Despite Struggles, Tigers Have a Winning Week and AL Central Lead


Apr 17, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) hits an RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If you have watched the Detroit Tigers since the Opening Day home-stand, more likely than not, you have been very frustrated. You see spurts of how great this team can be from time to time, but every time you see that spurt, they follow it up with an equally frustrating spurt which makes you put your head in your hands. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly with the Tigers, but when we take a step back, we realize that the Tigers have a 9-6 record, which is good for a 1 game lead in the AL Central. It’s  a .600 winning percentage, which is good for 3rd in the AL only trailing the Oakland A’s and the Texas Rangers, and 6th in all of baseball.

This team has been immensely frustrating at times. This team has not looked like they are living up to their potential. The best hitter on the face of this planet has a .220/.292/.356 split in the first 15 games of the season. The bullpen has an ERA of 5.19 and a WHIP of 1.34. Jose Iglesias, Bruce Rondon, and Andy Dirks have not played a game this season.

When you put all of these things together, you would think that the Tigers went 1-4 this week, but they went 3-2. You would think the Tigers are 6-9 for the season, not 9-6. The Tigers have only lost one series, and that was to the San Diego Padres. The Tigers have either won or split the rest of their series.

This week’s schedule gets easier for the Tigers. They play the 8-10 Chicago White Sox in a 4 game home series. The White Sox have a 2-6 record on the road and the Tigers have a 7-3 record at home. The Tigers then play the Minnesota Twins, a team that the Tigers have owned for the past few years.

The Tigers’ starters have a 3.04 ERA, .237/.300/.380 split against them.  Anibal Sanchez and Drew Smyly have had rough outings when they have pitched this season, but Sanchez has pitched through his troubles. The aggressive base running for the Tigers won them Sunday’s game against the Angels. Ian Kinsler and Rajai Davis have been the best pickups of the offseason for the Tigers. Joba Chamberlain looks like he is putting himself together as the season rolls along. Victor Martinez is off to a hot start. Austin Jackson is adjusting well to hitting in the 5th and 6th spots in the order. Joe Nathan has spurts where he looks like the Joe Nathan of old and not “dead arm” Joe Nathan. Ian Krol has looked good like the best arm in the Tigers’ bullpen early in this season. Nick Castellanos has got off to a nice start. Miguel Cabrera is Miguel Cabrera; he will figure it out.

This team is going to be fine. The lineup is going to put itself together, and Brad Ausmus has done a nice job handling this team the first 15 games of the season. I still fully expect the Detroit Tigers to win the AL Central and still be one of the top contenders to win the AL and the World Series.