not here to name names and assign blame, there will be plenty of that going around as the ‘3rd quarter pole’ series continues – all I can say is that the Tigers have not deserved this good fortune (the division lead) and if things don’t turn around quickly on the mound and in the field they aren’t going to be able to hold onto it despite the weak opposition.