As the famous (fictional) Michigander Karl Welzein would say “sick of this, you guys”. Watching last night’s game I felt like I was going to be sick (ok, I didn’t really – I was just REALLY upset). Outside of Justin Verlander‘s game on Friday, and Max Scherzer‘s on Sunday, the Tigers have been an abomination to the game of baseball lately. Last night was just the straw that broke the camel’s back…and then beat the camel to death…then let it rot out in the desert…then eventually Bear Grylls crawled inside it at night and then made a hat from it’s hump the next morning. The Tigers left approximately 42 men on base last night. If they could have, they would have had 3 guys standing at 3rd base with 5 more spread throughout 1st and 2nd. You could have given the Tigers FOUR outs in the 8th and they wouldn’t have scored any runs. While the little league caliber umpiring did not help them out, the Tigers have nobody but themselves to blame for last night’s debacle. If you harken back to the days of PASS sports where if the Tigers won, you saw the “roar” after the game and if they lost, you saw saw a kitten meow…after a few of these games, they would probably just show roadkill if they were still around.
I suggested on Twitter last night that this team be renamed renamed the Detroit LOBsters for their uncanny ability to leave men on base (LOB), especially when the runs would actually matter. I don’t know what the solution is for this team – Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder obviously need to play better. Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta need to do something…anything… to remind people of the players they were last year. Brennan Boesch needs to stop pretending to be Delmon Young. Rick Porcello needs to never, ever, throw a pitch above the belt again (unless it is above the letters and the count is 0-2). Max Scherzer needs to….man, I don’t even know…stop being such a yo-yo maybe? (Yes, I realize the last two have nothing to do with LOB…but they fit with the overall theme, and I am writing this, not you).
I don’t think this is Lloyd McClendon’s fault. After all, look at how Austin Jackson is performing this year (when healthy). Lloyd pretty much rebuilt the swing of Detroit’s lead-off hitter and he has gone from an outright liability to a a possible All-Star. Peralta and Avila, while they had great years last year (some of which can be attributed to good luck) are having the exact reserve this year. Fielder and Cabrera, the cornerstones of this offense, are not pulling their weight (haha Henning pun, ohhh the laughs….).
No, I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t know who to blame. I know it is not just one person though. Baseball is a team game. When one person fails, the rest of the team is supposed to pick them up. When the bases are loaded, with nobody out against the team leading the Central Division, and you have THREE chances to score, SOMEBODY needs to come through.
Maybe last night was the bottom of the barrel (hopefully it was because I can’t imagine it getting much worse than that). Maybe that outright failure will ignite a spark and some of these guys will remember they are actually good. What I do know is that something needs to change…and it needs to happen fast.